This Wild Turkey tom showed up a few days ago after being absent since last fall. Five hens returned with him. A crippled hen has been present most of the winter and more recently another hen joined her. The turkeys feed on the wild bird seed I throw out for song birds. Each turkey will consume as much feed as several song birds. Wow! I’ll be making more frequent trips to the feed store.
I had the pleasure of birdwatching at my doorstep a few days ago. You can’t get much closer than this.
This little owl made an appearance again yesterday. I heard a thump on the window and looked up in time to see this guy fly away and perch in the plum tree by the woodshed. It had made an unsuccessful stoop on juncos feeding at the window feeder. This convinced me more than ever that this bird has been visiting my yard more times than I have been aware of.
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.
The day after Christmas I made a visit to my daughter’s home near Cascade. A view from the window revealed a sleeping red fox laying curled up sleeping on the snow in an open field below the house. It remained there for several hours shifting position occasionally. Late in the afternoon it aroused itself and trotted off toward some nearby trees where it paused long enough for me to shoot the above picture. I was shooting through a double pane window, using a 30 power zoom with the subject several hundred yards distant. This was just before sundown evidenced by the long shadows.
This is why birds go south for the winter
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.
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.
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.
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?