28 October 2020

Posts Tagged ‘blue-gray gnacatcher’

Cooper’s Hawks

Monday, July 13th, 2020
Standoff between Cooper’s Hawk and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 13 July 2020.
Standoff between Cooper’s Hawk and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.

A couple months ago I noticed signs of a Cooper’s Hawk nest on the far wooded hillside above Coyote Canyon—whose trail I hike most days with dog. In the past week or so I’ve seen a lot of Cooper’s Hawks.

Female Cooper’s Hawk (with prey), East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 13 July 2020.
Female Cooper’s Hawk (with prey).

Today I saw two, each with prey in its talons. The first was a small sleek adult (a male, I feel sure) was perched in the open, fending off a brave attack by two tiny gnatcatchers. The second (a few minutes later) was a big female in the trees, whose occasional calls sounded a lot like a sapsucker.

[Note: I’ve edited yesterday’s “sapsucker” mention—I’m sure it was the same bird.]

I’ve lately seen at least one juvie Cooper’s circling. I’m sure the young ’uns have fledged. The adults’ behavior interests me. (Did the male bring the female the bird he caught? If so, why?) Most notable, today, was the difference in size of the adults: the female (as is not uncommon hawk circles) was nearly twice the size as the male.

It seems, at least, there are plenty of smaller birds about to feed the family.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 8:30 a.m., I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. Rock Pigeon
2. Black-chinned Hummingbird
3. House Finch*
4. Lazuli Bunting
5. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
6. Pine Siskin (v)
7. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
8. Spotted Towhee
9. Black-headed Grosbeak
10. Mourning Dove*
11. Black-capped Chickadee**
12. American Robin*
13. Cooper’s Hawk
14. Red-breasted Nuthatch (v)
15. Warbling Vireo
16. Northern Flicker
17. Lesser Goldfinch

Elsewhere

18. Black-billed Magpie

Mammals

Rock Squirrel

(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere

**Voice only elsewhere

Vocalizations

Friday, June 5th, 2020
Black-throated Gray Warbler, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 05 June 2020.
Black-throated Gray Warbler.

Slept late this morning. We didn’t make it to the trailhead until the sun had long cleared the ridge. Warm, not too breezy. Didn’t know what to expect.

Not many birds on my list, but what showed up were vocal. The usual buntings and towhees and grosbeaks, along with chippies, finches, gnatcatchers. No magpies, which was odd. And the cherry on top was a cooperative Black-throated Gray Warbler (singing an interesting alternate song that—astonishingly—didn’t fool me).

After two long hikes, today’s was a quick one. Rain forecast for the weekend. Wind and rain. Scattered thunderstorms. Should be interesting. Looking forward to it.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 9 a.m., I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. Lazuli Bunting
2. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay*
3. Black-headed Grosbeak
4. Black-chinned Hummingbird
5. Pine Siskin
6. Canyon Wren? (v)
7. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
8. Spotted Towhee
9. Lesser Goldfinch
10. House Finch* (v)
11. Black-capped Chickadee (v)
12. Black-throated Gray Warbler
13. Chipping Sparrow (v)
14. Warbling Vireo
15. Song Sparrow* (v)
16. California Quail** (v)

Elsewhere

17. Eurasian Collared Dove
18. American Robin
19. European Starling
20. Mourning Dove
21. Song Sparrow
22. Black-billed Magpie

Mammals

None

(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere
**Voice only elsewhere

 
Bird Report is a (sometimes intermittent) record of the birds I encounter while hiking, see while driving, or spy outside my window. —Brian Willson



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