Monday, January 20, 2014

January Bird Watching

We have had the usual songbirds and woodpeckers visiting our backyard feeders lately, but we have had some new birds recently.  Last Friday afternoon, while Julia and I were eating lunch, we saw a lot of splashing in the brush around the creek.  Julia thought it was ducks (there were ducks in the creek, but not in the area of all the splashing).  I was quite certain it was a predatory bird, catching its lunch.  Turns out I was right.  After catching and eating its prey, the large bird flew up into one of the trees.  I was waiting and ready with my camera, and the only picture I got was the one below.  After looking it up in the bird book, Julia and I came to the conclusion that we had seen a Northern Goshawk, which is a 21-inch bird that prefers to eat medium-sized birds and mammals.  It's anyone's guess what this goshawk caught and ate, but it sure made for an entertaining afternoon for us humans.
This afternoon I was able to take a good picture of a brown creeper.  We saw these quite a bit toward the end of last summer.  But it's hard for me to get a good picture of one because they are constantly on the move (and they are incredibly timid).  For some reason, this one was sitting still as a statue on the tree bark, giving me the perfect opportunity to snap a picture.