Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Why Do They Call It A Red-bellied Woodpecker?

People that aren't specifically into birding sometimes refer to a Red-bellied Woodpecker as a Red-headed Woodpecker which is a  different species. It is understandable because the Red-bellied Woodpecker does have a lot of red on the top of it's head but where is the red on the belly?
Unfortunately, back in the Audubon days they had to shoot the bird if they wanted a close-up look at them. Otherwise, they probably would have came up with a different name. See that little splash of blush color on the underside? Apparently, that is supposed to be the red belly!

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Peripheral Birding

I think that one way we spoil the magic of bird-watching is by trying too hard. Instead of going out in the woods seeking birds like a bounty hunter it sometimes works better not to look for them at all. By focusing on things like the beauty of your surroundings.....
or the sound of your footsteps and breathing as you head down abandoned tracks, you can open your mind and view things in expanded dimensions.
In this way, you can detect birds using your peripheral vision and you might even say the peripheral part of your mind.
Then when you turn your head to really look at a particular bird it seems to stand out in full-dimensional living color!
 

Friday, December 25, 2020

What Was I Doing Last Christmas?

One of the holiday songs that is being played over and over this year is a song called "Last Christmas". I think the original version was by George Michael but I've heard at least 2 more versions of it this year.

Anyway, it made me wonder what I was doing last Christmas so I checked my photos and found out that I went bird watching that day. That is the boardwalk at Lyman's golf course.I found a Great Blue Heron that morning on an icy little patch of  a puddle that I could almost jump across.             Then we had a stare down and I think the heron won!

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Christmas Count During Covid

Fortunately, our ability to spend time outdoors has not been ruined by the covid pandemic. We had our annual Christmas count with a few changes: No carpooling, no group restaurant lunch break, and social distancing. We used masks to varying degrees but binoculars fog up when you're wearing a mask and we weren't going to do without binoculars.

The weather was just okay and the day was cut a little short due to additional snow showers. 

Included in our list this year was 4 Yellow-bellied Spasuckers and 2 Hermit Thrush as seen in the first two photos.
I'm not a fan of walking through the snow but it did burn off a few calories. We only had about 35 species which down about 10 species from our usual count but all in all it was a great day. It is nice to be outdoors and away from the constant barrage of  news.