Archive for the ‘Birds’ Category

The Cooper’s Hawk Came Back

The Cooper’s hawk returned to our yard this morning. It first came here on July 7 and stayed most of the time until the 19th.

Today is August 12th, and it’s back.

It seems to be getting used to our backyard.

When it’s in the yard, its presence reduces the number of birds in the area.

A few birds still continue to visit our yard.

… The hawk just flew across our backyard. I hadn’t seen it all day.

  It will be interesting to see how long it stays in the neighborhood this time.

You can tell by this picture that it can easily stay hidden in the thicket in the back corner of our yard, unless it flies.

Backyard Surprise

We woke to little excitement a few mornings ago.

A small bird was determined to run a larger bird out of our backyard, and keep it out.

  The rounded shape of the end of the hawk’s tail identified it as a Cooper’s hawk (the top picture better shows the rounded end of its tail). Sharp shinned hawks are smaller, and the end of their tail is squared.

I could only see the dark shape of the hawk from the distance, and had to take pictures from in the house.

The smaller bird repeatedly flew at the hawk and continually dived at its back. This went on for most of the day.

  The hawk wasn’t fazed by the repeated attempts.

 The hawk stayed in our yard 2 1/2 days. The other birds didn’t like it and made their opinions known.

 This is 3 days later,  and the hawk’s staying here in our yard, hunting for birds.

 

Pear Condemenium

This pear tree died several years ago,

I left it for a perch for any bird that might be interested in nesting there.

Obviously, it has had previous occupants.

Then today, three or four bluebirds showed interest in the dead tree.

I started getting excited.

They checked the dead tree and its surroundings.

 I was sure they would nest in such a “perfect” place.

Well, it turned out they didn’t stay and use any of the holes for nesting.

I still keep my fingers crossed and hope they … or another pair return.

A Pair of Killdeer

My husband and I went for an evening drive. We usually stop at Ingram Hill for the long view to the mountains. It was close to sunset.

Two killdeer were busy in the gravel.

Killdeer are a vocal bird with a loud voice.

They don’t build nests in trees or shrubs.

They do place small rocks in the gravel for their nesting area.

These two didn’t try to draw our attention.

They probably used the color around them for protection. It was close to sunset and the light fading.

We went back the next night and there wasn’t a killdeer to see or hear.

A Blue Grosbeak

I do apologize for the quality of this picture. I was in the house, and the bird was near a tangle of vines in the yard.

I quickly took four pictures, because I haven’t seen a blue grosbeak in years. The red on its side is the red patch on its upper wing.

Grosbeaks have a bigger-proportioned beak to use for cracking seeds open.

And here was one … in my yard … posing for the pictures.

A Two-Day Feast

This all started when an adult bald eagle landed in the field across the highway from our house. I hurried out on the porch to take its picture.

It took flight and flew right over me!

A little later, turkey vultures started flying into the field. The brown ones are immature, and the adults are black.

I had no idea what there was for them to eat … probably carrion.

I’m not sure if the light brown animal shape in front of the middle bird was carrion or a mound of dirt.

It looked like one of them wasn’t happy.

Other groups flew in too. They were scattered about in the 15-acre field.

I got as close to them as I could. That meant sneaking along the shrub border of our yard.

They seemed to be otherwise occupied. The two in this picture with the light wing tips are adults.

They were here for parts of two days.

The eagle wasn’t about to miss out on anything and was the last to leave.

The adult eagle, and a young eagle flew into a tree across the highway from our house. They didn’t stay long before they flew off to the northwest

… and haven’t been back since.

Chipping Sparrow

I sat near the picture window beside my computer.

A chipping sparrow started flitting around in the hackberry tree, and then

it seemed to be looking for something on the ground … I figure food.

It continued searching for seeds before it flew off to where I couldn’t see it.