Monday, May 10, 2010

Bird Watching

 

We enjoy watching the birds at our house.

They come to eat from the bird feeder hanging on our apple tree. This past weekend, we've noticed some colorful subjects that I noticed last year and I decided to do a little homework and find out what kind of birds they were.
I pulled out the trusty old book, Birds of North America and began hunting for the birds in our backyard.
First there was a beautiful blue-headed finch with blue tail-feathers that are almost turquoise in color.

While searching online, I found a wonderful website Whatbird.com and I discovered that it is a Lazuli Bunting Finch and here's a great link that shows a picture and also gives the birdsong, so go take a look and listen.



The Black-Headed Grosbeak was trickier to identify.

At first I wondered if it was an Oriole, (Yes, we have Orioles in the northwest) but the beaks didn't match up.

I noticed that my book listed the Orioles, Tanagers, and Grosbeaks together and so I looked at all the illustrations until I found one that was a perfect match.
Today we had as many as six male black-headed Grosbeaks on our tree or lawn and three or four of the Lazuli Buntings both male and female. This is in addition to the bright yellow goldfinches, robins, black capped chickadees, and the neighbor's pigeons that sneak over.
Take a look outside. What kind of birds do you see? We love to hear the sweet music these birds make and to watch them fluttering around our bird feeder.
The next thing I need to do is get the hummingbird feeder out--I saw two of them today looking for a tasty treat.
These are all birds indicative of the northwest. What are your favorite flying creatures?

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