Friday, November 13, 2009
From my office window...
Posted by Birding is Fun!
This is the view out of my office window. Do you see the tall cottonwood trees out there along Spring Valley Creek and the rolling foothills there on the west side of Highway 55? There is one really tall almost dead snag that towers above the rest (better seen in the picture below). That snag has been the location of many of my favorite Avimor bird sightings. You may recall the post about Turkey Vultures on it a few weeks ago. This snag has had all kinds of guests from Swainson's Hawks, a Red-naped Sapsucker, Lazuli Buntings, Bullock's Orioles, Red-tailed Hawks, Great Horned Owls, European Starlings, House Finches, Goldfinches, and dozens more. Anyway, it can be very distracting during work, especially when I have an office visitor, and I see bird-action out on this tree. You can guess where I store my spotting scope...yep, right on my desk!
Just minutes ago I watched an American Kestrel dive bombing the tree over and over again. A lareg flock of American Goldfinch took off from the tree, but the Kestrel kept up his attack. I could see a darker bird-like object on the snag. I put the scope on it and it was a Sharp-shinned Hawk. The Sharpie didn't even seem to notice the taunting and the Kestrel finally gave up after about five minutes. Seconds later, a trio of brutish Black-billed Magpies decided to take over the fight and finally harrassed the Sharpie out of the tree. Once the fight was over, the Magpies nonchalantly wafted off and now a Northern Flicker has taken over the coveted roost. Hearkening back to my boyhood days of playing King of the Mountain, I think I'll call this almost daily event...King of the Cottonwood.