Sunday, May 20, 2007

More Birds

The bird sightings have gone up significantly. In the past week we've spied these species, in addition to the usual ones.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird - made a quick appearance, stopping at the impatiens

Rose-breasted Grossbeak -we have two pair frequenting the bird feeder

American Eagle - with a fish in its talons

Owl of some sort - today on the way home from church

White-breasted Nuthatch - saw only once on the trunk of the Oak on the South side

Common Loon - we listen to them calling every night around 10:30

Eastern Bluebird - although I haven't cleaned out the bluebird houses in years, they still come back

Purple Finch - seems to be only one traveling with the Goldfinches

Whip-or-Will - haven't actually seen it, but we sleep with our window open and it actually woke me up one night from its continual call

White-crowned Sparrow - the bird book says it's not in our area, but seeing is believing

Killdeer update - two of the five eggs hatched, but no little ones scattering about yet

Canada goose - lots of goslings now

Red-bellied Woodpecker - very skittish, but does seem to like black-oil sunflower seeds

Bird watching is so much fun and not something that has to take a lot of time. I used to think that I had to spend time walking the woods trails at 5:30 a.m. to see a variety of birds. So untrue. With a few, or in our case, one bird feeder and one hanging cage type feeder, we attract many birds. Whenever I go by a window I take a quick glance out, looking at the trees, ground, fence or feeders. By just getting in the habit of looking, we've seen so many more birds. That's how we had the hummingbird sighting. Grace just happened to peek out a window down at the new flower basket and their it was. Then we all came running and away he flew. I also like to have a couple different field guides. I like them to be arranged differently. In my National Audubon Society FG, birds are arranged by general group and then by color. Very handy to have when I see a bird I don't recognize. I can scan through that color and narrow it down. Then next time I see it I can look for any distinguishing features. I also have a Golden Guide which is arranged by species of birds. I like this for those times I know it's a sparrow, but just don't know which one. I can page through the entire sparrow section narrowing down the possibilities. It's also easier to check differences between male and female in a book arranged by species. One last tip is to keep a pair of binoculars nearby and not in the case. I keep mine focused in at the distance from my kitchen window to the main feeder. In a matter of seconds I can pick them up and glance at a new bird at the feeder looking for distinguishing characteristics.