Urban Birds – 6 species in 6 minutes!

STJA_jh

Stellar’s Jay

It is a cold rainy January morning here in Seattle. I realize that several of those words are redundant. ‘It is January in Seattle’ would have sufficed.  There is nothing special about today; a hard rain all night, and a mere 37 degF now at midday.  Uck.

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White-crowned Sparrow

On this unpleasant, unspecial day, my yard is filled with wild birds.  I have not designed our yard to provide wild bird habitat (although a previous owner may have), but it appears to work for them.   Besides chickens, I don’t know much about birds, but if they are going to come enjoy my urban yard, I think I should learn more about them.  It’s only polite.

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Northern Flicker

Taking a mental break just now, I gaze out the dirty window and see a Stellar’s Jay and some SBBs (small brown birds).  I pull out a Bird Book and think these are white-crowned sparrows.  A Northern Flicker roots among the green grasses – I recognize her by the bright orange underside of her tail feathers. Black-cap chickadees hoppity hop about, and an American Robin joins the scene.  Finally, I see our teeny Anna’s hummingbird flitting about like a large feathered idea. Wow!

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Black-capped Chickadee

I like the idea of diversity.  Ecological diversity, in particular. I had thought to put up a bird feeder to encourage such, but was worried only the squirrels and crows would benefit.  I had no idea I already had so many types of visitors!  We are also visited by a woodpecker (hairy or downy) who pits our large cedar, willow, and lilac. Starlings, and – of course – crows. So that makes, what, 9 species? Perhaps I will plant something native for them on purpose this spring and see if I notice even more diversity…

American Robin

American Robin

In the meantime, I plan to learn more about these feathered creatures, starting with this fabulous little website from UW.

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Anna’s Hummingbird


All bird images used without permission from the Seattle Audubon Society

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This entry was posted in education, Scientific, Sustainability, winter and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Urban Birds – 6 species in 6 minutes!

  1. Nancy says:

    and THIS from the young girl who hated it when Dad had ‘control’ of the TV because all he would watch was bird nature programs! Beautiful pictures!

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