Thursday, January 28, 2016 Brown Creeper and Rusty Blackbird

Seward, Alaska

First bird today was a BROWN CREEPER that lives in the ‘hood. It busily investigated the nooks and crannies in the potato chip spruce bark as it deftly spiraled up the trunk in quick hops. The dainty curved bill fit neatly behind the gaps and in the cracks to extract tiny, well-hidden tidbits to eat.

After a few excursions up and around the spruce trunks, it flew over to the sunflower seed feeder and clung to the wire side. All around, on every side, CHESTNUT-BACKED and BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES zipped in, grabbed a seed, and took off with their prizes. Perched on a nearby branch, they pounded it open in short order with their short, sturdy beaks, gobbled up the meat, and hustled back for more. RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES made countless trips, stashing the seeds.

I think the Brown Creeper was bewildered about all this fast food action. Its beak did not fit into the wire mesh, nor could it open a sunflower seed even if it managed to find one. After a while, back it flew to the spruce trunk, traveling easily up and down the vertical sides and on the undersides of the branches. Try that, chickadees!

Later in the afternoon, I drove over to Fourth of July Beach. As I was walking through the leafless alder grove, I heard a soft call. Searching through the dense branches, I found a pale-eyed, female RUSTY BLACKBIRD perched near the top, slowly pumping her tail. I tried hard to get a photo, but the camera could not find it. The bird flew down to the soggy leaf litter and quickly disappeared.

I don’t recall seeing a Rusty Blackbird pump its tail. That was interesting. I tried to refind the bird, but failed. I will keep trying; maybe she will have a companion with her next time.

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold

Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

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