From the other room, I heard Melanie call out that she saw a Red-headed Woodpecker in the backyard. I hurried to take a look. It faces a challenging future according to All About Birds. We seldom see them since local habitat for this handsome bird was removed with the addition of streets and housing near us a decade ago. This one visited behind our house several times that day giving opportunities for a few photos. We hope to see it more this year.
Tag Archives: Birding
Hawk on a Light Pole
I just starting walking down the street and looked up. Sitting on the nearby light pole was this hawk staring down at me. The angle was bad to get a positive ID. It didn’t seem large enough for a Red Tail. It seemed more likely a Cooper. The tail was straight down on the opposite side of the pole. I couldn’t get in position to see it. What do you think it was?
Cardinal | Color and Song
Beautiful weather, cloudless skies, and singing birds have been the theme lately. One song stands out loud and clear. The Northern Cardinal, Cardinalis cardinalis, pierces the air with its call. Bright red males light up the high branches as they patrol their territories.
Baby Starlings | Feeding Frenzy | The Visitor
For two weeks, squawking European Starlings were noisy at the back of our house. We heard them every time we sat on the deck. The Starlings were kind of annoying. There’s nothing pretty to our ears about their vocalizations. They were introduced to N. America in the 19th century by Shakespeare enthusiasts according to All About Birds.
Update 29 May 2016: They appear to have left the nest. No sign of any birds today.
I looked out our bedroom window which is near the deck and about 12 feet above the ground. I spotted the source of the Starling commotion. In a knot hole were three babies peering out patiently waiting for a parent to bring food.
Finches | House or Purple | Poll
Cowbird | Nearby As I Mowed
I mowed the lawn today. During my second swath through the side yard, I noticed a small bird fly down into the clippings not very far from me. Sometimes a barnswallow will fly nearby trying to catch insects scared up by the mower. They are fun to watch as they are excellent low level flyers. But, this bird flew over and landed within two feet of the discharge side of the mower. It was getting blasted by the clippings. Now and then, it picked up something in its beak.
I stopped several times to avoid running over it. It seemed unafraid. I reached down to see if it would come to my hand. It looked cautiously and hopped a little farther away. As soon as I started moving the mower, it got right back into the clippings discharge. Strange bird with a death wish or something.
I left the mower and ran inside for the camera. I called for Melanie to come out and see. I stood next to the mower handle and recorded this short clip. It hopped up toward me. You can see the shadow of the handle and hear the mower.
Later, I tried to ID the bird. It appears to be a juvenile female brown headed cowbird. Here are more pictures from the Google machine.