May Birds

Brown-headed CowbirdI added four species to my bird list in May: Brown-headed Cowbird, Lesser Goldfinch, Pileated Woodpecker, and Purple Finch. I may have also seen a Pacific-slope Flycatcher or two, but I’m not absolutely sure. They were moving too fast.

I spotted the Brown-headed Cowbird, who let me get close enough to take the above photo, and the Pileated Woodpecker while walking in Burns Bog, but the Lesser Goldfinches and Purple Finches seem to be nesting among the Chokecherry trees in the back corner of our yard. It’s nice to have them as daily visitors now that our old regulars, the Dark-eyed Juncos and Varied Thrushes, have disappeared.

I’ve had a few really good looks at the Lesser Goldfinch, including once when one sat still in a rose bush that was only three or four feet away. Generally, however, they like to stay hidden among the leaves and all I usually get to see are busy flashes of bright yellow, that rarely reveal themselves fully, or the occasional dart across the yard on a bouncy flight path.

Oddly, we’ve had very few robins and hummingbirds in the backyard this spring but both are in good numbers only a few minutes away at the bog. Like the finches, the hummingbirds would nest in the Chokecherry trees but they seemed to have made their homes elsewhere this year. Perhaps the major pruning our neighbours did to their side of the trees last year have upset them.

American Robin
Anna’s Hummingbird
Bald Eagle
Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Brown-headed Cowbird*
European Starling
Glaucous-winged Gull
Great Blue Heron
Hermit Thrush
House Finch
House Sparrow
Lesser Goldfinch*
Northwestern Crow
Pileated Woodpecker*
Purple Finch*

Song Sparrow
Spotted Towhee
Steller’s Jay

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