Monday, February 4, 2008


Well, my feeders were just buzzed by a big, dark Steller’s Jay…crest flying ‘full flag’, or I might have thought it a small crow. He darn near landed, twice flying low over a stump upon which I regularly pour seed, hen food and black oil sunflower seeds. I’d prefer he not stay; I remember in Denver I had one nest in a backyard tree that regularly whacked me in the head when I went out my back door. I’m a gardener; it was a pain in the…head.

Speaking of dark, I’m learning reading about ‘morphing’ colors in birds on Bill Schmoker’s site. Perhaps that explains the ‘orange’ versions of the little red birds I have here. It is astonishing how different they look, but I’m betting they are the same bird…a House Finch. Here is more about Bill’s enthuasism for dark-morphed hawks, including even more astounding photos! Thanks, Bill.

About morphing, I saw Slate-colored Junco with white wing-bars. It, or they, are quite different from all other Juncos that frequent my feeders. I remember Bill Schmoker talking about them on his blog, but do you think I could find the reference? No, but here is another regarding the White-winged Junco.

I’m convinced though, that the pinkish-cast birds are something different…probably Purple Finch. Some pictures I see of them are quite dark…the ones here are pale, but definitely purplish allover, exactly like the photo at the Cornell site. It is pretty embarrassing to be blogging birds and have no idea how to identify a most common bird. I feel better when I see my favorite birders put question marks by their photos. LOL Still, I believeI also saw a brown-capped version, too. I wonder why ‘Whatbird’ seems to find them non-existent in Colorado, when so many mention they are here? Heck, just checked Cornel,'s maps...looks like they say they're not here either. But...this is the bird at my feeders!

Oddly, both a Hairy Woodpecker and a Chickadee stayed right at the feeders as I came out the back door…only some 15-20’ away. Dang, who knew? I’m going to have to get a chair out…and stop trying to photograph through the windows! We got 3-4” of snow last night, and while it’s sunny this minute…everything is drippy wet. Looks like more snow and judging by the birds’ voracious appetites it must be so.

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