Sunday, December 30, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Ever since we first started to watch birds, I have felt a sense of community and kinship with a whole new group of people. That feeling grows stronger with each passing day. Some of these people, well okay most, we haven't ever spoken or corresponded with and probably never will, but yet we are all part of something greater than any one of us. We all have something to bring to the table. That is fantastic to me. In my old life, 20 years spent in the restaurant industry, I didn't meet and confer with the "great culinary minds". They didn't call and ask me about a recipe that I have or a new cooking technique. I didn't get emails asking about my experience. But in this new and wonder-filled life, I do correspond with some of the "great birding minds". I speak with other backyard birders and with ornithologists. I do get emails asking me what we're feeding or what types of birds we are seeing. I get kudos for some of my photos from people who have been photographing birds all their life. Me. Lil' ol' me. Someone who, a few years ago, didn't know the difference between a house sparrow and a house finch. It's almost overwhelming to me sometimes. But in the end, it's awesome.
So yes, we are now officially FeederWatcher's and I encourage anyone who is interested in becoming a part of Project FeederWatch to check it out at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/index.html .
Now, as for how the backyard is going, we are getting all the regulars. Daily visitors include: Purple, House, American and Lesser finches, tons of Pine Siskins, Juncos, Juncos and more Juncos, Spotted Towhee, Black-Capped and Chestnut-Backed Chickadees, Red-Breasted Nuthatch, Yellow-Rumped Warblers, Bushtits, Northern Flickers, Downy Woodpeckers, Golden-Crowned, White-Crowned, House, Song and Fox Sparrows, Scrub and Steller Jays, Cooper's and Sharp-Shinned Hawks and, kind of strange, one lone Am. Robin.
The Robin comes in everyday and feeds on a couple of our Cotoneasters and usually takes a bath. But she (he?) is alone. In the last month I haven't seen another Robin in the yard. I haven't heard any in the neighborhood. Just this single Robin. I'm glad that it visits but I sure would mind a flock to come in, either. It seems healthy and active. I guess it just prefers a quiter existance.
Thanks for reading and have a great birding day.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
I believe that I just saw a Vesper Sparrow in the backyard. He was hopping around on the ground with a few juncos but I scared him and he flew into some grapevine that we have and then he flew away. I'm almost positive that it was a vesper: long tail with white edges; distinctive face pattern and kind of a spiky hair-do. I really wish that I had snapped a photo but it happened so fast that I just tried to keep my eye on him and notice the markings. Has anyone else seen a vesper sparrow in the Portland, OR area? I'd love to have some conformation or some ideas. Thanks and have a great and productive birding day.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
I saw more towhees today than I have before. I guess all the mountain snow is driving them lower. They sure are fun birds to watch (aren't they all?!) The female was really going to town with her feet. She was kicking dirt almost 2 feet behind her! More pine siskins in the yard than ever before, too. I'd love to hear about what others are seeing in their yards this week. Thanks and have a great day!