Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Few Shots of Winter Friends

A second walk while visiting Minnesota featured much better weather, and some good looks at a pair of woodland friendly faces.

This particular White-breasted Nuthatch perched for a relatively long while, for a nuthatch, and allowed me some good looks.

I also had lots of looks at three members of the woodpecker family, Downys, Red-bellieds, and several looks at Hairys. Most Hairys are distinguished in the field when viewed by their overall size, and the relative length of their bills to the length of their heads. I am learning that they can be distinguished well before sightings by their calls and drumming, but I am not there yet.

Another field mark, one that I hadn't gotten much chance to observe until these photos were taken, is that the outer tail feathers of the Hairy Woodpecker are clean white. Note the straight vertical edges of the white on the Hairy's tail above. On the bad picture of the Downy below the black spots, which make a barred appearance on the outer tail, are seen while the feathers are fanned.

Finally, one more look at the White-breasted. This particular individual either had something caught on the end of its bill, or had gotten a bit of a deformity while pecking. It didn't seem to slow this bird down as it worked over its dead perch, but does give it's upturned bill an even more authoritative appearance.

I have entered my species from the trip and Boulder CBC into eBird, and unless there is a dramatic sighting at lunch these will be the numbers I use for my year summary tomorrow:
2009 Count: 196
Lifetime: 201

1 comment:

  1. That must be the most laid-back nuthatch ever! I hope you had a great Christmas and will have a Happy New Year!