Friday, January 18, 2013

Winter Birds

Horned Lark
Tired of the usual birds who visit your feeders? Find an agricultural area and you'll be rewarded with some birds we only see in the winter. We visited the Hadley "honey pot" area near the CT river in Massachusetts.

Horned Larks

Horned larks don't hop from spot to spot like other birds, they walk, although it really looks like a determined march.

Snow buntings also march!

Big, open spaces are the perfect areas for raptors and we saw red-tailed hawks, a kestrel and 2 bald eagles. 

American Kestrel

Bald Eagles

Red-tailed Hawk

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Golden-crowned Kinglet

 Our tiniest winter bird (barely larger than a hummingbird) is the golden-crowned kinglet. We see them all winter in conifers, particularly hemlocks and pines, actively flitting around finding insects. Yes, insects! They don't eat seeds, these bird are insectivores.

They move around so fast, Gerry had a hard time getting one to stay still long enough to focus and shoot.

This is a great shot of the golden stripe on his crown. 

Bernd Heinrich's book "Winter World; the Ingenuity of Animal Survival" has a great section on this bird and is well worth a read if you haven't already done so.