After three years I had to get a job and to make that happen, needed to move into town. I've done that and now live in a sweet little home, near the river and surrounded by huge cottonwood and willow trees. My neighbors include local deer, black bears, the occasional mountain lion, bob-cats, foxes…all manner of small animals and birds from huge eagles to several tiny hummingbirds…and about 900 or so other characters than myself. It’s a delightful community.
I live in an area of mixed Riparian and Montane and high mountain forest…best described here …and I’ve re-discovered the joys of bird-watching, to the point I wonder if I’m a budding birder who’s saving pennies for a Digiscope!
This fall, I waited till the bears left town and hung several many bird-feeders. Since then I believe I’ve seen the following birds at my feeders:
- White-breasted Nuthatch, Black-capped Chickadee, Mountain Chickadee, and every manner of Junco Dark-eyed Junco, Slate Junco, Pink Sided Junco, White-winged Junco.
- Pine Siskin, Lawrence's Goldfinch, Lesser Goldfinch, Rosy Finch, Grey Crowned Rosy Finch, Brown-capped Rosy-finch, House Finch, Purple Finch and the lovely Evening Grosbeaks. Who knew they had teal beaks in breeding season? (see second, older, shot).
- American Tree Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, Cassin’s Finch (Sparrow?), Black Phoebe (or was it a very dark Junko?), Chipping or Song Sparrow
- Mourning and Eurasian Collared Doves
- Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker
- Tri-colored Blackbird (today!)
[edited to add: turned out to be a Red-winged Blackbird...hiding it's 'red'... who knew?]
- Magpies drive my dog nuts (they eat his food) and American Crow and Common Raven abound.
Other birds I’ve seen in the area are:
- Black-chinned, Broad-tailed, Calliope, Rufous and, I believe, Anna’s Hummingbirds have all been here. Anna’s are the beautiful little green ones.
[edited to add: probably NOT Anna's]
- European Starling, of course.
- Meadowlarks sing in the pastures all the time, and blue-birds are here, as well. I plan on putting up boxes this year.
- Turkey Vultures are exciting to watch in their tree around the corner, as they open their wings to warm up before taking to the drafts in the morning. I am glad the tree is not in my yard, however.
- Cooper’s or Sharp-shinned or Ferruginous or Rough-legged Hawks, Red-tailed and/or Red-shouldered Hawks; Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles, Osprey, Peregrine Falcons and Northern Harriers…but I know there are many other raptors. I once saw a tiny little Merlin or was it an American Kestrel?
- Long-eared, Great Horned, Barn, and Great Grey Owls are here; I hear some hooting at night and see them from time to time.
- I’ve seen Common or Lesser Nighthawk in the road, too.
A new friend just sent me this shot he got a couple days ago at Daigre Reservoir in La Veta, CO: An Osprey, thanks Joel!
Please feel free to leave comments or answers to my questions; I'd appreciate it!