Just a quick blog entry here, to start off the New Year in an interesting way.
Thus far, I’ve seen American Crows (as opposed to Northwestern, Fish…), Common Ravens (not Chihuahuan), Blue Jays, Black-Capped Chick-A-Dees, White breasted and Rose/Red Breasted Nuthatches, European Starlings, some kind of gull in the distance, and maybe some other stuff I didn’t really categorize… oh yah, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen pigeons (rock doves…). And one or two woodpeckers, probably Downy (not Hairy, Pileated, Red-Headed, Red-bellied…which actually has a lot of red on the head just to be confusing…)
So today I looked out the window to see if there were any of the Chick-A-Dee’s on our feeders for the cats to obsess over, I saw a bunch of birds in a neighbor’s tree. The tree has fruit on it from the summer, maybe crab apple. My first thought was some sort of Wax-wing, but the shape, color and postures were off. So then I thought Pine Grosbeak and headed outside with a camera to sneak up on them and get pictures in case I needed to try to ID them after they left. I spooked (temporarily) one or two but the others didn’t really care, and the ones that left came back. I did get to hear them, and it was not the rolling whistle (how I think of the Cedar Wax-wing call), it was more of a short warbled up-down whistle. Which matches one of the recordings you can play at the Cornell page on the Pine Grosbeak (main page on them here: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/pine_grosbeak ). I like knowing the visual cues and first definite ID I make gets held up with the noises the birds make, especially when the lighting sucks–it’s gloomy-bright-glowing all over out there… If you’ve never lived where there is a lot of snow, that might not make sense.
Here’s what I got!
The calls didn’t seem to show up in the videos, not surprising, the one I heard most consistently was behind me and flew back to the flock, then stopped calling.
Thanks for stopping in!