New Sparrow: updated

First off, a happy mother’s day to all the moms out there.  I hope you had a lovely day of it.  My own was nice and quiet, and I am quite delighted with my early mother’s day gift from my husband; an OBD II diagnostic tool that plugs into the van, with readings sent to an app on my phone via Bluetooth.

According to it, the van is doing just great.  In the near future, I’ll have to get my daughter to drive, so I can see what readings come up while driving.

My husband knows what makes my heart to pitter patter very well! 😀

We haven’t been seeing any deer lately, again, though the piles of feed I’m leaving out in the evening are gone in the the morning, so they do seem to still be coming out.  There is still plenty of scattered grain for the birds, though.  Right now, we’re still getting mostly fox sparrows and white throated sparrows, but today we saw a new one.

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There were only two of them, so we almost missed them among the other birds.

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Next to the white throated sparrow, you can see the bodies are almost identical, until you get to the head, neck and chest.  I’m guessing that means it’s also a type of sparrow, but a quick search for sparrows has brought up nothing with a head like that.  I’ll have to try looking some more later, but if you happen to know what it is, please feel free to let me know in the comments. 🙂

Update: May 14

It looks like the new bird is a Harris’s Sparrow.

The Re-Farmer

Another Stunner

It was a rather cold day today, but peaceful.  At least for us.  From what I’ve heard, two more homes were lost in yesterday’s fire to the North of us.  At this point, I know nothing more.  The province’s website that is supposed to have an up-to-date interactive map of current fires has not been much help.  It didn’t have either of the local fires on there at all.  I’ve seen others comment on the site’s lack of updating, as they’ve had to turn to social media to keep on top of the fire situation.

We never got the predicted showers, but at least with the reduced wind and colder temperatures, the fire risk has dropped a bit.

It was another day of the birds, outside.  I think it might be a while before the deer start coming back.

Oh, my.  As I was inserting the above photos, I heard another thump at the dining room window.  I went outside and found a little junco on the ground.  My younger daughter came out to hold on to it, to keep it safe from the cats, until it was ready to fly away on its own.  I’m hearing her come back inside right now, so it must be gone.

This is the second junco we’ve tended to after it hit the dining room window, just today.  The earlier one took quite a bit longer to recover.

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Here is the female, dark eyed junco from earlier today, in my daughter’s hands.  It was very calm about being held, too.

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It started to stand itself up and look around after a minute or so.  Note its bent under foot.  The other foot was like that, too.  No damage, it turned out.  It seems that it just wasn’t aware of it, quite yet.

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When it finally did start to flutter away, it just moved over to my daughter’s arm.  And immediately pooped on her! 😀

It seemed fully aware at this point, looking around and watching us closely, but content to stay on her arm for several minutes more.

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After a while, it flew off to the bench seat on the platform to our old clothes line.  There was a cat about, though, so I came over to encourage it away.  It moved to this bush and stayed there for another minute or so before finally flying away, none the worse for the experience.

While it’s unfortunate so many birds are hitting our window hard enough to stun themselves, it is so amazing to be able to hold them and watch over them until they can fly away on their own.  They seem to like the warmth of our hands as they recover, too.

Pretty awesome!

The Re-Farmer

A Day for the Birds

With the fires in the area, it’s no surprise that we aren’t seeing any deer, at all.  It has, however, been a day full of birds outside our window.

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Mr. Blue Jay allowed me to take his photograph today, though they certainly did make me work for a good shot!

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In amongst the masses of bark eyed juncos, this bird went off into the flower garden and started digging like mad into the dried leaves.

I’ve had two strong suggestions as to what this bird is.  Either a fox sparrow, or a type of thrush.  I spent some time looking and comparing photos online to ones I’d taken myself.

Bird identification sites often have really unhelpful photos, I’ve come to notice.

Ultimately, it was the markings on the head that made the ID for me.  These are fox sparrows, of the “red” variety.

Speaking of red.

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I had taken so many pictures of these red birds before the snow fell, but it never occurred to me to try and identify them.  I think I may have just lumped them in as another type of bird in my mind.  While looking up local bird species online, however, I found photos of these guys, and it turns out they are purple finches.  In the above photo, you see both the bright red males, and the less showy females.

As I was zooming in to get photos of what I though might have been the thrush/fox sparrow I wanted to identify, the bird turned and I realized I was looking at a new visitor!

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This is a male white throated sparrow.  Love that distinctive patterning on the head.  It made it much easier to identify it, though it wasn’t any easier to find online.  My bird book doesn’t have it at all, though it does have several other types of sparrows.

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Just look at the face!  😀

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Looks like some females were in the crowd, too.

Weather willing, I will soon be raking near this area, to get some of the leaves out of the flower bed and clean up dead branches.  We are finally starting to see some green forcing its way through the dead leaves.  Not too much longer, and we’ll be able to start trying to identify the plants around here, as well as the birds! 🙂

The Re-Farmer