Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cold and hungry.

In this cold, clear weather, birds are busy looking for enough fuel to get them through the days (and nights). Down low in the blackberries are Ruby-crowned Kinglets, picking arthropods and their eggs

as noisy flocks of American Robins clear mountain ash and other trees of berries.

European Starlings are flocking, looking for a chicken coop in which to hide.

And the top of the food chain is getting plumper. This Cooper's Hawk was unusually calm as I stood near, snapping shots.

She even casually scratched an itch. I wonder if they ever hurt themselves doing that. The relatively thick leg is one reason I think it's a Cooper's and not a Sharp-shinned Hawk. Other features suggesting COHA were relatively large size, tail shape (rounded) and shape of the head. This site provides helpful detail.

7 comments:

Carol said...

What a cute little bird in the first photo. I'd love to see more.

www.wildlifearoundus.blogspot.com

Seabrooke said...

I agree it's a COHA. For me, Coopers always have fierce expressions, with heavier brows and stronger/larger beaks relative to the size of their head. Sharpies look relatively dainty in comparison. Great shots, love the colour the berries add.

Hugh said...

Seabrooke, Yes, I agree about the fiercer expression. Some of the other pictures showed that more clearly.

randomtruth said...

You're scaring me Hugh. I went for a hike today and had the same general experience, but way down here in California. I missed the pic of the kinglet, but got the robins, and my hawk was a harrier. Pics in my stream if you're interested.

Karen said...

I sat and watched birds working on the mtn. ash outside a friend's window this morning, they were back and forth in large flocks. Then they left a little reminder of it all on my car windows, thanks guys. Is finding water a problem too for our feathered friends? Should we be putting out unfrozen water for them?? Sheesh, wonder when this deepfreeze is going to stop?!

Hugh said...

Karen, Yes, it helps to leave out water (which will freeze pretty quickly). Now the forecast is snow on Sunday, and getting a bit warmer after that.

eileeninmd said...

Great photos, the hawk does have a fierce look.