Monday, November 03, 2008

Birds in the Apple Tree

A focal point in our back yard is the apple tree. The apple tree came down in an ice storm just weeks before we bought our Vermont home almost twelve years ago. It re-sprouted from the roots and has gradually become a favorite stopping place for birds as they check for predators before going to the feeder. Last winter, with a three plus foot snow pack, food was scarce and deer came through the yard regularly - though always at night. They licked the seed from the platform feeder and then scraped the bark on the apple tree. We were sure it had been girdled and would die. Instead, it blossomed and produced an abundant crop of apples, although I think the apples are from the root stock. I suppose they are edible, but not to me. I also suppose they'll provide deer food in the winter, though there is lots of food available all over this year.

But all that is beside the point. The point is that the apples, and the remaining yellow leaves provide a wonderful frame for the perching birds. Late this afternoon, I sat on the backporch watching the birds & photographing them. Here are a few of the birds which paused in the apple tree.

Dark-eyed Junco

American Goldfinch

Common Grackle

Northern Cardinal

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