26 November 2020

Posts Tagged ‘tree swallow’

Behaviors

Monday, May 25th, 2020
Lazuli Bunting (female), East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 25 May 2020.
Lazuli Bunting (female).

After a few nights of not quite enough sleep (ever since the bakyard mountain lion), I finally had a great one. Thus, the sun had already topped the peaks by the time dog and I hit mountain trail.

Somehow, accidentally (as is usually the case), we ended up doing our favorite high loop: up the shaded valley, around and over the ridge above Millcreek Canyon, down to the Pipeline Outlook, and back.

[Note: I’m still learning the names of places here. Please forgive my past misnomers.]

The weather was cool, breezy, nearly cloudless, lovely. The birds were fairly abundant, interesting, fun to watch, and maddeningly uncooperative photo subjects. Still, I had a blast—in particular, today, observing behavioral peculiarities.

For instance, not 50 feet from the trailhead, a magpie fledgling fluttered over onto a low branch very near Jack and me. This caused the parents to freak out, swoop down, and immediately begin to yell at us things like “Away with you, human devils!” Also, “Begone, murderers!” Jack was a lot less fazed than I.

Not long after, I watched a female Lazuli Bunting flit down onto a dead twig not far from the trail. At once this bird ducked its head down, raised its tail, and opened its wings a bit—then began to quiver a little and (just maybe) begin to emit a faint call that might be described as a nearly inaudible “Squee!” (I actually took a little video of this, half-expecting a male to show up and the two of them to get busy, but it didn’t happen.)

That’s not all, but I won’t bore you. Suffice it to say that these little observations of bird behavior never cease to astound and entertain.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 8:30 a.m., I hiked some 1,200 feet up a mountain.

1. Black-billed Magpie*
2. California Quail* (v)
3. Black-capped Chickadee** (v)
4. House Finch*
5. Black-chinned Hummingbird
6. Lazuli Bunting
7. Black-headed Grosbeak
8. American Robin* (v)
9. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
10. Spotted Towhee
11. Western Tanager
12. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
13. Pine Siskin
14. Warbling Vireo
15. Sharp-shinned Hawk
16. Chipping Sparrow
17. Bank Swallow†
18. MacGillivray’s Warbler
19. Cliff Swallow
20. Black-throated Gray Warbler
21. Orange-crowned Warbler
22. Tree Swallow†
23. Cooper’s Hawk
24. Hammond’s Flycatcher

Elsewhere

25. European Starling
26. Song Sparrow (v)

Mammals

None

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

†First-of-year bird

Short & Sweet

Tuesday, April 28th, 2020
Lazuli Buning (male), East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 28 April 2020.
Lazuli Buning (male).
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 28 April 2020.
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.

It was hard for me to choose a high point of this morning’s short, extraordinarily sweet hike with dog. We were late to hit the trail, and left early because of errands that needed running. But, dang, did the birds put on a show.

Several first-of-year birds, a “lifer” subspecies—and at one point early on, from where I stood, I took decent photos of four bird species.

I was most excited, however, to solve a puzzle that’d been plaguing me for a week or more: what bird was making that faint, cricket-sounding call as it flew swiftly, intermittently, and (apparently) invisibly above us on our morning hikes? I’d been referring to it as “that cricket bird,” thinking the sound a vocalization. But this morning I finally caught sight of the source of the sound—a tiny hummingbird zipping away overhead.

Ah-ha! But which?

For some reason, I decided aloud that it must be a broad-winged hummer. And when I finally got home and looked it up, I was right! In fact, the Cornell Lab’s All About Birds website describes this wing-trill as having “a cricketlike quality to it.” Puzzle solved! (And what a relief!)

(Although I’ve marked today’s as a “first-of-year” sighting, the hummer has been hanging around for a week or more.)

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

1. Spotted Towhee**
2. Song Sparrow* (v)
3. American Robin*
4. Black-billed Magpie*
5. Black-capped Chickadee**
6. House Finch**
7. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
8. Northern Flicker**
9. Black-throated Gray Warbler
10. Lazuli Bunting
11. Northern Mockingbird†
12. Chipping Sparrow
13. Pine Siskin (v)
14. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
15. Sharp-shinned Hawk
16. Hermit Thrush†
17. Broad-tailed Hummingbird†
18. Virginia’s Warbler†‡
19. Chukar (v)
20. Red-breasted Nuthatch (v)
21. California Quail
22.Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s subspecies)†‡
23. Tree Swallow†

Elsewhere

24. Eurasian Collared Dove
25. House Sparrow
26. Rock Pigeon
27. Lesser Goldfinch (v)

Mammals

None

(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere

**Voice only elsewhere
†First-of-year bird
‡Lifer

Juvies

Saturday, July 20th, 2019

Up early. Lots of cool birds—including a wayward immature Yellow-rumped Warbler. Otherwise, we’ve got a hill full of baby birds, their little voices piercing the stillness.

Began coolish but soon got downrigh warm. Local outsided temperatures—even tonight— are in the upper-80s.

Pleased with how things are going.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 6:45 a.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. Red-eyed Vireo (v)
2. Tufted Titmouse
3. Chestnut-sided Warbler
4. Rose-breasted Grosbeak (v)
5. American Goldfinch**
6. American Robin (v)
7. Song Sparrow** (v)
8. Ovenbird (v)
9. Common Yellowthroat
10. Tree Swallow
11. American Crow*
12. Eastern Towhee*
13. Alder Flycatcher (v)
14. Gray Catbird
15. Savannah Sparrow
16. Yellow-rumped Warbler
17. Northern Cardinal** (v)
18. Field Sparrow
19. Mourning Dove*
20. Veery (v)
21. Eastern Bluebird
22. Black-and-white Warbler (v)
23. Northern Flicker
24. Cedar Waxwing (v)
25. Yellow Warbler (v)
26. Chipping Sparrow* (v)

Elsewhere

27. Wild Turkey
28. Turkey Vulture
29. Rock Pigeon

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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