photo of the week

'Poppa Redbird'

When the recent snowstorm covered most of the natural food sources for our neighborhood birds, Pat Dempsey, my roommate and spousal unit, responded with continuing replenishment of our bird feeder.  As a result, the onslaught of feathered friends was immediate and continuous, primarily consisting of cardinals.  Other species also helped themselves to the largess, but the redbirds stole the show.  This big boy was one of the flock.  My 95-year-old mother continues to refer to male cardinals as "Poppa Redbird."  More power to her.

snow birds

Sunday, February 22, 2015
Pine Buff, Arkansas

Author’s Note:

Since we are in the grips of a nasty February storm, it seems appropriate to recall a February storm of a more docile nature in February 2011.  The rare covering snow descended on LA (lower Arkansas), making life a bit tough on critters that forage for their meals each day.  We subsidized their needs and were more than repaid in entertainment value from watching their brilliant colors and animated antics.  For this updated edition, we are including three new pictures from that shoot.

       Joe Dempsey


Step Away from the Birdseed, Sir.
We Have You Surrounded. . . .

Bird table manners leave a lot to be desired, so a lot of food hits the deck.  Here a cardinal decides to join a group of sparrows in the bargain basement.  The sparrows are letting their large red visitor know he is not welcome.

Cool in More Ways than One

Originally Published on Sunday, February 13, 2011
Pine Bluff, Arkansas

While the recent blizzards and snow storms were a disaster to many, and a pain-in-the-keester to others, in this little corner of the world, the condition (please forgive me here) was, well, very cool.

Our bird feeder, being the only bird buffet open for business in our neighborhood, did a brisk business.  The descending flock, mainly cardinals, grazed all day long, providing great entertainment and an occasional taste of comic relief.

When a bird feeder stands adjacent to a house for a while, the house, in effect, becomes a blind.  So you merely raise a window, set up the tripod, and fire away at the endless show.  A lot of cold air and sometimes a few flakes of snow invade the domicile, but that is a small price to pay.


The Eye of Gratitude?

This ol’ boy seems to be giving me a nasty stare.  Nevertherless, I’m taking the high road and presuming this is the look of being grateful for food.


Big Bird with Grub

There’s no shortage of big males at the feeder.  This one grabbed his grub and winged away from the rest to much it down.


 Busy Day at the Cafeteria. 

Blackbirds Begone!

While we like the cardinals, we are not too crazy about the hordes of blackbirds who descend on the feeding area and attempt to disenfranchise those who got there first.  Since these varmints are so unpopular, they are far more sensitive to human intrusion than the cardinals, sparrows, wrens, woodpeckers, and others who live here most of the time.  A vigorous tap or two on the window sends all of the birds flitting for cover.  In a few seconds, the resident birds are back at it.  The blackbirds hang back and finally leave.  They return, and the cycle starts again.  Eventually they look for greener pastures.  Bye bye blackbird.


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