Posted by: atowhee | December 4, 2019

CALLING OWLS, VAGABOUND THRUSH AND OTHER WINTER WANDERERS

A friend wrote saying she heard three owls calling outside her house.  She wondered if it were two adults and a youngster.  I told her I suspect it was two males courting a single female with a higher pitched voice.  It is courtship season for these birds that will nest this winter.  We will soon see Red-tailed Hawks in pairs as well, another winter nesting species.

Speaking of pairs: two Bewick’s Wrens were in our garden today.  That augurs well for a spring-time nesting pair.bw clear (2)

There are at least three Varied Thrush right now in Wennerberg Park. VATH-WENN (2) I think they’ve arrived in recent days as I hadn’t seen them there earlier this autumn.  This species is highly unpredictable from one winter to the next, and each winter cannot be predicted from one week to the next.  Their numbers can vary greatly from one Christmas Count to the next for any territory in the west. Other irruptive species in our region include waxwings, crossbills, siskins, Snowy Owls, Snow Buntings and redpolls.

The robins want nothing to do with our feeders but are regular bird bath visitors.  For a wash they will fluff their wings at light speed, becoming an animated  blur.  To drink they lean over and drink with dainty beak fulls.  After each sip, tilting back the head to drain the throat.

This morning I refiled the cavities in our suet log.  The starling were literally all over it s soon as I got back to the house, a distance of twenty feet.  As they attacked the Audubon’s Warbler flew to the ground below to gather the bits the starlings squandered.

Lone American Goldfinch in our garden on Dec. 2.  Not seen since.amgo singl (2)

SUET DRAWS A CROWD

The Audubon’s Warbler jealously watches the suet feeders though he can do nothing to drive off the starlings. Other sueters include House Sparrows, Bushtits and Chestnut-backed Chickadees.

HOUSE FINCHES AND TOWHEE

CLIMATE CRISIS

The hotter planet is making our birds smaller. Click here.

Speaking of heat, climate change is accelerating. Click here for report.

Worse than that, new research shows lakes have an unforeseen way of producing more methane, a serious greenhouse gas.


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