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Showing posts from November, 2014

January Sparrows

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We have been getting January weather for the past couple of weeks.  Sub-freezing temperatures, blue skies and sunshine are typical for early January.  This is not typical for November which is usually our rainiest month.  Days on end of blue skies and sunshine in November is simply weird.  Local wildlife is also looking a lot like January.

The breeding range of the Golden-crowned Sparrow(Zonotrichia atricapilla) is British Columbia, the southern Yukon and western and southern Alaska.  Then they spend the winter in southwestern B.C., along the western US coast to northern Baja California.  They are regular visitors to my feeders at this time of the year.  They are fond of safflower seed.


I spotted this bird yesterday in the Kukutali Preserve patrolling the south beach near Flagstaff Island.  Green stains on the beak reveal finding something good to eat there.  This is the bird's winter plumage.  In the breeding season, it has a black cap that surrounds a bright yellow crown.


The N…

A Parcel of Oystercatchers

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A group of Black Oystercatchers(Haematopus bachmani) is called a parcel according to iBird Pro.  I found this group resting on Fraggle Rock this morning.  Recall, this is the name I gave to the rock just offshore at West Beach in Deception Pass State Park.  I have never been able to find an official name for it.


This is a favorite late morning resting spot for shorebirds, especially gulls and cormorants.  During the fall and winter, Black Oystercatchers also like to congregate here.  They come to rest and socialize.  It is always a peaceful gathering.  I have never seen any squabbling among the different species here.


Humans, of course, bring another story.  While I was taking photographs, these people started throwing rocks at the birds.  They didn't stop until every bird was driven from the rock.  Apparently, they thought that was appropriate behavior.  The birds were gone and my photo session was over.  That kid learned a perverse lesson from her parents today.  I hope his hea…