Bird Roll Call: March 21, 2018

  • American goldfinch
  • American robin
  • Black-capped chickadee (heard)
  • Blue jay
  • Common grackle
  • Cooper’s hawk (juvenile)
  • Dark-eyed junco
  • Downy woodpecker
  • European starling
  • House finch
  • House sparrow
  • Mourning dove
  • Northern cardinal
  • Northern flicker (heard)
  • Pine siskin
  • Red-bellied woodpecker
  • Turkey vulture (overhead)
  • White-throated sparrow

A turkey vulture flew over the house again today. In the afternoon, I was inside the house when I heard a loud window strike. I ran to the window and looked out, expecting to see a dead bird on the ground. Instead, I saw the juvenile Cooper’s hawk on top of a mourning dove, its wings spread wide. My guess is that the hawk was pursuing the mourning dove and the latter flew into the window (and died on impact) in a panicked attempt at escape.

Starlings pecked their way through one of our eaves today and started building a nest in the attic. I could hear the commotion from my office window.

Location — in my backyard.

Bird Roll Call: March 20, 2018

  • American goldfinch
  • American robin
  • Blue jay
  • Black-capped chickadee
  • Brown creeper
  • Common grackle
  • Cooper’s hawk
  • Dark-eyed junco
  • Downy woodpecker
  • European starling
  • House finch
  • House sparrow
  • Mourning dove
  • Northern cardinal
  • Northern flicker (heard)
  • Pine siskin
  • Red-bellied woodpecker
  • Red-tailed hawk
  • Turkey vulture (overhead)**
  • White-throated sparrow

I saw a turkey vulture flying high above the house today, a first for me since I’ve been paying attention to birds. On the other end of the size spectrum, I saw a brown creeper on one of the sweetgum trees, my third sighting of this species in my yard.

Location — in my backyard. A double asterisk indicates first sighting in my yard.

Twitter: Ordinary Birds

I am fascinated by ordinary birds.

All afternoon, two downy woodpeckers danced up and down the sweet gum tree.

Sprinklers have dressed the trees in dark skirts.

Jealousy: when the red-bellied woodpecker is in my neighbor’s yard, not mine.

Killdeers alight between two partially constructed mansions. For now, this land is still theirs.

Like the blind raccoon, I am afraid of wind, high grass, birds, and snow.

As I turned toward it, the light seemed to be a solid.

A squirrel and I startle one another.

I’ll watch the birds you ignore.

An American kestrel sits alone on a power line. It begins to rain.

Symmetry: six mourning doves evenly spaced on a neighbor’s cable line.

Dirt is my personal stylist.

Grebes float on the man-made lake as the sky drifts into night.

We all have to love something. Why not the cecropia moth?

Overhead, birds break like pool balls.

Poor vision turns fall leaves into cardinals.

Above, the turkey vulture looks like a scalloped black slip.