I am amazed how much more we notice birds around us now that we’re taking this birding class. It’s kind of like VW Buses – I often hear people comment that after meeting me, they spot VW Buses all around. Anyway, this week, we’ve spotted two new species in our neighborhood that we’ve never seen before – the Rose-colored Grosbeak, and Cedar Waxwings. Actually, Thomas saw these, but he took photos for me. And this afternoon, we discovered a Chickadee nest inside our neighbors fence post with two tiny Chickadee babies in it.
I’ve been taking a ton of photos of birds in our yard, and I found an album I forgot to post – my favorites are below.
Here’s some fun facts we’ve learned in the class:
- Blue Jays are actually black-colored birds, but the light refraction from their feather structure makes them look blue. (Thomas says: If you find a feather it will look blue, but if you step on it and crush the feather, it will look black.)
- Starlings were introduced to the US when they were released during a Shakespearing performance in Central Park.
- Cowbirds lay their eggs in other birds nests to be raised by adopted mothers. Still they learn the cowbird song rather than the adopted mother’s song.
- The knocking sound that woodpeckers make can be a call, not just to get insects – that’s why they knock on metal too.
- The Phoebe was the first banded bird – by John Audubon, actually. (I didn’t know Audubon was a name, I thought it was another word for bird.)
White Breasted Nuthatch