Tree Sparrow (or Winter Sparrow)
I took another walk through The Woods today, but along the way I found a few creatures that caught my eye. The first was the Golden Eagle. My DIL called me after breakfast to say that there was a huge Golden Eagle in the Cottonwood tree below our houses. Sure enough, he was perched right up towards the top of the tree and didn't budge at all when I walked right underneath him. It's that time of year once again when we see the eagles come back for the winter to hunt jack rabbits, cottontails, and mice. We have a plentiful supply of all three so I hope they eat their fill!
As I was walking into the shelter belt, I spied the cute little American Tree Sparrow or winter sparrow. There was a pair of them, but this one perched nicely for me to take her picture. Many of the summer songbirds are gone now, but the tree sparrow comes for a winter visit. Our American Goldfinches sometimes stay for the winter depending on how cold it is. They have changed their clothes from bright yellow tuxes to their tweeds of gray and white.
Do you see the white fur starting to color in the jackrabbit's coat? The jacks are hanging close to the shelter belts now and that usually means that the weather is going to change -- likely cold and probably snow. I haven't seen the Sharptail Grouse in the trees yet, but when they arrive, that is a sure sign of winter weather coming. They like to nibble on the Russian Olives.
I saw an owl fly by twice today, but again, I didn't get a good look at him. I will though. You can be sure. I got to thinking that it might be a young Great Horned Owl too. Stay tuned.