Birds of note recently are a Chipping Sparrow, seen foraging under our bird-feeder this morning, and Savannah Sparrows, seen on our lunchtime walk. Both are returning species which breed across much of the US and throughout Canada, and winter across the southern US and into Mexico.
Last Friday after work, Lynn saw a female American Kestrel, sitting miserably in the rain. She was perched atop one of the many buildings here at West Campus. The Kestrel is new to our bird list, with the caveat that some of us saw one here late last winter (March 2009) - but we weren't listing then, were we...
The Kestrel is North America's smallest raptor, just a bit larger than our Robin. It requires quite a bit of open space for hunting (small vertebrates and arthropods), and a cavity for nesting, either re-using an old woodpecker hole or choosing a man-made nest box.
Chipping Sparrow, Spizella passerina
Savannah Sparrow, Passerculus sandwichensis
American Kestrel, Falco sparverius