21 February 2008 quick catch up ...

If you haven't looked in a few days, I have posted photos from late January and early February. Scroll below the grosbeak.

My excuse: We were on vacation for 2 weeks. And now I'm headed out for 10 days on an unexpected trip. No emergency ... just a great opportunity that I couldn't pass up even though it's kind of last minute. I'll post photos when I return. Promise.

17 February 2008 Backyard Bird Count

I hadn't given too much thought to participating in this year's Great Backyard Bird Count, co-hosted by my alma mater, until a large mixed flock of colorful birds hit our feeders this weekend. The two most colorful birds, the pine grosbeak and common redpoll, are common in Alaska in the winter but we don't see them at our feeders often. The male grosbeak is all red except for his wings and tale. The females vary from a pale greenish-yellow to orange. The redpoll is a tiny bird with a large red dot on its forehead. Some birds also have red on their chests.

The birds we more typically see here were also moving through the neighborhood with the grosbeaks and redpolls -- black-capped chickadees, boreal chickadees, and red-breasted nuthatch. The latter has a red breast which seems quite dull next to the grosbeaks.

Another surprise was a downy woodpecker landing on the feeder. He flew back and forth between the sunflower seeds and the suet hanging on a birch limb several times.

8 February Anza-Borrego State Park (CA)

6 February 2008 Imperial National Wildlife Refuge (AZ)

2 February 2008 Sycamore Canyon (AZ)

1 February 2008 Organ Pipe National Monument

24 January Frank Lloyd Wright in LA

27 January 2008 Joshua Tree National Park

21 January 2008 Far North Bicentennial Park

3:00 on a Friday afternoon