Browsed by
Month: February 2011

More Cold Weather Birds

More Cold Weather Birds

These are more photos from Friday when the temperature was in the low 20’s (F).  Above is a flock of House Finches in my neighbor’s tree. They then flew into my cherry tree.  The early morning sunshine made taking photos very easy! Our resident Anna’s Hummingbird didn’t seem bothered by the cold. This bird was a new find for me in the yard.  I believe it is a Yellow-rumped Warbler.  I’m not sure if I’d like to be named after…

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Commonly Uncommon

Commonly Uncommon

Yes, robins are a dime a dozen here.  All year round they live in and around the yard, though I imagine we see different birds at different times of the year.  Still, like Song Sparrows, I can’t help but take photos of American Robins every time.  They are beautiful birds and very easy to observe. These photos were taken yesterday which was a cold day.  The robins were very active, constantly flying around between the trees in groups.  This one…

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Ice, Snow, and Life

Ice, Snow, and Life

After it felt like spring was almost here, the Portland area is now in a cold spell.  We got our one obligatory “snowstorm” (i.e. about 1″) of the year, and it got down to about 20 degrees F last night.  Above is my black walnut tree with a dusting of snow on it.  Yes- even this amount of snow is a big deal here and TV news crews are dispatched everywhere to report on the paltry snow amounts. A columbine…

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Nest Building at the Heron Rookery

Nest Building at the Heron Rookery

The Great Blue Heron rookery was full of activity this past weekend, though not all of the days were this sunny. It still feels odd to see these large birds standing on nests at the top of these mature cottonwood trees. Of course, some of the nests need a little maintenance! Related posts:Robin Hatchlings in ActionFlock of Herons?Wildlife in Unexpected Places

Dance Fly Waiting

Dance Fly Waiting

Our Indian Plums are now mostly in full bloom, and along with the blooms come insects. I wasn’t sure what this insect was at first.  Based on its wings and the shape of its two antennae, I guessed it was a type of fly.  It looked like a Robber Fly, but didn’t quite seem right. A little research got me to find this Flies of the Pacific Lowlands website where the Dance Fly is described: These flies are common on…

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Birds of Prey on the Prowl

Birds of Prey on the Prowl

Today the sun came out and life seemed to come out of the woodwork.  This Bald Eagle flew over my head on my walk to the store.  It was kind enough to pose! After the store, I walked down to the Willamette River and saw this Red-tailed Hawk land in a tall tree over my head. But it wasn’t alone! A pair of hawks checked me out for a bit, sang some songs, and then took to the air. They…

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First Insect Photo of the Year!

First Insect Photo of the Year!

Yesterday was a glorious day weather-wise, and I got my first insect photo of the year!  This fly was on one of my rhododendrons in the backyard. The first thing I noticed was its huge eyes.  It also has small curved antennae that I see on many different kinds of flies.  The abdomen (the back segment) is very thin and striped, and the thorax (middle segment) is dark.  This looks similar to an Elongate Aphid Fly, or Elongate Flower Fly…

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Dive of the Anna’s Hummingbird

Dive of the Anna’s Hummingbird

Yes, I took yet another set of photos of our resident Anna’s Hummingbird. Because it has a red patch covering most of its face, it is a male.  As I find it almost every day at some point, it is sitting near the top of our cherry tree chirping away. Male Anna’s are known for their extreme dives.  They slowly soar high into the air and then swoop down with great speed, suddenly pulling up out of the dive near…

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