Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Fine Feathers

Male Baltimore Oriole

Aesop said in one of his famous fables, " It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds." Many fine birds do have modest plumages but I do enjoy finding bright, colourful birds too. Our Northern Cardinals and Blue Jays are here year round and are always easy to find in the bush.

American Goldfinch

Goldfinches are once again a brilliant yellow after shedding their duller winter feathers. This week we have welcomed some more migrating colour to our area. This morning I ventured out early to a city greenbelt and saw a wonderful assortment of birds.

Female Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Orioles have returned and I saw several pairs in some poplar trees near a reservoir. I heard the Rose-breasted Grosbeak first, then spotted the female and finally saw the male high in the branches as he preened and sang.

Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak

On the water of the small lake this locally famous leucistic Canada Goose swam close to the shore. Hundreds of geese are in our city parks and the spring goslings have hatched in the past 24 hours or so. But this goose stands out in the crowd with his unusual feathers.

Leucistic Canada Goose

It is human nature to judge by appearances even though we may try to deny it. I keep looking for an Indigo Bunting and a Scarlet Tanager because they are so eye-catching. But some of the plainest birds have the most beautiful songs. The Warbling Vireos in the willows and the Song Sparrow in the thicket are fine birds too.


  1. Beautiful picture Ruth.

  2. Beautiful pictures and commentary.

  3. Lovely, lovely birds Ruth.

  4. I think we are all guilty; always looking for the most colorful bird. But when I have my morning coffee on the deck, I am loving the songs of some of the "drab" birds. Those songs are more beautiful than the most flashy bird in the woods.

    Great pictures.

  5. We are attracted by beauty. Cuppa posted a great poem about definitely un-pretty starlings the other day, however.

  6. Interesting birds you are seeing.I'm not a phtographer but that goldfinch shot is interesting with its bright color and the burry thing it is perched on.I really like the Rose-breasted grosbeak photo too.-Glad to see you are getting some great birding action.

  7. I love the bright colors also, but one of my favorite birds is very plain looking. I love the little Brown Creepers. I think they are so interesting. I saw my first one ever when we lived in Maine in 2003. I saw one here in Tucson, Az, this winter, which surprised me. Nice photos.

  8. Thanks for your comments, Michele, Beth and Jayne!

    NCMW- Our eyes are drawn to colour for sure. You are right about those "drab" singers though.

    AC- Thanks for sending the link to your wife's blog. I will check it out this weekend.

    Larry- You get some great bird shots. I get lucky sometimes. The Goldfinches love Teasel heads and stay still on them long enough to get a decent picture.

    Kathie- Yes, the Brown Creepers are interesting a blend into the bark of the trees so well. They are easy to miss.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.