Archive for the 'Birds' Category

Jan 20 2016

Pygmy Owl

Published by under Birds,Wildlife

Pygmy Owl

Imagine my surprise when I looked out of the kitchen window and saw this little guy. It had the yard to itself except for a couple of chickadees and a Steller’s jay that hopped about in the tree scolding from a safe distance. I think I now know why there have been prolonged periods of time when there were no birds at the feeders recently.

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Nov 01 2015

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Published by under Birds,Trees,Wildlife

Nuthatch on Suet (6)

With the weather cooling off I thought I’d take a look at a Springtime photo. Here is a busy little nuthatch with plum blossoms in the background.

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Oct 15 2015

Steller’s Jay

Published by under Birds,Wildlife

Steller's Jay (1)

About a dozen of these busy bodies have descended upon my yard. They come and they go until it is hard to get an accurate count on them. They seldom stay in one place any length of time. They are greedy little beggars. It seems nice to see them when they first arrive but they soon wear out their welcome. They gorge their gullets with birdseed then fly off to stash it somewhere and come back for more. I hang a cake of suet in a wire mesh feeder on the clothes line and the jays deplete it in less than two days. Local people often call this bird a blue jay. The true Blue Jay is an eastern relative of this Steller’s Jay with a different color pattern and a lighter shade of blue.

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Oct 11 2015

Evening Grosbeak

Published by under Birds,Wildlife

Evening Grosbeak (1)

After several years of absence the Evening Grosbeak have again shown up at my feeders. Up to a dozen of these hardy birds visit nearly every day. They get their name from the oversized beak. One of these birds bit my finger once few years back and it felt like I was being pinched with a pair of needle-nosed plyers.

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Sep 07 2015

Lewis’ Woodpecker

Published by under Birds,Miscellaneous,Wildlife

Lewis' Woodpecker (2)

Kris and I were on the way to Prairie to check nest boxes. We stopped at Neil Bridge on the South Fork of the Boise River to view a Lewis’ Woodpecker nest. We spotted the bird in a pine snag next to its nest cavity. Then for no apparent reason this bird flew down near our car and perched on a stump about 20 feet away and posed for the above photo. Now why didn’t it do this when I led a fieldtrip by here a couple of weeks previously?

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Sep 03 2015

Brewer’s Sparrow Nest

Published by under Birds,Wildlife

 

Brewer's Sparrow

Monitoring nest boxes is a delightful hobby. What will you find when you open a box? Will it be the expected bluebird nest with five sky blue eggs or maybe a brood of half grown nestlings nestled tightly in their warm grass nest? The anticipation of what I may find in the next box keeps me going. There are pleasant rewards outside the nest box too. The short walk from the car to the nest box may yield another unexpected surprise. A whirr of wings when a brooding female erupts from a shrub next to you, interrupts your chain of thought, you pause to search for her point of departure. In the case of the photo above, I found this grass nest a few inches above the ground hidden in a large forb. A beautiful nest with four blue speckled eggs. I had interrupted an incubating female Brewer’s Sparrow. I was happy with this discovery but also a little sorry that I had interrupted this expectant mother in her duties.

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May 15 2015

Mourning Dove

Published by under Birds,Miscellaneous,Wildlife

Mourning Dove

If it wasn’t for the shape of this bird it would be hard to find. It’s color and markings blend in pretty well with the background of the rocks in the wall.

 

 

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May 03 2015

What Hawk is This?

Published by under Birds,Wildlife

Swainson's Hawk

Whoa!  What’s that bird sitting on the post alongside the road?  Seldom will a bird stay perched next to a roadway when you stop to take it’s picture. This guy stayed put for several pictures and remained there after I left.

The light spot above the bill and the dark bib on the breast tells me that it is a Swainson’s Hawk.  In flight the leading half of the outstretched wings is light colored and the trailing half is shaded dark.  Earlier in the day I observed another such individual in a nest located in a tree by a busy restaurant next to a highway.  I guess that this apecies can get used to being near people if they don’t feel threatened.

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Apr 28 2015

Butcher Bird

Published by under Birds,Wildlife

Loggerhead Shrike

This is a bird that nonbirders seldom notice. The Loggerhead Shrike is a robin-sized bird of prey. It hunts small mammals, birds and insects. It gets it nickname Butcher Bird by sometimes impaling its victom on a thorn, sharp twig or barbed wire storeing it for a future meal.

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Mar 28 2015

Cassin’s Finch

Published by under Birds,Wildlife

Cassin's Finch

Spring is rounding the corner. I am seeing a few birds that have been absent all winter. For the last few days I have had a couple of these brightly colored male Cassin’s Finches and one in female plumage at the feeder.

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