The Holler Preens it’s Plumage~

I couldn’t do another post on Holler birds without including The Holler Hummers could I?


The year-round hummers are mellow and co-operative.

Right, and I am the Queen of Bavaria!

We have oak groves full of all sorts of birds including droves of Acorn Woodpeckers in their smart red pope caps.
There are Western Scrub Jays,
who don’t like being photographed,
and very shy Western Bluebirds,
who like it even less!
“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without words
And never stops at all.” (Emily Dickinson)
Cheers to you from your Holler feathered friends~

266 thoughts on “The Holler Preens it’s Plumage~

      1. My heart has been moved so much and my eyes express it, since I have returned. I am thankful for all the love, kindness and support; and believe me when I say, you were greatly missed too. I have seen such beautiful things through your eyes that I will never be able to fully express the meaning in it. Thank you for always being so supportive and encouraging. xo

  1. Hummingbirds… yesss!!! It’s raining everyday so I haven’t gone out to view our hummingbirds (as I have the flu). At least I get a close-up view of the hummingbirds and other wonderful, colorful avian visitors in your area – which seems very sunny in comparison to what we’re getting up north. What expressive characters they are! That Scrub Jay, in particular, seems to be wondering what you’re doing photographing him!

    Many thanks to you Cindy! ~Lynn

    1. He doesn’t like it one bit! Neither does the bluebird. The hummers get offended when I photograph other birds and buzz around my head!
      The flu is terrible! I am so sorry. At least you know it will eventually end, but while you are sick it is no fun at all. I am so sorry and hope you get well soon.
      I don’t know what is wrong with SoCal and El Nino. We had one storm series and no more. Not good at all.
      Get well soon my dear friend~ <3

      1. They do miss you and will be relieved when they see you again. They don’t forget, not for as long as they live. Did you read “The Fastest Things on Wings: Rescuing Hummingbirds in Hollywood,” by Terry Masear? You would absolutely get engrossed. She’s an adjunct prof at UCLA and runs a hummingbird rescue every spring in Hollywood. She is a font of hummingbird knowledge. It would be fun to read on your kindle as you recover….

    1. Some like the hummers definitely do, others like all blue colored birds are extremely shy. I wonder if it is because they know they stand out? The hummers know they stand out too though and like it this way! Laughing…..

    1. Yes I love seeing birds from other locales as well. People may think their common birds are boring, but to me they are all wonderful. So pleased you enjoyed & cheers to you~

    1. No, they are shy and elusive. They startle and fly off frequently which makes them a challenge to photograph. Wonderful to hear from you Wally and hope all is well with you my friend! <3

    1. I LOVED your last poem with the crows btw, and remember they are very smart birds who watch you all the time! And yes, I am the Queen of Bavaria, but don’t tell anyone. I was going to say I was the lost Romanoff Queen but no one would believe me……

      1. We used to live somewhere with lots of different birds and quail walking around everywhere. The wildlife was amazing there. This reminded me so much of that. We miss it! So thank you for sharing these! I am sure you must be aware of how blessed you are!

      2. We have quail too and I have posted on them. They are incredible birds and I can well imagine how much you miss the wildlife. I would be bereft without the wild ones so you have my complete empathy.

  2. β€œHope is the thing with feathers
    That perches in the soul
    And sings the tune without words
    And never stops at all.” (Emily Dickinson

    So sweet! Love the pics. Each bird has such character. Fun share!

    1. Yes, there is a drastic reduction in songbirds in Southern California, but The Holler abuts a 1200 acre nature conservancy so we have wildlife like in olden days and so many birds. I have been spending time everyday since I have been home in the oak forests photographing the birds. Every day I surprise a coyote. I have a daily coyote photo. It is like rural California 50 years ago out here. Be well Maiko and thank for caring for our natural world and it’s wild creatures~

    1. Yes, and he is less shy than the rest of his flock so I have been able to get multiple shots of him and you are correct. He is a youngish Western Scrub Jay. So pleased you like him as I do too. He is unusually gregarious with humans.

    1. All the blue colored birds out here have this terrified, serious vibe, as if they sense they stand out, and don’t trust any human. I am determined to at least try to win them over!

    1. Awww, so pleased you enjoyed! The wild lilac is already blooming and the lemons are ready to be picked. Most of the flowers are still sleeping. Not sure if the grapefruit is blooming yet. I need to go see.

  3. Los pΓ‘jaros, con sus variados y vistosos colores, adornan el campo ahora que el invierno trae dΓ­as grises. Muy bonita y variada colecciΓ³n de fotos. Un abrazo, amiga y buen domingo. πŸ™‚

    1. Well, I am Queen of The Holler in my own mind, since I am the only woman living here. Of course the men at The Holler don’t agree with this, but what do they know? Come to think of it, the hummingbirds wouldn’t agree with this either, since they KNOW they are the kings and queens of Hollerdom, and the coyotes are the lords and ladies.

  4. I am in Mountain View visiting family. I saw a hummingbird yesterday. I forget that they stay around here, verse our mountains which host them for the summer only. Though our winter in West Virginia has turned mild so far, we have had a couple of mornings at a time when the thermometer reads single digits. I keep the feeders stocked with suet and sunflower seeds on those days. Hope that the El Nino rains are gentle on your hollow this winter.

    1. I really wish the El Nino would bring it on at The Holler! We had a four day period of several storms and good solid rain, but none since and none in the forecast. We definitely need more. The snow totoal in Mammoth is around 176 inches, and should be twice that by end of season. SoCal is in worse shape than NoCal which I hear is getting steady storms. Enjoy your time in beautiful Mountain View and thanks for stopping by~

    1. Ahhh, thank you Alison. I have a series on this guy and he is unusually willing to be photographed compared to the rest of his flock. Hope you are enjoying yourself in San Miguel my friend ~ <3

  5. So much beauty that we don’t usually see in the Midwest — were it not for your photos, Cindy, I’d be clueless that some of these gorgeous birds even exist!

  6. I’ve always had a thing about birds, the smaller the better. The Holler Hummers look so tiny, I wonder a good breeze doesn’t blow them to smithereens. Thank you for sharing the photos. I do enjoy them and these of the birds as well. <3 <3

      1. They are so funny. They accompany me when I go birdwatching in the oak groves. They follow me and and watch with me. Today all the birds I was looking hid, but the hummers followed me the whole time, about an hour. I bet they were thinking, “Why is she wasting her time on them? We are much cuter!”

  7. Cheers to you, Cindy, from your feathered friend Monica :). First, the post is awesome and the feathered friends are so cute. Second, you know that on my blog I am Mopana. So… Pana is my last name and it means feather πŸ™‚

    1. Hummers can flash their colors at will. When they do it full force it is too much for a photo. It comes off like a aura of intense color. Maybe I should post it sometime anyway. It is amazing.

      1. Back at the Holler!

        Re: posting full force Hummers — yes please, Cindy I would love to see the aura of colors. Being a city girl for most of my life, I simply can’t imagine. Again, BEAUTIFUL photography – and Dickinson is one of my favorite poets, so the quote was an additional treat.
        (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
        -ADD Coach Training Field founder/ADD Coaching co-founder-
        “It takes a village to transform a world!”

  8. The only Emily Dickinson I can bring to mind is, “A bird came down the walk, he did not know I saw. He bit and Angle Worn in half and ate the fellow raw.” But I do so like your birds.

  9. Great birds of feather, Cindy, undoubtedly flocking together to the Holler. Couldn’t help but notice that scrub Jay looked awful skinny in comparison to the ones that hang out here. Also, you acorn woodpeckers have more yellow. –Curt

      1. Regretfully, back home again in Indiana, and forgot to bring some warm and sunshine along with me !!! As I write it’s 9deg outside and was -3 this a.m. All mostly well…, this darned cold simply wants to hang on forever. I’ll survive though. Hope all is well with you, Cindy. G’nite !

  10. I really like your bird posts, Cindy. β™‘β™‘ I also enjoy studying how different they are from our birds. πŸ™‚ The western scrub Jay and western blue birds are so different. Those hummers grab my heartstrings. Little busy bees, they are. Wishing you more pleasant days and peaceful, dreamy nights, Cindy. Hugs, Robin

    1. Hugs back to you Robin and I also, so enjoy, looking at birds that don’t live at The Holler. It makes me want to travel to see them. But then, everything makes me want to travel and see, as you have by now noticed! Have a wonderful week my friend~ <3

  11. Such striking photos Cindy. Especially the photos of the Hummer.
    Augustine once said that there are two musical species in the world — birds and humans (taken from ‘Scribbling in the Sand’ by Michael Card).

    1. Thank you! How fascinating. He maybe never got to hear whales, or wolves, coyotes, frog symphanies, or crickets choruses. I bet we could keep going couldn’t we? Still I appreciate the core of his idea, and you for introducing me to it. Birds are intrinsically musical.

      1. Oh yes, you definitely have a point there. Creation is a symphony in and of itself, isn’t it? Hahaha. But yes, birds are intrinsically musical. They have the melody I guess, and the other animals have the instruments. Hahaha.

  12. Ah, your hummers & other beautiful birds are preening their plumage, while my snowman is preening his carrot nose! Oh….wait a minute… my snowman has turned into a lump of ice. Never mind! No preening in Toronto. πŸ˜‰

    1. The preening in Toronto in the winter happens inside Resa’s house when she makes a new art gown. I was just at your art gown blog yesterday, fantasizing about that gold gown…….

  13. Cindy, I always love each and every one of your photos but it’s hard to me to go passed your eagles in flight series there. I really appreciated the detail of the feathers, especially in a moving bird.
    Years ago, I drove across the Nullarbour Plain in outback Australia (was driven really!). I tried photographing the eagles there and it was very difficult to catch anything. They go after the fallen roos or road kill. You see them perched on top of their spoils glaring at an oncoming road train and puffing up their feathers before making a hasty retreat. Quite funny really.

    1. They are just a thrill to see aren’t they! I have to go back to Australia and spend time with the birds. Australia is bird heaven, and thus heaven on earth for me. Your experience in the Nullarbour Plain sounds just incredible. I would so love to see the outback. Cheers my friend and thank you too!

      1. The birds here are incredible, although I don’t have a lot to compare them to. Around here, you get flocks of wild Sulphur-Crested cockatoos or cockies as we call them. There are aso flocks of gallahs and Rainbow-crested lorrikeets. They’re probably my favourite birds and we’re lucky to have such personalities.
        The Nullarbor was incredible. I have been across it a few times…once by car and twice by train. My first time on the train, I was a student and I sat up the whole way and had a break in Adelaide. I remember photographing the shadows of teleraph poles out in the desert. Couldn’t wait to get out of there at the time but that broad sense of space really resonated for me later on, especially when I was in Paris and found it quite claustrophobic. The cliffs around the Great Australian Bite were incredible. I went over there pre digital so I’ll have to scan my photos in and post them some time. Our scanner is currently broken so it could be awhile.
        Hope you have a great weekend.
        Best wishes,

      2. Yep. I must return. I remember the flocks of galahs and sulfur crested cockatoos as well as bushes full of black cockatoos crying like cats. I went for several days to a park where huge varieties of parrtos, parakeets, even a king parrot ate from my hand and walked over my feet. You have to understand for me this is nirvana. You are so lucky!

    1. They are so camera shy. All the blue colored birds at The Holler are super camera shy. Bird watching is intensely relaxing, and half the time I find all sorts of other creatures besides birds! πŸ˜€

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    1. I am working on getting another woodpecker who is really rare, only 200 known to be in California. I think the count is off because I have seen at least 8 here and they are not known to be here!

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