I've been somewhat remiss lately, as I've gotten involved with a wonderful group of folks who put on our Community Theater. Awesome people who work very hard to keep the arts alive in La Veta. I've volunteered to create their newsletter and update a three-year old website. I'm having fun, too!
As for birds, I've listed the ones, below, that I noticed during the first month of this year. Yesterday I saw the first Red-winged Blackbird of the year, too. Not sure yet, what I think of that...last year I had hundreds of them, along with Yellow-headed cousins, Grackles, Brown-headed Cowbirds, and Starlings...and just discovered the blasted Starlings are not only here, but are already nesting inside my attic; I've heard chicks! Bah.
As an aside, the White-winged Dove that had been hanging around for the last several months turned up with something on it's feet. It looked like a fuzzy fungus of some sort. Or...feathered feet, which I doubt suddenly occurred! I'm guessing the thing walked through something sticky and while sitting on the power-lines got some breast-feathers stuck onto it's feet. The sad thing is, the bird has not been around for a couple days; this after seeing it daily. I really don't know what to make of it. Perhaps it walked through a puddle of anti-freeze? I know if it drank some it'd be dead pretty quickly...I wonder if the stuff would make it's feet sticky, too? I'm pretty sure WHWDs don't have feathered feet, usually.
[Addendum: I just noticed the White-winged Dove in my yard again (Saturday AM). It seemed to have a difficult time ‘landing’ and when it finally did land on the wires, it did so on only one foot; the other was held in front of its perch and it the bird shook it several times and picked at it a bit, as well. It appears to be fairly uncomfortable, but looks fine as far as feathers go. When it took off and landed up in a tree, it did the same routine; shaking and worrying at its foot. I have no idea what this could be.]
The only other thing I have to report is the single House Finch I've seen this year with bad eyes. Lets hope we don't have as many sick finches this year as last.
Please, keep those feeders clean!
January Yard Birds :
Common Raven, European Starling, Great Horned Owl, American Crow, Brown-capped Rosy-Finch, House Sparrow, Mountain Chickadee, White-throated Sparrow, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker - Red-shafted, White-winged Dove, Downy Woodpecker, Dark-eyed Junco - Oregon, Pink-sided, Slate and Gray-headed, Pine Siskin, Blue Jay, American Goldfinch, Eurasian Collared-Dove, House Finch - red, yellow and orange variants, Black-billed Magpie