Friday, December 16, 2011

Mid-December update

Immature Cooper's Hawk, Accipiter cooperi, perched just a few meters above our feeders one morning last week. photo: Lynn Jones

December is just not a normal month. There's the transition from late fall to winter, when those warmish days are just fewer and farther between, and we resign ourselves to the fact of cold weather.
We have ways to deal with this.

If you're connected to students and the academic world in any way, there are end-of-semester issues. Grades and evaluations are due, plans are sketched out for second semester, last-minute challenges are par for the course.
We have ways to deal with this too.

And then there's the craziness of the "holiday season". THIS is self-inflicted, I mean the craziness part. The holidays, well they've all been around longer than we have, but what have we done to make them so crazy?
We have ways to deal with this too - GO BIRDING!!!!

It's time for the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count, so tomorrow instead of joining the shopping craziness we birders will be out driving and walking our "territories" in search of every last chickadee, gull and wandering warbler we can find.

New squirrel baffle for one of our feeders - provided by Tony - the other two feeders are there in the background - one for sunflower seeds and the other for thistle seeds, which the finches are supposed to prefer.

West Campus bird list for the past two weeks, December 5-9 and 12-16, 2011:

Wild Turkey
Herring Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Red-tailed Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Mourning Dove
Rock Pigeon
Downy Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
10. Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
American Robin
European Starling
Northern Mockingbird
Black-capped Chickadee
Northern Cardinal
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
20. Dark-eyed Junco
House Finch
American Goldfinch

Twenty two species for the middle of December - probably just about what you'd expect.

Next week, Lynn and I will report on our West Campus Christmas Bird Count.

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