Sunday, June 9, 2013

Birding from Home

With other projects consuming my time, it has been a quiet month for me on the birding front, mostly limited to what I can see and hear around home (when I’m not working, which seems like all of the time). But even if I don’t get out in the field as much as I would like, I still get to see the visitors to my bird bath and hummingbird feeders. 

I've been getting very regular visits from a (or is it more than one?) female Broad-tailed Hummingbird, which is nice because for the longest time it seemed like it was only males coming around (both Broad-tailed and the highly territorial Black-chinned Hummingbirds).

Any day is a good day when you are relaxing outside and a male Western Tanager graces the bird bath with his presence . . .

When I walk Ginger, my Australian Shepherd, out in the forest the Mountain Chickadees always seem happy to see us . . . or is it a scolding for encroaching on their neighborhood? Hard to say for sure.

I do wish I'd see more thirsty woodpeckers and sapsuckers coming around; the Northern Flickers are the only regulars. Speaking of sapsuckers, it just hit me that I have yet to see a Williamson's this spring - sounds like a great project for my upcoming days off.

I do find it interesting how spread out the arrival of migrants can be. The first begin to arrive in this high country in March, yet it was only within the past 10 days that I heard my first Western Wood-pewees and Olive-sided Flycatchers calling (a couple of nemesis birds that I would really like to photograph someday). In the very same period the year-round residents - Red Crossbills, for example - start showing up with begging young following them around.

A couple of weeks ago I went on a hike with a friend and encountered begging Clark's Nutcracker fledglings (boy howdy, are they noisy!), then a few days later had a family of Steller's Jays in the neighborhood.

Though furry and not feathered how, during one's travels, can you pass up the incredible cuteness of a Utah Prairie Dog pup - they've just emerged in the past week. And, while I haven't seen one, I've heard some folks are seeing Pronghorn fawns now, too. It's a fun time of year . . . see you in July!


  1. Fun post, Kevin. Just saw a season's first Western Wood-Peewee this week, as well as Blue Grosbeak. Fledgling Ladder-backed Woodpeckers have been coming to the peanut suet this week, too.

  2. Great photos! I especially like that side profile shot of that Clark's Nutcracker which is a species I've never seen.

  3. each of these photos is a delight; how to choose which is biggest favourite; that Western Tanager is really special...

  4. Some lovely birds and critters around your place, Ranger Kev. Exceptional photos, as always!

  5. Delightful post filled with beautiful bird photographs!