My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Remembering the Birds, Part II

I had too many wonderful encounters with birds to be able to get even the best ones into one blog.  So this blog commences where the last blog left off.  They include Montana Birds, and then the birds I found back in Texas this past fall.  I have really love getting to see birds in their breeding plumage and giving the calls and songs they use to maintain their territories . 

Long-billed curlews bred in our prairies at Red Rock Lakes and often flew overhead calling

Western Grebe with a red-necked grebe on Widgeon Pond, Red Rock Lakes NWR - The western grebe was the only one but the red-necked grebe had a girlfriend follow him in a few days later.  

Horned Lark in Breeding Dress

Yellow headed black-birds sang their whirring song -  sounding more like
a strange little toy than a bird. 

I only had these birds in my yard for a day - saw the parent feeding a child by my little creek - Evening grosbeaks. 
As soon as I set up my feeding station in my yard, I had a yard full of Cassin's finches.

Male Cassin's finch

Female Cassin's finch

I had lots of pine siskins at my feeders - they loved niger seed and the babies would let me
 get within a few feet of them when I was refilling feeders.

A male Wilson's Phalarope feeding near his nest - males tend the kids while the
women wear the fancy clothes and enjoy life.

Snipe singing from a fence post

Monitoring the mountain bluebirds and the tree swallows were part of my job. I never got tired of watching them in and out of the nest. Their house wars led me to research their interactions and ultimately, build more nest boxes and put some up in pairs.  

Mountain bluebirds at their nest box

Mother tree swallows often stay in the nest before they start sitting on eggs.

A short-eared owl that nested near one of my fence projects

One of the pair of eagles that constantly cursed me while I hunted unsuccessfully for their nest

One of a couple of baby killdeers foraging with their mom in Yellowstone NP

Gray jays were the iconic Yellowstone birds - they always showed
 right up when we set out our lunches.

September was hummer season at my trailer. I spent hours enthralled by the hords of hummers that came through.

Broad-tailed hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird - the yard bully

While the broad-tailed hummers would share a flower

One of our many Swainson's hawks - here hacking up a pellet

The barn owl with a second chance being released after being caught on barbed wire and rescued

The rest of the pictures are from Texas.

A few of a few hundred marbled godwits feeding in a field at Fort Travis on the Upper Texas Coast

A great blue and a tricolor heron show off their comparative sizes at Galveston State Park

Wood storks and roseate spoonbills on Champion Lake in Trinity River NWR

A comparison of the larger juvenile double-crested cormorant with the three little neotropical
cormorants at Champion's Lake in the Trinity River NWR

Birds have played a huge part in my life this past year and I'm grateful for all of them and hope they will live on. Many of them are at risk.

For more wild bird blogs, click on the picture.