28 October 2020

Posts Tagged ‘Eurasian collred dove’

Thrill

Tuesday, March 24th, 2020
Spotted Towhee, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 24 March 2020.
Spotted Towhee.

This morning I had a thrill.

My hike with dog began as usual (albeit a bit early, to avoid the housebound “throngs”). Jack and I climbed the switchback, squinted into the sun, listened to singing Spotted Towhees. Then I heard Chukars and decided we might as well head up a deer trail to investigate.

As usual, we didn’t get anywhere near the Chukars—but we scouted new, interesting trails, passed the ribcage of a long-dead deer, enjoyed the high views. Then, on descending back to the familiar trail, I heard it, and it brought me to a stop: the song of a Canyon Wren.

I’d been waiting for it for a while but didn’t expect to hear it so soon. It came from way up the hillside we’d just descended—likely from the rocky summit ridge. Once. Twice. Three times. That was all. That was enough.

Looking forward to my second listen to that lovely song.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 9:15 a.m., I hiked a couple hundred feet up the mountain.

1. American Robin**
2. Black-billed Magpie*
3. House Finch* (v)
4. Black-capped Chickadee**
5. Northern Flicker (v)
6. Rock Pigeon
7. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
8. Spotted Towhee
9. Pine Siskin (v)
10. Chukar (v)
11. Canyon Wren (v)
12. California Quail (v)

Elsewhere

13. Song Sparrow
14. Eurasian Collared Dove

Mammals

Mule Deer

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

Scrub-Jays

Friday, February 7th, 2020
Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 07 February 2020.
Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay.

It’s been fun getting to know scrub-jays. The “blue jay” of the West, a familiar backyard species, famous among feeders for their love of peanuts (apparently, since I see them with peanuts in their beaks all the time), and expert cache-keepers.

Today (not for the first time) I watched a scrub-jay take great care to hide a peanut shell in a little flower garden at the edge of my front porch. It was a big peanut shell—a three-nutter—and the bird hammered it into the ground like a nail. Then it placed bark and other debris over the spot.

Once I saw a jay plant a nut in nearly the same spot (very possibly the same bird), then return to dig it up a few minutes later. I’ve also seen jays hide peanuts in thick ivy and in the spaces between deck boards.

Other corvids (smart birds all) exhibit this behavior. And my understanding is their memories are amazingly long and specific.

Not that I’m an expert in brain science. I just like watching scrub-jays.

(It was a drizzly, rainy day—possibly the first rainy day I’ve experience since I moved to Utah. Lots of birds up the mountain. Also elk and mule deer. Plus, a deer crossed the front yard this afternoon not twelve feet from where I was sitting (on the other side of a window.) Fun Friday.)

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 10:45 a.m., I hiked a few hundred feet up the mountain.

1. House Finch*
2. Pine Siskin
3. Black-billed Magpie*
4. Black-capped Chickadee**
5. Dark-eyed Junco*
6. Downy Woodpecker
7. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay*
8. Northern Flicker
9. Song Sparrow** (v)

Elsewhere

10. American Robin
11. Eurasian Collared Dove
12. European Starling (v)

(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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