Feeder Update…


Today, a feeder update: as I said in the last post many of the birds I’ve mentioned are still around. There are only a couple of exceptions that my feed has brought in and I haven’t seen the evening grosbeak for a couple of weeks now.  Today it snowed and then rained so that proved to be a good excuse to stay on my deck and take shots of the birds that show up in my yard daily. There is also a decline in the amount of dark eyed juncos – today I saw about eleven juncos when usually I see thirty plus.

Let me shut up however and get to the photos…

Cassins Finch

There were plenty of Cassins Finch. But there was a bit of a shock – about a week ago I got this photograph and poured over the details. I knew immediately it was a flycatcher however it took me awhile to figure out which kind. (I’m still a little raw at ID’ing birds)

Say's Phoebe

Then I got more shots of the same bird (or just the same species) there may just be one flitting about or many. It is nothing (in terms of size) to the Kingbirds that I expect will show up anytime. Instead it’s a smaller version however the flight patterns looks almost identical to the larger species.

Say's Phoebe

In the end I decided it must be a Say’s Phoebe.

The Crossbills are still visiting and they seem to be in a constant conflict with the Redwinged blackbirds over the black sunflower seeds.

Red Crossbill

The Pine Siskins are still about and seem to favor landing on and playing in the bushes.
Pine Siskins

Pine Siskin

There were more Spotted Towhees, near the house, today, about four were feeding on the food I tossed out. I see them often when I go down by the creek and it almost seems like if there is a bush his distinguishable call will come from it. They stopped to visit to eat on some grain I threw down.

Spotted Towhee

While they visited an identity crisis kicked in – “O’ no not a sparrow!” I can identify plenty of them just so long as they have a really distinct marking on them. This guy is the perfect type of bird that causes me many issues. I think he might be a fox sparrow and there were two of them; I’ll post both shots.

This plumb and a bit smaller guy…

And this relatively thinner fellow… I’ve read two blogs on fox sparrows one that Monarch posted and one that Zen the Birdfeeder posted, poured over page after page, looked in all the books I own. I was hoping that looking at their blogs helped me identify him properly however, if that’s not the case don’t think it has anything to do with their wonderful skills but my lack of ability to see a real difference between a Song, Lincoln or Fox sparrow. I’m just not one hundred percent sure. If anyone knows differently please correct me. (p.s. I see this guy all the time and even have winter shots of him.)

Update: I did indeed fail to correctly identify this species – Adam (once again coming to my aid; thank you!) Identified it as a Song Sparrow. You can find his photograph here that causes me to agree with him. In our area the fox sparrows are quite distinct and look shockingly different than the Eastern version. {note; if you want to look at quite a bit of eye candy concerning birds on the pacific coast Adam’s photograph is really the place to go! His tireless work has been foundational to this blog.} 


Okay and lastly, my hubby did take me on a quick photo-journalistic drive. We went over to an area where I knew there were large nests I’ve looked often there however, today – finally the reward!



p.s. there are two Osprey nests in this area – you’ll never believe it so I guess I’m just going to have to show you. One is occupied by this Osprey’s family the other…..?

Canada Geese in Osprey's Nest

yep, those are two Canadian Geese in an Osprey nest… (“boy,” I thought, “I’d hate to be the baby bird that has to walk out of that to learn to swim!”) The electrical lines are about 400 ft in the air! (They had to make them that high to get above the potential boats that come through.)

Things like this in nature make me giggle and amaze me all at the same time. 




8 Responses to “Feeder Update…”

  1. Great shots! I like the selective DOF on the Cassin’s Finches. The second Pine Siskin photo is great too. I’ve never had a good look at those. Your flycatcher looks pretty good for a Say’s Phoebe to me, although yours is more maroon’ish, while the ones I see are pretty buffy. Could just be color balance or lighting. Flycatcher ID is tough for sure. Nice clear shot of the Spotted Towhee too – when I see them they’re always deep in a thicket. I think your sparrow is a Song Sparrow – defintely not a Lincoln’s, which has a buffy wash on its neck and upper chest, and the bill and eye markings don’t look right for Fox Sparrow, at least not the Fox sparrow subspecies we get here – there are a bunch. Love how the CAGO were using the Osprey nest!

    For comparison, here’re my Says Phoebe shots:
    And to compare Song, Fox & Lincolns Sparrows (none of which look exactly like your bird, I’m afraid 🙂 :

  2. 2 montucky

    You certainly do have the birds there! It’s great to see them! I wonder too about how the geese will get to the water and a,so how they will contain the little ones because they often have big families! I’m glad they know more than I do about it!

  3. Hi Adam, I think your right thank you for posting your sparrows I’m certainly going to save that in my favorites to help with future ID’s. (Your shots are amazing by the way! Brilliant!) I was aware of the funky subspecies we have in this area but like I said… I’m really sad when it comes to the sparrows. I loved your Says phoebe shots as well and those were really helpful. The first shot I got was the true color that camera picked up. That bluish cast was not a photo shop trick or me messing with the color at all (the shot was taken about two hours before sunset so no funky lighting there) However, I just figured it was a funky color to a Says Phoebe. The second shot I’m sure was right – he was smaller but puffed up because it was about 34 degrees outside. I thought perhaps he was a juvenile. Thank you for the help on the ID – sincerely I’m not sure what I would do without the experts helping me out!

  4. Hi Montucky, nature never fails to fascinate me! It’s like what the hey? I thought it might give birders a giggle. However like you I just could not figure out how they are going to deal with the upcoming family…. so I agree with your comment … I too agree they must know more about this stuff than I do!

  5. These pictures are really cool. Well done in capturing the movement without too much blur. Just out of curiosity, which camera did you use for these (osprey shots)?

  6. Hi Scinceguy – I use a Rebel XTI (only because I’m just learning the DSLR) when my abilities improve so will my camera. Thanks for visiting!

  7. wow!
    amazingly awesome shots
    i love #1, and the eagles in flight

  1. 1 feeding finch birds

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