Monday, May 02, 2005


After posting the picture of our winged visitor in Friday's post, I became obsessed with finding out what it was: a hawk? a falcon? After much googling on the internet, I think I have identified it as a Coopers Hawk. The lighting in my picture is not the best and you can't see the tail, but having looked at many pictures of falcons and hawks I think most of the ones of the Coopers Hawk seemed to fit.

The hawk was across the street on the lamp post but we do get a lot of birds in our yard, much to our cats' enjoyment (from inside course). We have a bird feeder and a pond in the back and both draw a lot of hungry and thirsty birds. Our neighbors' yards don't have much in the way of trees let alone feeders or ponds so I joke that the bird migration map shows our house with a big X on it. It's fun to watch the change in types of birds that visit throughout the year. I honestly don't know what they are but they seem to be mostly finches along with mockingbirds, hummingbirds, robins, and many Mourning Doves. The Mourning Doves even set up a nest that was quite convenient to the feeder. Most of the finches have reddish breasts but there are some pretty yellow ones that visit too - usually a male/female pair. One evening Aaron thought he saw an owl fly over. He says it was pretty big. My favorite winged visitor so far has to be the Great Blue Heron. I don't know if he dined on our fish, but the morning I saw him he was standing atop our pergola in prime view of the pond. I was dumbstruck at the sight of such a majestic bird. He just stood there and I just froze at the sight. Unfortunately by the time I got my camera he took off. The quirkiest winged visitor has got to be the California Quail. We've lived here for over 7 years and never saw any quail until last summer when suddenly the quail parades began. I laugh because the quail run around the yard like they're playing follow the leader as they run from yard to yard, hopping up on the fences and rooftops.

It's nice to hear the birds and to see them splash in the waterfall. Perhaps I should dig out the bird book we have somewhere and try to identify them. But no, I'm not going to add birding to my list of hobbies. That's all I need...another hobby!

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