Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Life in the Mulberry Tree

©2012 Steve BorichevskyEvery once in a while, I find a great resource. Such is the mulberry tree at the Ipswich River Audubon property in Topsfield, Massachusetts. This is one of the most fantastic bird magnets I’ve seen in my umpteen years of photographing birds.

I generally like to head off away from the crowds. However solitude is a double-edged sword. Where I go, the birds are generally not accustomed to people. But going to places where the birds do get used to twitchers and shutterbugs has its rewards.

Plus I get to chit-chat with like minded enthusiasts about this and that. This time of year a gathering of photographers can be found under the mulberry tree, all waiting for the star of the show…the Scarlet Tanager. Unfortunately, we didn’t get shots of Tanagers on this day, but if you’re curious check my Scarlet Tanager post from a July 18, 2010.

Below is a Red-bellied Woodpecker juvenile feeding on mulberries.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

While you may be tempted to rotate this clockwise by 90 degrees, that would not reflect reality. The woodpecker found this to be the easiest position to feed on the ends of the branches.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

And here is a real Cock-of-the-Rock. Look real close. That pinky wash on its belly is where the bird gets its name from.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Another Cock-of-the-Rock is this Male Eastern Bluebird.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Northern Cardinals, unlike American Robins and Cedar Waxwings will hork down a whole berry. Cardinals, being seed eaters, will roll the berry between its bills and make a bit of a mess of it. Perhaps that is were he gets his black face from.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

And the money shot.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Also seen in the mulberry tree is the Gray Catbird.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

First, pick the berry…

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

…get it into position..

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

…and with a couple of head jerks, gobble it down!

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

I told you they hork the berries!

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Also, in true Oriole style, Baltimore Orioles were flying in and out of the top of the tree.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky©2012 Steve Borichevsky

And there were plenty of Cedar Waxwings, too.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

After getting his fill of mulberries, this red squirrel takes a siesta in the sun.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

8 comments:

Sharon M said...

Beautiful photos!

Carol Mattingly said...

Gorgeous. Gorgeous. Gorgeous. Carol

Judy said...

Gorgeous photos, Steve!! My favourite is the one of the woodpecker preening under his wing!! Just like the way he is contorted to get at the itch!!

betty said...

What a glorious show! I wouldn't eat a single mulberry but save them for your birds. Although, you have made me nostalgic for white mulberries. Thank you.

Chris said...

What a nice post Steve and if I loved very much the sleeping squirrel, your woodpecker shots are my favs... They are truly gorgeous!

Steve Borichevsky said...

Hi Chris,
Thanks, Good to here from you again!
Hi Betty,
White Mulberries? They sound like a real treat.
Hi Judy,
He seemed to land on the branch, peck at it a couple of times and then started fixing his feathers.
Thanks Carol and Sharon M. Glad they brought some happiness to your day.

Kathryn said...

Enjoyed this post....great shots. I have never seen a squirrel sleep! He must have been very contented!

Merisi said...

Fantastic collection!

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