Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Large Bird Sightings

Can you find the beautiful bird in this photo? It caught my eye yesterday as it was hanging out on the side of the stream behind our fence...

Give up? It's in the center of the picture, above the roof of the woodshed. Here is a closer shot. A beautiful Great Blue Heron -

It seemed to be nervous about me being out on the deck. Contrary to what a city council member once told me when they were discussing removing the 50-foot Heron Habitat Buffer from Little Swamp Creek, I have found the heron to be very shy and very cautious of people. At least the herons that visit our yard are.

When we first moved into this house 11 years ago, we saw herons on a regular basis in our own yard and behind the fence. Now we rarely do. Luckily we still see them return to the rookery down by the Park and Ride every spring, so I know they are still living in the area.

While I was marveling at the heron, something big in a nearby cottonwood caught my eye -

I'm not sure, but I would guess that this is one of our neighborhood Red-tailed Hawks. There is a large nest that they use every spring just a little ways further into the wetland to the southwest of us. It sat there preening for quite a while. I have a feeling it was actually there to eyeball our chickens....

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