Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped Warbler

During the past couple of weeks, several of our other winter resident birds also have made an appearance, though so far they seem to be unusually few in number. The high, precise ti-ti-ti calls of Golden-crowned Kinglets move through the tops of the pines, while the jidit-jidit chatter of Ruby-crowned Kinglets animates the lower branches of trees and shrubs here and there. Yellow-rumped Warblers have returned, drab, grayish-brown streaked birds that flash yellow colors as they fly from spot to spot, with check calls.

This morning a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker with mottled brown, black and white plumage and pale red smudges of color on throat and crown – a young male, I think – worked on the trunk of an oak. A Northern Flicker flew from another tree out into a burst of sunlight as the clouds began to break up, flashing its white rump, and stopping on the trunk of a pecan tree, where the patterns of its plumage glowed – black band across a spotted breast, brown face, red crescent on a gray nape, and barred brown back.

In one small dogwood tree at least seven Eastern Bluebirds fluttered around, and one pair of House Finches, all apparently feeding on red berries, making the tree look as if the leaves had wings. An Eastern Phoebe with a pretty, pale-yellow belly perched on a fence rail, and several other Eastern Phoebes were active, as they have been lately, often singing or calling tsup, tsup.

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