Look Outside my Window!

Mourning Doves are a fixture in my backyard.  They are strong, hardy birds very common almost in old kinds of environment. They have adapted to living in urban areas very well. These birds have a voracious appetite, they could sit by a feeder and eat until all seeds are gone… that simple! They may look pacific and innocent but they have a lot of aggressiveness within their genes. They fight among themselves or with other birds.  But they also are a preferred staple for predators such as Hawks, cats, snakes, etc.


Eastern Towhees are beautiful birds, medium size and very independent and forages the grounds for insects, fruits, invertebrates and very rarely go to feeders. However, I have noticed that when they are juveniles, they feel very curious to go to feeders but not for long! Their sense for safety immediately kicks in and then prefer to be apart from other birds. Since they do not fly in groups and have nobody to fend for them. When they have found a mate, they become inseparable from each other.L-014

The Blue Jays are usually accompanying other blackbirds such as Cowbirds, Red-winged Blackbirds, European Starlings, etc. They travel together and eat together. Blue Jays are very cautious about being at open air, they hide on tall trees and observe for a while before flying down to eat. One particular eating habit is to gobble several nuts or large seeds in their bill and then go hide and eat. Their plumages are incredibly attractive with patterns in shades of blue, also black markings on head and neck all combined with white a a bit of gray. Cool!L-015

Text and photographs © HJ Ruiz – Avian101

23 thoughts on “Look Outside my Window!

  1. How fascinating. We have collared-doves, ring-necked, not Mourning Doves, which descend in ones….one dares to land under the feeder and then another sees it’s ok and joins, until there are perhaps 8 or so. And they swallow the sunflower seeds whole, their gizzards doing the shelling. They can swallow ALOT of sunflower seeds (!) Yet, even in dead of winter, they still require some bit of grit to aid their gizzard’s work, so it is often found where the sanding truck has

  2. ….ooops, I didn’t finish….the sanding truck has gone over the icy road, otherwise everything is covered in thick snow. Watching their behaviour very closely I find that their aggressiveness isn’t towards other males as such, but is rather males incessantly trying to go after females, with them flying away, only to be followed and pestered some more. Whether this is true for all doves, I can’t say, of course. But a female collared-dove probably wishes there were such things as dove nunneries (smile).

  3. Enjoyed both the photos and the information, H.J. ! The BJs are really shy, and very difficult to “shoot” as the tend to hide in the trees as you say 🙂

  4. How exciting that you were able to capture a photo of a juvenile towhee! They are rare to see here as adults, so I have never seen a juvenile. I really enjoyed your shot of one, H.J.!

  5. I see more Mourning Dove feathers in my yard…than I do the birds themselves. But I do continue to see them so I guess they are a continuous supply of hawk food. (All the action I miss during the day.) I too have never seen a juvenile Towhee, thanks so much for the gorgeous pic!

    • Now that you mention it: A couple of weeks ago I’m shooting pictures of birds with my camera aiming to the right side of the deck railing when with my left eye I see movement, there was a bunch of short feathers still floating down in the air, I looked as far as I could see and there was nothing but a bunch of dove feathers. The Hawk had just surprised all birds and myself by diving from a tree at high speed! I couldn’t believe it! Thank you Lisa! 🙂

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