Friday, February 27, 2015


I don't mean to forget. But I do. I forget often to list "goldfinches" as birds that hang out at my backyard and side yard feeders. I don't know why I forget them. Just because they are drab in the winter and not all yellow shiny like they are in the summer.

So yeah. There are goldfinches. Lots of them. All over the neighborhood. And in my yard.

I like "my" goldfinches. And they "like" my yard. Or at least the variety of bird seeds that are offered there.

~sapphoq n friends~

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Birds: week of February 15, 2015

     A white-throat[ed] sparrow flew in with some chickadees and nuthatches several days ago after a storm. It ate some black oiled sunflower seeds from the clinging feeder [but sitting on the tray] for a long time. I spotted one [same one or different one who is to say] today who spent much less time at the same feeder but then flew off to the pine trees.

     Our chickadees have indeed become a mixed flock this winter to include a few nuthatches and many juncos. The house sparrows that hang in our short pine and along the extended branch [read: untrimmed] of our mock cherry tree continue to do so. They have been a bit quieter since the snow storms started, not really fighting each other for places on the feeders as they usually do. We've a pair of cardinals who have been coming to the mock cherry steadily on a daily basis. Today I saw the male over at one of the suet feeders negotiating a place with a female downy [woodpecker] and one junco. The three birds seemed to have been taking turns as it worked out. A collection of mourning doves continue to hang on the deck rail as well as in the yards feeding on whatever spills from the feeders. They also tend to hang on various branches for half-hour naps. The blue jays, crows, and red-winged blackbirds are always in the neighborhood. We've had a couple crows choosing to hang out in branches above the yard quietly observing. Kestrels continue in abundance of late. I usually see at least one a day which is more than this time last year. They don't come to the feeders. I see them circling around or parked in the top branches of a tree. I did see several crows chasing a hawk away from some nearby woods. My imagination told me the crows were angry. The crows were scolding as they flew after the hawk. The hawk flew away and I haven't seen it since. The hawk was impossible for me to identify as it was a couple of standard city blocks away from me in distance.

     I can tell when the storms are coming because the birds feed frantically in greater numbers the day before each storm comes in. Today has been exceptionally cold with wind chills to 30 below or more and hardly a bird in sight. Can't say I blame them. I barely venture out in this weather myself.

     The squirrels do not stay away in the cold. I've seen our standard grays, a few reds, and some red gray crosses. Several of them hand in the choke cherry when confronted with the old dog and then jump up to branches of the oak tree behind us. Two of them run for the deck rail and then plunge over the snow to then climb the aspen and then fling themselves over the fence that way. Yeah, there still is the one daredevil around who goes to ground immediately when confronted with the dog and then runs under the fence. I think that one just likes the chase.

     In the woods nearby, there was a sudden increase in deer prints. It looked to me like many deer came through rather than just a few. The deer tend to hang below one of the trails but these prints were right where we walk into the woods and were "many" rather than four or five sets.

     I've also seen rabbit prints in the yard but no actual rabbit themselves [yet] this year. There usually are several who may be living under a bush near the front feeder but I haven't seen them yet. They are the common cottontails. I did also see a set of snowshoe prints.

sapphoq n furry friends