Birds of a Feather

When the snow cleared this spring, I was daunted by all the birds who came calling to my feeders. I have put out feed all winter, but suddenly, there were dozens of Junco’s and flocks of Magpie’s. All were hungry and would clean out my feeders within a couple hours.

Just a week or so ago, I took my small 8 lb dog out to potty and above my driveway I heard squealing and squawking and looked up to see 5 large Ravens dive bombing a Ferruginious Hawk overhead. It’s underbelly was easily identifiable as the under side of it’s wings and body were white. I quickly snatched my little pup, about the size of a bunny and rushed him inside. He would have been a nice snack for this bird of prey. Thank goodness I heard all the commotion and looked up to the sky to see the Ravens running this guy out of town.

In Colorado, there are many dozens of species of birds we all can recognize. I’ve decided to name a few thanks to Out There Colorado.

This guy can be heard all across my meadow and sometimes on my roof. I am constantly chasing him off for fear he will destroy my little log cabin. His pecking is noticeable from all directions as they seek out bugs and insects from trees and telephone polls. And log cabins! I am pretty familiar with woodpeckers as they used to be some of my favorites back in Texas. However, I didn’t live in a log cabin! This guy is called a Pileated Woodpecker.

One of my favorites is the common Magpie, partially because of the nursery I am familiar with.

“One is for Sorrow,

Two is for Joy,

Three for a Girl,

Four for a boy,

Five for Silver,

Six for Gold,

Seven for a secret never to be Told.”

Probably the most unique bird that comes to my feeder is the blue Stellar Jay. With their tufted headdress, they remind me of Avatars. The are quick, and somewhat skittish and love the dried fruit and large nuts I feed each morning. I have never seen them anywhere but Colorado and being from Texas, I thrill every time they frequent my feeders!

To my joy and delight, I’ve also seen the return of the Evening Grosbeak’s to my feeders as of today! Their splendid orange/black and white feathers, and the bright orange eyeliner on the males is so spectacular. And, I have missed them. They are so colorful and seem to be traveling in flocks, so if you see one, you see a handful.

Another favorite is the Red House Finch. “The House Finch features four long toes perfect for gripping tree branches. Three of the toes face forward and one faces backward. These birds can sing complex songs with their highly developed voice boxes. “

And of course a worthy mention is for the Bald Eagles that frequent our area especially in winter. The can be found fishing at Monument and North Lakes and their nests can be as large as 6-9ft in diameter. “Only found in North America, the bald eagle is one of the continent’s largest birds of prey.”

There is a mated pair at Standley Lake in Denver who are tediously raising a newly hatched chick.

The Junco’s and Chickadees love my feeders and have keep me entertained throughout the winter. They feed in flocks and their chirps are so sweet. They aren’t intimidated by me if I sit on my deck with a cup of coffee, they go merrily about their day paying no attention. They aren’t even afraid of the dogs.

The Robins are back too! Hunting for worms and insects on the ground, you’ll find these beauties foraging daily. They aren’t seen at feeders, though you can see them in the surround meadows.

And how could I mention local birding without the mention of our beloved hummingbirds who return each Spring around Mother’s Day? Dust off those feeders and get ready for flocks and flocks of those tiny little winged creatures who delight us year after year!

Birdwatching in our little valley is filled with too many to mention. I know I have missed some frequent feeders, so feel free to list your favorites as well.

Photos courtesy of “Out There Colorado”.

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