What’s In A Name? Respect For The Bird Or Vanity Of Its Late-coming Discoverer?

Olive-backed Thrush aka Salmonberry Bird aka Swainson's Thrush

In field guides, this species is listed as Swainson’s Thrush, with a note that they are often called Olive-backed. And a case can be made for Salmonberry Bird, at least for the population on the NW coast of the U.S. and the coast of Canada’s Inland Passage. I’m going with Olive-backed because it could be […]

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I will start by admitting that I’ve not always praised dead, fallen leaves ‘littering’ our lawn. I invested (heavily) in a wide range of tools, especially gas-powered, as well as yard crews, so that each Fall we could rid our little ecosystem of unsightly disorder of dead organic material on top of our lawn. Then […]

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Tufted Titmouse In Fall Colors

Tufted Titmice. Their eyes are black as coal & large in proportion to their heads. This not only gives them a ‘cute’, expressive look, it is functional as well. The eyes placement and high degree of range of movement gives Titmice a relatively wide binocular field of vision. They can focus both eyes on one […]

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Juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk Urban Hunter Using Utility Pole For Kill

Things weren’t looking good for woodland hawks in the late 19th century and into the mid-20th century. The same old villains – habitat loss, hunting (killing), pesticides – were taking a heavy toll on hawk populations, as well as other birds of prey. In the 1960s and 70s state and federal legislation and regulation, such […]

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Eastern Bluebird Juvenile

There are a lot of juveniles roaming our neighborhood yards. And, not just basketball & lacrosse pickup games. Birds too. Juvenile birds are individuals that have molted to their first real plumage, but not their adult plumage. Fledglings are juveniles. When they transition officially to juvenile status is, the best I can tell, a judgement call. […]

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“Hawk Attacks and Eats Dog” (Not)

For ten months, I have been posting pictures to our neighborhood association’s Listserv of resident and migrating birds visiting our yard. My intentions have been fourfold: 1) To do something, hopefully meaningful, with my new-found free time from sheltering-in-place and moving my office to our front porch and avoiding Atlanta commute time. 2) For neighbors […]

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Groundhog Day: A Chipmunk Will Have To Do

I haven’t seen a groundhog in our neighborhood, Glennwood Estates, Decatur, Georgia, but we do have our share of chipmunks. So I thought why not a rodent stand-in today. No shadow this morning so we are in for an early spring. This was confirmed by Georgia’s official groundhog winter forecaster, Beau, down in Jackson GA […]

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Brown Thrasher, Georgia’s State Bird

And I think they are a great choice. Not because they’re colorful. Or, cute. Or, somehow exotic. I think the school children of Georgia, in 1928, followed many years later in 1970 by the legislature, made the right choice because Brown Thrashers are tough, good looking in a rough and ready kind of way, and […]

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Courtship Cedar Waxwing Style

This pair of Cedar Waxwings (a species of bird that seems to be a fan favorite based on number of Likes & comments on my Facebook posts) were sitting in an old mulberry tree at the edge of our driveway. The behavior seems to be courtship dancing, but the timing is very odd this being […]

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Winter Berries Bring The Birds

And they’re cheaper than suet 🙂 We have a bumper crop of Chinese Holly and Carolina Cherry-laurel berries in our yard. One of the few upsides of 2020. The hollies are so full that the limbs are bending perilously downward. The part-time and full-time berry eaters are loving it. Chines Hollies are not native (duh, […]

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