Monthly Archive for May, 2011

Living with dogs

Dog in the riverOne of the great benefits of living with a dog is that you often find yourself in places that make dogs happy.

The Birds of April

Birding in April was a bit of a bust. Putting almost no effort into the endeavour, I was rewarded accordingly and identified only two new birds, the Golden-crowned Sparrow and the White-crowned Sparrow.

I actually spotted three others while walking in the mountains but was unable to identify them. I think the first two may have been Pacific-slope Flycatchers and Pine Siskins, but both were experts at remaining half-hidden in the trees and evading careful study. The ‘third’ looked like an insomniac bat out in the sunlight and I’m really not sure that it wasn’t. The silhouette and erratic flight pattern looked very much like the bats that hunt mosquitoes above my backyard on most summer evenings, but it was just too far away to be certain and it disappeared quickly into a group of Douglas-firs.

I also came across the fresh remains of a bird in the middle of a trail where it had served as someone’s breakfast. Nothing remained but the legs and a pile of feathers. As you can see in the photos, the feathers were light brown with small patches of white and orange-yellow and the soft down had bright yellow tips. I’ve been through my bird books and software and can’t even muster a guess as to what it was other than, apparently, delicious. Any guesses?

American Robin
Anna’s Hummingbird
Bald Eagle
Black-capped Chickadee
Common Loon
Dark-eyed Junco
Glaucous-winged Gull
Golden-crowned Sparrow*
Great Blue Heron
House Finch
Northwestern Crow
Osprey
Rock Pigeon
Song Sparrow
Steller’s Jay
Varied Thrush
White-crowned Sparrow*