Monday, March 27, 2017

Birds of March

I'm getting better at identifying birds.  When I glance out the window, or work in the garden, I think to myself "purple and house finches," instead of "purple and reddish birds."  The finches -- those just mentioned and Lesser Goldfinches -- are the predominant birds in the garden now.  Gold-crowned sparrows, which were the most common in January and February, are pretty much gone.  I saw one this morning; the only one I've seen this month.  They are only in our area during the winter, so it must be spring (yay!).  There have been a couple American Goldfinches in the garden, with their blinding yellow color standing out next to the softer yellow of the Lesser Goldfinch. 

Canada geese still roam the pastures, and our pair of Mallard ducks have returned as well.  I had just about given up on them.  They come every year and live, for a few weeks, in the donkey pasture, digging in the stream with their beaks and swimming in the pond. 

Wild turkey are everywhere -- on the hillsides, and in the road.  They are such funny birds; tall, gangly and awkward as they hurry across the road, necks out-stretched, like they are reaching for the finish-line tape. 

We still have quail scurrying amongst the brambles of blackberry and fallen wood.  Starlings are around as well, too.  There is one who has been digging in the garden for bugs and sitting on the garage roof.  I'm used to seeing large clouds of them, flying together, but this one is all alone.

Also solitary, though not for long, was the first acorn woodpecker of the season.  He was out under the front oak tree hopping around on the grass.  Maybe he was looking for an acorn left from last fall.  These woodpeckers are numerous in the summer and fall here -- not surprising, given the many oak trees on the property.  I love their bright clown faces, but their insistence on drilling holes in the house is less than endearing.

There continue to be a few Spotted Towhees in the garden and I saw a California Towhee there the other day as well.  The ones in our area have a definite burnt orange blush on their face and an orange spot under their tail. 

I saw my first hummingbird of the season the other day as well.  We have Anna's Hummingbirds here, primarily.  I was surprised to see it since the flowers (daffodil and poppies) are just now starting to bloom.

All photos from the Audubon website, unless otherwise noted  


  1. The goldfinches are here now, the purple ones will be later. We have hairy woodpeckers that are around all year. The hummingbirds and swallows should be here next month.

    1. I think the one hummingbird I saw was lost. They usually show up when the sage and bee balm are in bloom.

  2. You have turkeys!!! Wow!

    There are no hummingbirds in Germany (and no turkeys either) but I saw my first Kingfisher at our ponds and its colors were as bright as a hummingbird. I actually thought it was a parrot at first, but then saw its form and speed as it flew by me.

    I am alone in this but I love starlings!

    I don't think I've ever seen a quail. I'd love to see a quail before I die.

    1. We have turkeys all year. I'm not sure why I didn't mention them before. We hear them gobbling in the mornings and evenings. They are amusing the way they amble across the road, then get worried and go into their hurried leaning rush. I love quail but they are very shy so I normally only see them from a distance. The second I get close enough to take a picture, they run for cover. I don't think I've ever seen a kingfisher; I love brightly colored birds.

  3. I wish we had wild turkeys here, they must be a lot of fun.

  4. Just saw my first pair of Canada Geese returned home yesterday - it's officially Spring now!


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