Bird Roll Call: January 17, 2018

  • American crow (overhead)
  • American goldfinch
  • Black-capped chickadee
  • Blue jay
  • Canada goose (overhead)
  • Carolina wren
  • Cooper’s hawk
  • Dark-eyed junco
  • Downy woodpecker
  • European starling
  • House finch
  • House sparrow
  • Mourning dove
  • Northern cardinal
  • Northern flicker
  • Red-bellied woodpecker
  • Red-tailed hawk (two!)
  • Ring-billed gull
  • White-throated sparrow

I woke to a red-tailed hawk perched on the utility lines at the back of my property. The bird flew into a neighbor’s tree, where it was harassed by crows before moving on. A few minutes later, I heard the alarm call of several blue jays. I assumed the red-tailed hawk was back. It wasn’t. Instead, the Cooper’s hawk was perched on my back fence with her back toward me. In the early afternoon, I saw a hawk fly over the house, but I wasn’t able to identify it. Then, while watching a downy woodpecker eat from my suet feeder, I thought I saw a white blob in a tree two doors down. I got out my binoculars. The blob was a red-tailed hawk. As I watched it, a second red-tailed hawk flew into the same tree. The first hawk hopped away from the second then took off. The second followed.

More than two dozen American goldfinches stopped by throughout the morning.

I heard, and then saw, the Carolina wren. I’m relieved that he made it through the worst of the cold weather.

Location — in my backyard.