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Posts Tagged ‘birds’

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This is a juvenile hairy woodpecker. I took at least 70 photos of this bird, as it pecked around in our old cherry tree. I quietly sneaked closer and closer as I clicked away. It let me get incredibly close. You can click any photo if you want to see it larger.

Observing birds, and identifying who is who is a favorite of mine.

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small things

A belt I made

Some things I found

An empty nest

A calendula bouquet

Some small things from the week…

I have been looking for a skinny belt to wear with summer dresses. Could not find, so I made one instead. Now I’m glad I couldn’t find one.

Found an interesting old pencil drawing of an owl, in a crazy little frame. I want to examine it, but am too chicken to peel the frame backing off.

The osprey eggs hatched, and the babies must have fledged! We have been watching the nest for weeks (months?), with a telescope, starting when the parents built it, and just can’t believe we managed to miss the epic event. Oh well. Maybe next year.

So much calendula, flower and seed. I will have seeds to plant and give for ever it seems.

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head first

Amazingly, we rarely ever have birds hitting the windows here. There is a whole wall of windows on the back of our house and many many birds live around here, which are very active throughout the day. Fortunately, they manage to navigate around them most of the time. However, a couple days ago when a large group of Pine Siskin were here, one of them slammed into a window at full speed. I hate this! It is almost painful to me, and I am not the one who slammed my head into a window.

It fell straight to the deck, belly up, and laid there completely still, aside from the movement of it’s panting. I was worried it wouldn’t make it and I crouched in the window, just a few feet from it, watching closely. It felt like a half hour went by, though I’m not really sure.

We tried to get it’s life force moving and remove any blocks in the head and neck area, and I was trying to sense if it was damaged beyond repair, when I realized it was probably knocked out cold. Dang, I know I would be!

It wasn’t long later that one eye popped open. It looked around for a few minutes. What it must have been thinking….

And finally, it flipped itself around and hopped onto it’s feet! So exciting : )

It sat there looking all around for another few minutes, gaining it’s bearings and then – probably realizing it was being watched by 2 giant humans – flew off into a tree across the yard.

Moral of the story is, make sure to always sense ahead before going forward!

 

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listening

Swainson's Thrush

I have always enjoyed birdwatching, but over the past couple years or so I have taken a strong interest in bird identification. I am learning to catch the smallest of details, like a stripe across the eye, bands on the wing tips, details of the belly,  the color of the top of the head… and sometimes all you get is a fleeting moment when a tiny bird is close enough to observe in that way.

And then there are all the sounds of each bird. There are certain bird songs that I have heard all my life, but have never been able to match the song to the bird. One of the most remarkable and unusual songs I can think of comes from the Swainson’s Thrush, and it may have been what sparked this interest of mine in the first place. It was really exciting to finally know who belts out this song every evening in the spring and summer. I have long associated this bird’s song to endless summer days, warm evenings spent on the lake, far out camping spots in lush green locations, and a feeling of total awe for nature. I am super happy to say that our Swainson’s Thrush is back for the season – tonight marking the first night of their return! Steven and I both stopped in our tracks at the sound of them, and smiled with excitement. I LOVE to start the evening to the ethereal sound of this birds whirling song, as all the daytime creatures gather themselves up for the night.

Here is a sound byte:

http://www.wildmusic.org/animals/thrush

And here is a really great list of many kinds of birds, with short sound tracks of each:

http://www.seattleaudubon.org/birdweb/audio_source.aspx

And here is one of the best identification lists I have seen for smaller birds:

http://share3.esd105.wednet.edu/rsandelin/Fieldguide/Animalpages/Birds/Smallbirds.htm

What kind of birds are making their way back to your area this season? If anyone has any great links for identifying birds, I would love to see!

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Ocean

Living on the coast and in the trees offers me a unique opportunity to observe the life forms that live in their natural habitat right up close. As the summer really warms things up, the bees are returning (yay! we were worried for a while!) and the hummingbirds are more playful and the goldfinches and sparrows visit our deck for the organic sunflower seeds we offer. I appreciate their visits and the constant reminders of how important it is to live with respect for other creatures. They all live with respect for each other and it works so harmoniously.

Blue Jay

Yesterday, while in my sister’s backyard cleaning a window, a little bird came near and perched on a low wire. She was chirping and chirping and chirping with such a clear intensity. She was but 6 feet from my head and she was defininitley talking to ME. While trying to sense what she was telling me, I turned to my right and took notice of a dead shrub in a large planter pot. Nestled in the base of the plant was a small nest made of woven dried grasses, and in the nest were 4 tiny eggs, each about the size of a small grape tomato. I let my sister know so she will take care to leave it alone and keep her little ones away from it. Even though I don’t speak bird I got the message. It’s a fun and worthy challenge to try to understand the communication of other creatures. It is also important not to alienate ourselves into the confines of humanness. We are creatures too, and this goes far beyond simple humanness.

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