My modest year.

Birder’s track the number of bird species seen in their lifetime (a life list), and also keep track of those seen in a given year.  Sometimes, a birder sees an incredibly large number of species in a year, which is lauded as a “big year.”  This past year, 2017, was my first year of really paying attention to birds.  I have sought them out, listened to them, tried to lay eyes on them, and have learned much.  And…I am happy to tally 167 species that I have seen in 2017.  Not a big year, really, but a fantastic one in my book.  I can recall where I saw each of these birds this year; some, but not all, captured on film.  I look forward to more birding in 2018.

Here is a pic of a some of my common backyard birds on the fountain today.  Temperatures have been in the 20s for a couple of days.  Since the pump keeps the water moving, it is the only unfrozen source of water in the yard.  I see two female house finches, three male lesser goldfinches, and a female northern cardinal.

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And, there they go.  You have to be quick to capture the birdies.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Photobombed.

I was taking a picture of this black-crested titmouse on the bark butter board when a red-bellied woodpecker flew through.  🙂

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Backyard visitor.

Nearly every day I see a Cooper’s Hawk in the backyard.  I think there is a juvenile and an adult that visit.  I watched this adult in the birdbath on Thanksgiving Day Eve.  It may be a female, as they are larger than a male, and this bird is pretty big.  Not a great quality photo because it was taken through a window, but what a beautiful bird.

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The wild outside.

I love finding visitors just outside my kitchen window.

A napping fawn on the lawn Saturday afternoon:

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A rare migrating Rufous (or possibly Allen’s?) hummingbird this morning hiding out from the rain.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

More Bewicks. 

I have shared my excitement throughout this entire Spring for our nesting Bewick’s wrens.  The same pair have nested in two different houses on the patio.  Their first brood was four babies.  A second brood fledged Thursday; three more!   The birdhouse is about 5 feet from where I sit while drinking my coffee each morning outside.   The little wren parents were used to me and would fly back and forth to feed the babies while I was sitting there.  So sweet. 

This is the second of the three that fledged.

Cuties.

We have birds nesting in a number of places in our yard.   You’ve already heard a lot about the Bewick’s Wrens.  A Carolina Wren also nested – in one of the aloe plants out back.   The babies are out of the nest today, and I got a picture of mom/dad feeding one of the fledglings.   I counted four babies at one point.  You can see another one on the left edge of the bench in this shot.  I hung the bark butter up again nearby and the parent bird is going to it every few minutes to feed the little ones.  Such cuties.  Their tails are so stubby right now, I don’t know how they get around.

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