Wednesday June 28, 2017 Red Crossbills and Hairy Woodpecker fledgling

Seward, Alaska

Ava’s Place was hopping with birds, literally! Scores of PINE SISKINS squabbled over the sunflower seeds spilled below the feeders while others tried to dominate the actual feeders. Wide-eyed fuzzy and less aggressive fledglings took notes for future reference.

A young RED CROSSBILL fed happily on loose sunflower seeds in a hanging platform feeder, occasionally driving off a pesky Pine Siskin. A golden female, possibly his mom, expertly used her tongue to help extract sunflower seeds from a wire feeder. Then she manipulated the hard-shelled seed into her nutcracker, shucked the shell and ate the heart.

A large fledgling HAIRY WOODPECKER male figured out how to hang onto the vertical log suet feeders and gobbled up Ava’s special suet mixture. His worried mother also collected gobs of suet for her son, often from the same feeder, and tenderly fed him. She looked a bit ragged; he looked fat and healthy. Lucky boy!

A male adult Hairy Woodpecker also blasted in to gather suet; I suspect he had babies still in the nest or nearby to feed.

Both a mom and dad DOWNY WOODPECKER gathered suet and carried it off to their babies. It will be fun to see their fledglings!

PINE GROSBEAKS fended off Pine Siskins on the railing feeders, apparently there to dine, not gather. Another female gorged on unripe May Day tree berries until her crop was full to bursting, presumably to feed the kids.

A SONG SPARROW flitted about the ground, deck, and railing. In a pause between woodpeckers, it flew up to the log suet feeder and hung on precariously, chowing down on suet. A RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH female also zipped in to get the rich suet for her babies.

I heard a RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD at a sugar water feeder but too many leaves were in the way to see it.

Ava’s Place is such a great place to watch and listen to birds year-round! She really appreciates donations to help with the expense of feeding these fabulous birds.

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

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