Sunday, March 05, 2006

Local fauna

Here's some of the cute little animals that have come to visit our bird feeder over the last couple of months - it's a good cross-section of the types of animals that are common to the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia.

The Black-Capped Chickadee (not sure if it's male or female, they look virtually identical). Extremely common around here, we see them every day all over the place! They have the cutest little chick-a-dee-dee-dee call (and I understand from an item on TV that the number of "dees" at the end indicate a threat level. If they're really nervous, there will be up to 14 "dees" on the end, but if everything's okay, they'll do a regular "chick-a-dee" or a little "cheep"). You can imitate them, and they will call back. :)

Red-Breasted Nuthatch (I think it's a male because of the black, not grey cap - then again, the male's breast is usually darker red...oh well, it's one or the other!). I hadn't seen this type of bird before moving out to the Eastern Shore. We only have two here now, I imagine there might be more in the summer time. One of the little dears has a deformed leg. It's fully formed, but twisted up facing backwards, and has no mobility. I assume his mate stayed with him, and that's why there's only the two of them here. They're very lively, similar to the black-capped chickadee.

This is the squirrel I call Max. He's a boy, and has a lovely red-tinged tail, and is very typical of the sort of squirrels we have around here. And, when you watch squirrels a lot, you really see where they get the expression "he's a little squirrelly". Holy moley, he's just so jittery! He runs around chittering and hopping, moving around in quick little movements, ready to dart off at a second's disturbance. And he is NOT shy, he will walk around doing great acrobatics to get to the bird feeder - I put some stuff on the railing just so he won't have to do that, but he does it anyway. Maybe he thinks it's fun. :)

These male and female Common Redpolls (which I had formerly erroneously listed as Ruby-Crowned Kinglets -- oops!) were just passing through in late February, 2006. I haven't seen them before or since, so I'm really glad I caught them on camera. They are really cute, and such a lovely bright cherry red to brighten up the winter! My favorite is that cute little male there, looking right at the camera, he looks so jaunty!

We also have blue jays and crows in the neighbourhood (I hear the jays, but I don't see them in our immediate area, I don't think they've come far enough out of the forest yet). We also have grey-slate juncoes, but I haven't seen them in several months, so I think they've moved on to deeper into the forest until the weather warms up. As I get more pics, I'll post them! :)