Saturday, November 17, 2012

Backyard Fun and Four Life Birds!

DISCLAIMER:  If you are hoping to see some great pictures of birds on this post, you will be sadly mistaken...the pictures included are not the best I have taken, but I felt like sharing them anyway :)

I wasn`t able to get out this week and bird, but I did enjoy watching some birds in my backyard.  I added a few birds to my Backyard List...White-breasted Nuthatch, Red-breasted Nuthatch and Pine Siskin.  That was cool.  I watched a Red-breasted Nuthatch hide seeds all around my patio, including tucking a seed into the liner of a pair of running shoes sitting right outside the door :)

On Wednesday, I was looking out at the back feeder and noticed this guy on the fence...I think it is a Sharpie.  I included a picture of just its tail will see why in a moment...
Don`t look at the ugly belongs to my neighbour.

The white tip looks quite narrow to me.
After it left, the birds came back and went I back to doing what I was doing around the house.  A couple hours later, I heard Blue Jays making a racket outside and when to go to the spare room window (where I have a better view of the feeder) and upon opening the door, I was eye-to-eye with this bird...
Look at the wider looking white tip
The "second" bird on the fence.
I am not sure if this is a Sharpie or a Coop...the tail tip looks much wider in the second bird....could be my imagination and the angle of the picture.  For all I know, it is the same bird that visited earlier.  Either way, it was cool to see them in my backyard and get pictures of them.

On Saturday (today), I went out to Holiday Beach for my last day of banding for the fall.  It was a really slow day (read...1 bird banded, a Winter Wren).  During the time between a couple of net runs, we headed over to the Tower to see what was flying and met up with Paul Pratt's birding group.  While on the tower, I spotted my first Green-winged Teal!  Paul pointed out a Wilson's Snipe and a Northern Shrike to everyone on the cool are those birds??  When it was time to go back and check the nets (and still had no birds), we started to take down the nets for the season.  During this period, Caroline called Bob and said that the birding group had found five Long-eared owls in the pines across from Holiday Beach.  Bob said he would go check it out, so I tagged along.  After looking for about an hour, Bob spotted one of the Long-eared Owls and I tried my best to get a picture of it while craning my neck to the canopy of the trees while trying to steady my is what I managed to capture...
Long-eared cool!!!
What a thrill to see four life birds today when I had no intention of birding...gotta love when that happens :)


  1. Wow, great birding!
    Congrats on the new life birds!
    Is it just my imagination or are the bands of the tail on the 2nd bird further apart than on the first?
    I'll have to tell my bf about the Long-eared Owls. He's itching to see an owl and so far we've lucked out this fall.

    1. Thanks Karen :). I don't think you are imagining the differnce in tail bands....if they aren't different species, they are certainly different birds.

  2. Wow, the long-ear Owl is a cool sighting. Congrats on your life birds!

    1. It was amazing to see, that's for sure! Thanks for the was an exciting non-birding day :)

  3. My thoughts are that it's the same bird and it's a Sharpie... I think the later shots of the tail look like a thicker white band because the feathers are on top of each other and the tips of the tail feathers underneath are adding to the ones on top making it look thicker. Also the head proportion is the same on both and smaller, so leading to the Sharp-Shinned Hawk ID in my opinion. :) Very nice experience though. If you've ever seen them in the woods, they are fast and swift!!
    Congrats on all the life birds and the owls as the highlight!

    1. Thanks Brian! It is always nice to get feedback on ID`s...and nice to "hear" the thought process :)

  4. Hey Tiffanie!
    It's been almost a month since you've posted so I'm just checking in to say that I hope you're "good busy" and that everything is well with you.
    I'm just heading out now to see if I can find the Northern Shrike at Ojibway.