Category Archives: birdwatching

Morning Watching A Cooper’s Hawk

Monday morning, I spotted an unusual bird in our backyard. A bit large for a songbird. All my regular songbird customers staying still and mostly out of sight.

We don’t often have young Cooper’s Hawks hanging out in our backyard. It’s a bit uncommon.

However, not as uncommon as seeing a brown booby in the Ozarks. How I wish this area weren’t a solid 5 (or more) hours away from me!  Wanted to share that interesting tidbit before moving on with my own slightly less exciting story of watching the hawk in the backyard.

When I first stepped outside, all the songbirds were gone but a lone dove still sat on the wire. I noticed the hawk didn’t seem to pay attention to it. However, the dove didn’t stick around pressing its luck for very long. And quickly flew off to a safer locale.

I stayed on the deck observing our new backyard “guest.” He observed me a bit as well.

Shall I “dance” for you?

My older son stepped out on the deck and even found this bird interesting enough to snap a phone photo. The little gray cat stayed by my side until she decided to start venturing into the yard and check things out. I quickly relocated her inside the back door. She’s not much bigger than some of the squirrels. And then, she reappeared coming around from the front having pleaded her case to someone inside. Relocated her again, giving strict orders to the occupants inside our house to keep her there!

Not sure this hawk could pick her up but look at those talons! Let’s not chance it.

Speaking of Squirrels

A rather careless squirrel started to scamper across the branches of the neighbor’s sycamore tree. It did not escape the notice of our visiting hawk. 

I watched as the hawk chased the squirrel around the tree. While I know a bird’s gotta eat, I’m a bit relieved I didn’t watch it snack on a squirrel. The squirrel (despite the hawk’s best efforts) remains to raid my bird feeders another day.

Camouflage!

One effort the hawk made in the squirrel pursuit employed the use of camouflage. It flew from it’s easily spotted perch to the evergreen tree closer to the squirrel. Even though I watched it fly over there, it took me a minute to spot it.

Finally, the squirrel scampered (a bit more stealthily) to safety and the hawk flew off to a higher perch on the other side of the yard.

The Other Side Of The Yard

Again with the camouflage, it took me a minute to find the hawk after watching it fly over there.

The bright almost noon time light and height of the trees on that side made it a bit harder to get decent photos. My neck straining a bit, I went inside. Then, I heard an usual bird call. It sounded a bit like a distress call. So I went back outside to see. 

While not completely sure, I think based on the markings I saw a mockingbird letting the hawk know it’d overstayed its welcome in our backyard area. It also might have been a blue jay. Shortly after that, I did lose sight of the hawk. I’ve not seen it back since unless it visited while I’ve been at work.

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After the morning with hawk, I took pity on the poor squirrel and let him eat at my bird feeder without fussing at him. However, I think his reprieve might end soon as he empties my feeder at an astonishing pace.

Other birds spotted this week: mourning doves, hummingbirds (another one not quite as bothered by the hawk), chickadees, tufted titmice, Carolina wrens, downy woodpeckers, crows (just flying over head), goldfinch (at work), cardinals (home and at work), and a group of house sparrows (they help the squirrels empty my feeders at an alarming rate!).

What birds have you spotted this week?

Joining in with the Bird Depot hosted by Anni at I’d Rather Be Birdin’.

 

 

 

Sweet Caroline(a) Wren

I saw a funny (or not, sigh) meme about the cancellation of Sweet Caroline for this year. So, when I noticed this Carolina Wren on our patio, I had a title for my post today.

I watched this little bird flit about by the suet feeder before it decided to venture over to the patio umbrella and hop about on it. Inspecting for wasp nests for me? Maybe. I did ban umbrellas from our deck for a reason. However, my husband ignored my ban. Something about wanting to grill in the rain. Glad to know I have a little bird on my side of things. Or maybe the wren takes my husband’s side since this umbrella is obviously very interesting. Still a sweet little bird either way.

And of course, I must add a certain song to end this section of my post:

A Few More Bird-Watching Photos And Backyard Tales

Can you stand another hummingbird photo this week? How about a fun story to go along with it?

See that little chickadee off to the side minding his own business over there? J told me about seeing it last week but this time I got to see it! He likes to take a little nip from the hummingbird feeder sometimes. And that little hummingbird? Does not like to share. We watched one afternoon as the hummingbird quite definitely chased the chickadee away from “his” feeder. Quite the scene!

One more backyard tale before I wrap up my post. Nuthatch photo above just for divider purposes. One afternoon, I heard a bit of  warning chirps from the backyard.

Finished up whatever I was doing, glanced out the back door just in time to see a hawk swoop across the backyard! Ran for my camera as I saw it stop in a nearby tree. However, I was too late and it was gone upon my return. Probably a Cooper’s Hawk. Going to have to keep an eye out for it.

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Other birds spotted this week: house finches, mourning doves, cardinals, woodpeckers (both red-bellied and downy), tufted titmice, a mockingbird (not at the feeder), and the annoying large group of house sparrows returned to my feeders yesterday. Saw a goldfinch fly by, just a flash of yellow, while at a nature center trail. Heard but did not see: crows and a blue jay somewhere in the distance.

What birds did you spot this week?

**Joining in with The Bird Depot hosted by Anni over at I’d Rather B Birdin.

Humming in the Rain

It’s been a rainy week. I’ve either been working or watching it rain. Yesterday morning I finally braved the soggy swamp of our backyard to go refill the bird feeder.

When at home, I spent most my time watching out for our ruby-throated hummingbird, stepping out on the back deck, battling mosquitoes, to try for a few decent photos.

Finally caught one where the ruby throat is visible!

Sometimes it’s good to take a break from all that wing flapping while eating…

I think this one missed the sunshine!

So did I! Yesterday started out rainy (again) but ended on a nice weather note.

And we woke up this morning to crisp, cool air and clear skies. Since I awoke at 5:15 a.m. today, I ventured out for a walk around the park I am always driving through on my way to work. 

Birds Spotted In the Park

A happy hummingbird! Reflects how I felt to see some sun again today after so many rainy days this week.

I took a walk down to the lake. Spotted some mallard ducks.  I saw the one pictured below first as it was with just one other fairly close to the fishing dock. The ones above I saw a bit later on my walk.

And while not the best photo, this cardinal sang to me as I hit the final stretch of my walk around the park so I didn’t want to leave him out. 

A Few Other Birds I Spotted This Week

Crows fussing at a cat a few yards over. Turkey vultures sitting on light poles in the rainy weather. A mockingbird at work! A new young cardinal hanging out at our backyard feeder. The downy woodpeckers. Think I caught a glimpse of a brown thrasher in the park. Mourning doves both at home, near my work, and in the park. Sparrows. Saw a robin. Canada geese in the park. House finches. Tufted titmice. Chickadees. And squirrels, at my bird feeder. SIGH.

What birds did you spot this week?

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Joining in with The Bird Depot hosted by Anni over at I’d Rather B Birdin’.

A Lovey Dove-y Week

I’m a bit late to share my bird watching post as I ran errands this morning, then we attended a graduation party (small, mostly family) in the afternoon. And I’m not sure where the rest of the day went after that.

Despite the raging pandemic, I had a really nice week. One filled with pleasant surprises. Not many photos as I was at work for most of it.  One filled with more bird watching experiences than photos.

The Mourning Doves

I did capture some images of the mourning doves that clean up under my bird feeders. They probably thought it was Thanksgiving tonight as I accidentally spilled more seed than usual (new, large bag). Thank goodness the blackbirds and grackles have moved elsewhere!

I took these photos earlier in the week. One of the doves looked a bit smaller than the others. I’m not sure if it was a fledgling or not. 

Usually, I don’t pay very much attention to the mourning doves.  I’m focused on the antics of the house finches or chickadees or waiting impatiently for the hummingbird to show. The doves caught my eye this week as I spotted this out the window:

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a dove land on my feeders like that! Even recently mentioned to a friend that doves didn’t usually land on the feeders. “My” mourning doves typically clean up and eat the seed spilled by on to the ground by the other birds (and the human who can’t quite manage a 20 lb bag of seed). Do your doves land on the feeders?

Other Bird Watching Experiences From The Week

Mentioned in my post on Wednesday, seeing hummingbirds not on feeders but rather feasting on trumpet vine flowers and then zinnias at work.

Also at my work, a small delight every time I opened the door to run to go on my break, a group of goldfinches feasting on the sunflowers planted near the wall. You just know I’m over here trying to figure out how to grow my own group of sunflowers now! Of course, I can’t get the one lonely little sunflower I have in a pot to bloom. So realistically, I’ll just be content to enjoy the scene at my work.

Caught a glimpse of a very bright blue bird one morning on the drive through the park en route to work. Not sure if it was an Eastern bluebird or an indigo bunting.

Listening to a group of tufted titmice raise a ruckus about the almost empty bird feeder late one evening.

(Not feathered friends: I spotted a bunny hiding under a neighbor’s car one morning. Spied a blue-tailed skink hiding under a log on the playground. Watched a chipmunk scurry across the road one morning. And saw a deer feeding right next to the roundabout in the park!)

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And to end the post, here’s my list of all the other birds I spotted this week: chickadees, downy woodpeckers, cardinals, a mockingbird, turkey vultures, crows, starlings, and sparrows. Also, heard but not seen: a group of blue jays calling.

What birds did you spot this week?

Joining in with the Bird Depot hosted by Anni over at I’d Rather B Birdin’.

 

Variety of Backyard Birds

Enjoyed the antics of a wide range of our backyard birds this week! Even spotted some birds I’d not seen hanging around our yard in a while.

The house finches are regular customers at the backyard feeders but I don’t always get to see the tufted titmouse. Rare to see it sitting still and so close to a house finch as well.

Tufted-Titmouse

Usually have to try and capture quick snaps of them as they hurry to and from the bird feeder. The one above stopped briefly on the fence.  Speaking of stopping briefly…

Ruby-throated hummingbird

This bird’s been taunting me. Likes to sit on a wire that runs across our backyard. And about the time I notice it, fly over to take a quick sip from the feeder before zooming away.

Though it doesn’t show in the shots above, the throat on this little bird is as bright (maybe brighter) than the color of this…

Cardinal

He’s been hanging out at the neighbor’s yard. I think he likes their food better than ours. Right on the post above him sat a…

Robin

It was odd how I was thinking that I’d not seen many robins lately, looked up and saw one sitting on the post! Two other feathered friends I’d not seen in a while also came to visit:

Carolina Wren

and a…

White-breasted Nuthatch

I sat outside on our deck with evening approaching (and my furry cat assistant by my side) for most of these pictures.

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We also enjoy just watching the bird antics:

I think I’m turning my youngest son into a bird-watcher as well. He often goes to the backdoor now, looks out and reports what birds he sees. Heard him laughing one day, he said the silly chickadee was trying to eat out of the hummingbird feeder. Sorry I missed that one. I did enjoy watching the silly little chickadee challenge the downy woodpecker on the suet feeder. Guess who won that match? I’ll give you a hint. It was not the chickadee.

Before I end my post, I  wanted to thank Phil from Another Bird Blog for his advice last week about speeding up the ISO setting on my camera. Motivated me to take my camera off the “bird watching” auto setting and see what happened. Reminded me I bought the bridge camera to learn all the “fancy” stuff in the first place.

Finally, a few other birds spotted but not pictured from the week (not all were in the backyard): turkey vultures, chickadees, sparrows, starlings, mourning doves, Eurasian collared dove (this morning!), and oddly enough, a little goldfinch singing away in the tree I parked by at Target today. What birds did you spot this week?

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Joining in with the Bird Depot hosted by Anni of I’d Rather B Birdin’.

 

 

 

 

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