Beyond the BackyardBok Tower

Playing Peek-a-Boo and Hide-and-Seek at Bok Tower

After my dad saw my Red-headed Woodpecker photos from the previous weekend, we immediately made a date to return to Bok Tower together.  After a very windy Saturday, we braved the cold temperatures on Sunday morning to visit with our feathered friends.  It turned out to be a morning of games, playing peek-a-boo and hide-and-seek with some great birds. :)

Our first stop was the Window by the Pond, where we hoped to see the Rufous Hummingbird.  She had more sense than we did on a cold morning.  She was nowhere to be found!  So we headed over to the pine trees to see the Red-headed Woodpeckers.  My dad had only seen them one other time, at Chinsegut a few years back.  We spent about an hour watching the red-headed birds bring in acorns and do maintenance on their tree holes.  One bird in particular spent quite a bit of time excavating his hole.  I loved it when he’d pop just his head out of the hole to look around.  Peek-a-boo!

Peek-a-Boo!  Red-headed Woodpecker
Peek-a-Boo! Red-headed Woodpecker

After taking lots of pictures of the woodpeckers, we returned to Window by the Pond seeking the Rufous again.  She was still playing Hide-and-Seek.  The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were out, though.  They would occasionally come zooming by, chattering away to their friends, and nectar on the firebush right in front of us.  The following picture is a three-image composite of consecutive images taken in burst mode.  Boy do those little birds move quickly!

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Composite
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Composite (3 consecutive frames in burst mode)

Bok Tower has tons of American Beautyberry bushes all in bloom right now.  The berries are big, purple, and yummy to all sorts of birds.  We watched Gray Catbirds, Northern Mockingbirds, Eastern Towhees, and even a Brown Thrasher jump out onto a nearby bush to snatch a berry or two.  My favorite shot was of the Gray Catbird.   He continued the Hide-and-Seek game as he came out, dove under cover, came back out, dove back under cover…

Gray Catbird on American Beautyberry
Gray Catbird on American Beautyberry

The bird feeder at the Window by the Pond is very active, and you can imagine my surprise when I looked up and saw a female Painted Bunting eating from the feeder.  Painted Buntings have wintered at Bok in the past, and it’s great to see them back again!  Now a male needs to come out to see my friend Roberta… :)

Painted Bunting "Greenie"
Painted Bunting “Greenie”

The big oak tree was crawling with woodpeckers.  We saw a bunch of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, at least one or two Red-bellied Woodpeckers, and even a juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker.  The sapsuckers were especially fun for me, since I don’t have very many images of sapsuckers.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

By eleven o’clock our stomachs were desperately reminding us that we weren’t on Daylight Savings Time anymore, so we left.  But something tells me we’ll be back again soon… :)

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