Tuesday, February 02, 2016
Birds of Winter...
The first snapshot you see are Sharptailed Grouse in flight. They look like the B1 Bombers of the bird kingdom. The picture below is of a single Sharptail. Note the feathery legs. I wish you could see how sweet their faces are, but this picture doesn't give a very good facial shot.
You know the next bird -- the Bald Eagle. He is very majestic looking, but some say that they will sit on a perch all day long and not hunt. We see them a lot right now along the roadside eating dead animals. We have a few on our place and one pair appeared to be building a nest last year. I wonder if they will work on it again this year? It is said that that they may build on a nest for years before ever laying eggs. I've only seen young eagles once.
The next group of photos is of just one little Eastern Screech Owl. He (or she) is just about 7-8" long. As you can see, the first photos show this owl looking rather round and fat, but when I walked by it again with the cats underfoot, he skinnied-up and raised his ear tufts to look mean. I thought it was rather funny since the cats paid him no attention whatsoever. Earlier this winter, JLynn saw the screech and no one has seen him since. The very last photo is one that JLynn took. See how fluffy and full he looks? After we saw the screech owl today, CarpenterSon told me that he had seen a small owl in the shop on top of the tractor. Now why wouldn't he mention that to me? Or come get me? They know what a bird-lover I am!
I hope that we are seeing two screech owls. The one JLynn saw looks a little different than the one I saw. It could be the light, but it could be that one is male and one is female. The male screech owls are smaller, so the book says. The one I saw might be the male. For fun, click this link, scroll down and listen to the sweet sounding call of the Eastern Screech!
What types of winter birds are you seeing? This year we've had only sparrows at the feeder. No chickadees, no woodpeckers, and no nuthatches.