Backyard Feeder Watch

No Peregrines Today


26June2013_1b_Falcon-Watch-Fledglings_Fledgling-In-Flight_Enlarged-GoodNope. None today. Oh yes! I did see one on the Banner Bank early this morning while going to Alia’s for a Manhattan Breakfast. And then, while munching away on the lox from Alia’s and enjoying a Hendricks and Tonic – it’s 5:00 somewhere – I did see 2 Hummingbirds in the backyard. But wouldn’t you know it – I did not have the camera set. But I did get some photos of other delightful wildlife sorta in our backyard. And as for this photo I took in 2013 of one of “our” falcons, it’s not from this year. But I like the shot. Worth a repeat. Enjoy! Keep Looking Up! Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged.

Rose Finch at our feeder. Love the natural lighting.

Rose Finch at our feeder. Love the natural lighting.

At 98 degrees and 27% humidity, even the bees need water. We try to oblige.

At 98 degrees and 27% humidity, even the bees need water. We try to oblige.

Cormorant on the Boise Greenbelt yesterday.

Cormorant on the Boise Greenbelt yesterday.

Here are some fledgling Ospreys who have made a territory of the Sports Center right along the Boise Greenbelt.

Here are some fledgling Ospreys who have made a territory of the Sports Center right along the Boise Greenbelt.

GBBC Hawk ID


04Feb2013_1a_Backyard_Sharp_ShinYes. It has been a while! I can tell you this, though. The Boise downtown Peregrines have been spotted around town at different locations and they look healthy. The photo to the left is a Sharp-shinned Hawk that landed in our alley last February and has been seen around the area this year. He has left some “tell tale” signs. Robin forwarded this article to me about how to identify Coopers Hawk and a Sharp-shinned Hawk. It can be extremely difficult. Coopers Hawk and Sharp-shinned Hawk from Feederwatch. From the article,

Sharp-shinned (Accipiter striatus) and Cooper’s (Accipiter cooperii) hawks commonly prey on feeder birds, and they are frequently reported by FeederWatchers. Despite their common occurrence, these hawks present a significant identification problem for many beginning and intermediate (and even more advanced!) birders. There is great variation in plumage and in size for these two species. Therefore, perhaps more than any other similar-looking birds, no single field mark is likely to distinguish one species from the other. Instead, the careful observer must use a combination of field marks and draw from the overall “gestalt” of the hawk for proper identification. No field guide will substitute for plenty of practice in the field.

If you participate in Project FeederWatch, observed one of these two hawks during a FeederWatch count, and are not absolutely certain which hawk you observed, please report the bird as an “Accipiter sp.” (the genus in which these two species are classified).

If you are going to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), and this is a national event, you can get information from the site listed above. It is free and they do provide you with all the information and resource you will need. Cheers and Keep Looking Up!

Female Black-chinned Hummingbird Appears


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The Boise downtown peregrine falcons look pretty well. What appears to be the female – the size looks quite large – was brooding the eyasses today with her body parallel to the opening of the box, thus blocking the air with more surface area facing the wind. She had her wing dropped and touching the gravel to form a seal against the wind. It is windy up there and the windchill is about 55 degrees. All is quiet and calm at the Peregrine House.
At our backyard humming bird feeder, the female Black-chinned hummingbird made an appearance. But not before this House Finch took a drink in the bird bath, and then flew away. The photo to the left is the House Finch leaving the water. Enjoy the photos and Keep Looking Up! Please cast your VOTE above. Thanks! Left-Click the photos to see them enlarged.

 

 
 

 

Female Black-chinned Hummingbird drinking.

Female Black-chinned Hummingbird drinking.

Female Black-chinned Hummingbird

Female Black-chinned Hummingbird

Black-chinned Hummingbird At Backyard Feeder


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After checking on the Boise downtown peregrine eyasses this morning, who are doing very well – they look healthy, I went out to our feeders and saw this little guy feeding. I saw one earlier in May, but this is the first time I have seen him recently. Robin saw him the other day, but he was just checking out the feeder and did not feed that we saw. Here are some more photos I took. Enjoy and Keep Looking Up! Left-Click to see the photo enlarged.

 

 

 

 

 

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Black-chinned Hummingbird

18May2013_1b_Backyard-Blackchinned-Hummingbird_AtFeeder_Best

Watching the Eyasses From The Falcon Cam


Shawn-Carmen_Falcon_Graphic-TitledWatching the Boise downtown Peregrine Falcon eyasses. By this time, there may be three that have hatched today. I have only seen two, but several reports of watching an egg hatch. And here is the definition of eyas or the plural, eyasses.

Definition of EYAS

: an unfledged bird; specifically : a nestling hawk

 

Origin of EYAS

Middle English, alteration (by incorrect division of a neias) of neias, from Anglo-French niais taken in the nest, from Vulgar Latin *nidax nestling, from Latin nidus nest — more at nest
First Known Use: 15th century [New Merriam Webster Dictionary]

So while watching on a mobile device, I am also watching for the humming birds and the American Goldfinch at our backyard feeders. Good luck today. I caught a House Finch with an attitude and a beautiful American Goldfinch. Look at these photos – Left-Click to see enlarged – and Keep Looking Up! Cheers and good sightings. Please VOTE above. Thanks.

House Finch with an attitude!

House Finch with an attitude!

Time for some water.

Time for some water. It’s 87 degrees outside.

American Goldfinch landing.

American Goldfinch landing.

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch

Backyard Feeders Doing Fine


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Our backyard feeders are doing their job – keeping us broke in filling with seeds! If you look in the sidebar for the National Bird Feeding Society logo, you can get some good info on backyard feeders. And, for your information, the Boise downtown falcons are doing good. The parents are “talking” to the eggs and rolling them. The signs look good for hatching soon – very soon.
And while we are waiting for the first hatching, we watch our backyard. I have spotted 1 Black-chinned hummingbird, but only one. The Mourning Doves, pictured here, English Sparrows and House Finches are abundant. I even saw a Swainson’s Hawk soaring high over head. Here, take a look. Keep Looking Up and please VOTE above. Cheers! Left-Click to enlarge.

House Finches at one of our feeders.

House Finches at one of our feeders.

House Finch at our "Fountain Bird Bath". It is solar powered.

House Finch at our “Fountain Bird Bath”. It is solar powered.

Swainson's Hawk high overhead .

Swainson’s Hawk high overhead .

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Black-chinned Hummingbird Today


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At about 4:00pm this afternoon, we had a visit from a female Black-chinned Hummingbird. This is the first one for us this year. It stayed around for about 20 minutes and then left as a thunder storm was moving in. Lots of noise and lightning. But at least we saw her. Wonder if she has a nest in the area or if she is just “passing though”? Here are some more photos that I got. Left-Click any of them to see enlarged.

Keep Looking Up!. Please cast your VOTE above. Thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Black-chinned Hummingbird

06May2013_1a_Backyard_Black-chinned_Hummer-Stretch

And then there is always someone who needs to get closer to the thunder and lightning.

And then there is always someone who needs to get closer to the thunder and lightning. Like on a roof-top (4 floors up) and close to the metallic chimney.

Slow Spring Sunday Afternoon


05May2013_1e_Backyard-Birds_BuddyNice and warm today – 76 degrees here at the house. Even Buddy, pictured here, is a little groggy! The backyard birds are active, at least when the Red-Tailed Hawk and the Sharp-shinned hawk are not around. Good to see the Rock Pigeons, Finchs, Sparrows, Siskins and even the Starling. I did see an American Goldfinch, but only for a fleeting moment.
The downtown Peregrine Falcons seem to be doing fine. The eggs were laid April 1, 4, 6 and 8 so we should start to see hatching sometime this week. I talked to Deniz at the Idaho Fish and Game while at the Boise Bird Festival and she told me that the IDF&G will not be doing a fledge watch this year, as there is no longer money available for the Fledge Watch Team. (The fledge watchers were around many years before the coordinator of the team was a paid position. There is nothing to say that we can not continue in the “non-paid” mode.) Deniz said she would put me in contact with the person who took over for Bruce Haak when he retired, but I have not heard anything. She did say, though, that a phone contact person will be available 24-7. We’ll see.
The Peregrine Fund posted this information the other day. A good read and good information.

May 1
The eggs are now more than three weeks old and everything appears to be progressing as expected. When the male is not incubating during the day, he is busy fulfilling his role as protector and provider.

To humans, the notion of sitting still for long periods of time during incubation seems intolerable, but for birds of prey of both sexes it is normal behavior. They do not waste energy. When birds are flying around, it’s easy to think that is what they do all day. In reality, birds of prey spend the vast majority of their time sitting still, conserving energy until it is time to hunt for food, attack or defend their territory, court, and raise their young.

You may catch the falcons napping once in a while, but they are alert during incubation.

In the meantime, here are some photos of the birds that I saw in our backyard today. Not a spectacular sighting, but fun anyway. Enjoy and Keep Looking Up! Left-Click to see these photos enlarged. And please, VOTE above. Thanks.

Finchs at the bird bath. They do like the solar fountain.

Finchs at the bird bath. They do like the solar fountain.

House Finch

House Finch

Starling

Starling

Juvenile begging for food.

Juvenile begging for food.

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Getting a drink of water.

Getting a drink of water.

Neighborhood Sharp-shinned Hawk


04Feb2013_1_Backyard_Sharp_ShinOur neighborhood Sharp-shinned Hawk, an Accipiter hawk, is still flying around. He was in our backyard. I found where he was sitting, but did not see any “left-overs”. He then flew to the alley as pictured here. Enjoy these photos and Keep Looking Up! You’ll never know what you will see. Also, the Boise Downtown Peregrines have been seen here most of the winter. Time is drawing near when, hopefully, a family will be using the hack box downtown. Hope so. Left-Click any of these photos to see enlarged.

On the ground in the alley.

On the ground in the alley.

Into a nearby tree.

Into a nearby tree.

Backyard Visitor


11Dec2012_1c_Backyard-Hawk_Merlin-Back-ViewI was wondering today why the English Sparrows and the Oregon Junkos were staying away from our feeders. We usually have many, many feeding. Today, very few. But then I look in the top of one of our Russian Olive trees – the birds usually like to be in these trees as they have large spikes and the olives are good – and I see our neighborhood immature Sharp-Shinned hawk. Most times we have a Coopers Hawk or sometimes a Merlin. But on occasion, we have this immature (eyes are yellow and not turned red yet and the tail is not the right shape – it is square.) Sharp-Shinned hawk. I think I got some good photos of him this year. What do you think? Here are some more photos of the hawk.
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11Dec2012_1a_Backyard-Hawk_Merlin
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