All Photos posted on this blog unless otherwise noted were taken by me with my Canon Rebel XTI using a 300 mm zoom lens

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Winter Dining

I have often seen Great Blue Herons sitting in the fields west of the main dike at Farmington Bay during the winter, all crouched down and looking very cold. Last Friday while I was out there taking pictures I watched them in action and found the real reason they are huddled out in those fields. I saw one in his ready to pounce stance so I stopped and watched, he stood motionless for a long time then with lightening speed he struck and came up with a very chubby and delicious looking Vole. Birds survive because they learn to adapt to their environment. While watching I took pictures of the whole event and here are a few.

Now that the ponds are all frozen over the Blue Herons are hunting with the Harriers, Kestrels and Red-tails but with their own unique and deadly method.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Taking Flight



Red-tailed Hawk

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Years Day Birding

For the past several years after our extended family New Years Day breakfast my brother in law Frank Clawson and I have gone birding. This year was no different. We started in his neighborhood in Fruit Heights and worked our way west to Kaysville Pond, West Farmington and ended up at Farmington Bay. We didn't get any unusual birds but saw a good variety. In fruit Heights we got: Lesser Goldfinch, Scrub Jay, Crow, Dark Eyed Junco, Robin, at Kaysville Pond we got: Mallard, American Wigeon, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Deck, Gadwall, Common Golden-eye, Hooded Merganser, A. Coot, Pied-billed Grebe, Ring-billed Gull, Great-tailed Grackle. West Farmington we passed a home with a bird feeder in the front yard with lots of activity, they had: Red-winged Blackbirds, Brewers Blackbirds, a Brown-headed Cowbird, House Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows, Eurasian Collard Dove. Farmington Bay we saw: American Kestrel, Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Harrier, Great Blue Heron, American Coot, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, assorted other gulls, Pied-billed Grebe, Song Sparrow, Bald Eagle, Canada Geese. Here are a few pictures first of all a Goose I wanted to call a Snow Goose but I am just not sure. Please help me out. Is my mystery goose a Snow Goose?

Mystery Goose is it a Snow Goose?


Lesser Goldfinch

  American Wigeon, Coot, Mallard

American Wigeon

Assorted Ducks and Gulls


Ring-necked Duck and Rig-billed Gull

Great-tailed Grackle

Hooded Merganser

Red-winged Blackbird, House Sparrows

Eurasian Collared Dove, Red-winged Blackbirds

Red-tailed hawk

American Coot, Ring-billed Gull

Great Blue Heron

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier

American Kestrel

Saturday, January 2, 2010

January 2010 Bird of the Month Dark Eyed Junco

If the Black Capped Chickadee is the cutest of all birds the Dark Eyed Junco is the runner up. In the winter time the Dark Eyed Junco is one of the most abundant species that frequents my feeders. What's cool about the Dark Eyed Junco is there are several races. I have four races of Dark Eyed Juncos that visit my backyard feeders the Slate colored race, the Gray-headed race the Pink-sided race and the most abundant are the Oregon race.

The Slate Colored Junco

The Oregon Junco

The Gray-headed Junco

Pink-sided Junco





Dark-eyed Junco

 Dark-eyed Juncos are neat, even flashy little sparrows that flit about forest floors of the western mountains and Canada, then flood the rest of North America for winter. They’re easy to recognize by their crisp (though extremely variable) markings and the bright white tail feathers they habitually flash in flight. One of the most abundant forest birds of North America, you’ll see juncos on woodland walks as well as in flocks at your feeders or on the ground beneath them.

  • Size & Shape

    The Dark-eyed Junco is a medium-sized sparrow with a rounded head, a short, stout bill and a fairly long, conspicuous tail.

  • Color Pattern

    Juncos vary across the country (see Regional Differences), but in general they’re dark gray or brown birds brightened up by a pink bill and white outer tail feathers that periodically flash open, particularly in flight.

  • Behavior

    Dark-eyed Juncos are birds of the ground. They hop around the bases of trees and shrubs in forests or venture out onto lawns looking for fallen seeds. You’ll often hear their high chip notes, given almost absent-mindedly while foraging, or intensifying as they take short, low flights through cover.

  • Habitat

    Dark-eyed Juncos breed in coniferous or mixed-coniferous forests across Canada, the western U.S., and in the Appalachians. During winter you’ll find them in open woodlands, fields, parks, roadsides, and backyards.

    Similar Species

    The Yellow-eyed Junco of extreme southern Arizona and New Mexico resembles the red-backed and gray-headed forms of the Dark-eyed Junco, but they have a staring yellow eye and a bill that is black above, yellow below. Beginning bird watchers sometimes get confused by the Black Phoebe, a flycatcher of California and the Southwest. Black Phoebes are colored very similarly to the slate-colored form of the Dark-eyed Junco, but they act very differently: they have a flycatcher's erect posture, large head, and tendency to sit still on exposed perches. Female Spotted Towhees may resemble the Oregon form of Dark-eyed Junco but have the same shade of brown on the head and back and large white spots across the wings and back.

Dark-eyed Junco Range Map