Irruptive species: Pine Siskin

I had a Pine Siskin at my bird feeder about a month ago and I had no idea what it was. I've never seen them before I asked Patrick from The Hawk Owl's Nest for help. He helped me ID it as a Pine Siskin. The Siskin spent a week or so at the feeder and then dissapeared - sounds like my Screech Owl ;-)

I just read the Stokes birding blog and they say that this is a good year for irruptive species such as:

Pine Siskin
Common Redpoll
Pine Grosbeak
Evening Grosbeak
Red Crossbill
White-winged Crossbill

The only one of these that I've had at my feeder is the Siskin, although I'd love to the rest of them. Have you had any of these guys at your feeders?

If these irruptive species are moving south because of a lack of food up north wouldn't the raptors follow? Does this mean that we may get some Hawk Owls and the like moving south?

Help: Bald Eagle dies!

I'm sure most of you have been following the fate of the unfortunate Bald Eagles in Alaska that fell into a dump truck hauling fish guts at a Kodiak processing plant.
Dave has reported that unfortunately another Eagle died this morning although they remain optimistic that the rest will pull through. The folks at the Bird Learning and Treatment Center are strapped for resources based on this catastrophe and they are asking for donations.

You can send checks to:
Bird Treatment and Learning Center
6132 Nielson Way, Anchorage, Alaska 99518
To make a donation using your credit card please call their office at 907-562-4852 .

Any assistance is much appreciated.

Keep up the good work Dave!

Hurry up and wait Mr. Impatient

Maggie from the Hungry Owl Project just left a very encouraging comment on my Owl box update post. Maggie commented:

"Regarding your comment about the owl being in the box and then not being in the box...sometimes male screech owls will have multiple roosts...so it may still be in the area. We find this with Barn Owls as well. We have a Barn Owl cam at http://www.hungryowl.org/barnowlcam.html and recently the box was empty for weeks, then all of a sudden two owls appeared, but then they left for a few days and today they are back!"

I've heard similar comments from owl experts and it is encouraging to hear it from the folks at hungry owl. The fact is that I am just VERY impatient and I want an owl SOOOOO much! Since my childhood I have always wanted to have an owl nesting in my yard and now that I've actually seen a Screech owl in my owl box my excitement level is at a peak. Each morning I switch the TV over to the owlcam and I see an empty box. What I keep thinking about is the day that I turn that bad boy on and I see an owl!!

Thanks for the message of encouragement Maggie I am hoping for the best. We still have two months before the onset of the nesting season so there is still plenty of time. I am confident that I have done my homework and that the box is in the best location with all of the necessary safety precautions in place as well as some additional bells and whistles. Now all we need is an owl - stay tuned!


Next: NFC Championship

Pictures say a thousand words and these pictures from the Seattle PI really do that. Packers win 42-20 against a spirited Seahawks. Bear in mind this is the most snow that Brett Favre has ever played in! After the shock defeat of the Cowboys the Packers now face Big Blue at Lambeau field for the NFC championship. To say I'm excited would be the understatement of the year - GO PACKERS!

I'd love to hear from you if you watched the game and you're not a regular football fan. Are you getting caught up in the fairytale ending of Favre's career?

Reminder: Introduce yourself & poll

Just a quick reminder for those of you who use readers and missed the link on my blog, I'd love for you to pop onto my blog and introduce yourself. I realize you're busy, so this will literally take a few minutes at most. Hope you're having a marvelous Monday!

I also have a poll running on the blog and I'd love your feedback. This month's question is should dogs should be allowed in wildlife areas. Pop onto the blog and cast your vote!


Simply scintillating Sunday

This morning I woke up to major bird activity in the garden. I had a pair of Flickers, Blue Jays, Chickadees, Woodpeckers (Downy, Hairy, Red Bellied), Juncos ......... It's amazing to me how some mornings these are zillions of birds in the garden and other days there's nothing. Do the birds know that snow is on the way? I had the first female Purple Finch at the feeders this morning and I'm hoping to have a few more. Another weird thing that I've noticed is that sometimes I have a new bird at the feeders for a couple of days and then it buggers off. Case in point is a Pine Siskin that spent two days at my feeders in November and then disappeared.

At about 11 o’clock I looked out and saw a Rough Legged Hawk sitting a 100 yards from the kitchen window. I have been chasing the Hawk around my garden and farm land behind my property for the past 6 weeks, but I haven't been able to snap a pic of him. This time I managed to snap a few pics although I didn’t get anything of him in flight.

A couple of minutes ago my mother in law looked out the kitchen window and spotted my Red Fox running along our fence line. The Red Fox has a den about 500 yards from my fence line in the farm land. This is the first time I've seen the Fox during the day. I snapped a few pics, but the memory card was still in my laptop. I popped the memory card in to download the hawk pictures and forgot to stick it back into the camera - cue Bart Simpson DOPE!

What an amazing Sunday: The Packers annihilate the Seahawks, I spot a new garden bird and I take some decent pics of a Rough Legged Hawk – not a bad morning!