Sunday, January 09, 2011

January Miscellany

What with the holidays and all, I haven't done much concentrated birding in the last few weeks. Especially since the weather seems to descend on us regularly! But, if the sun is shining I like to take a walk with my camera to see what's around. I can't resist photos of Turkey Vultures, but you probably knew that already.
At Creasey Mahan I followed a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers around for half and hour one afternoon. They sounded like jackhammers pounding on the trees. If I caught a glimpse of one, it quickly moved to the other side of the tree or behind some branches. This little Downy Woodpecker was much more cooperative, and MUCH quieter!
The Kentucky Bird List emails have talked about Rough Legged Hawks in many places, including our own landfill, something I don't recall seeing before. Our friend Ryan Ankeny's Landfill Birdblog keeps up with them. Ryan has wonderful photos of a dark phase Rough Legged you should see. He works as a biologist at the landfill, so has great opportunities.
We saw this bird, and followed it around for a while trying for a good look at it, hoping it was something other than a Red Tailed Hawk. From the back, it has a stripped tail like a juvenile Red Tail. But from the front, it lacks a belly band of any sort, just spots.
I was hoping it might be a female Harrier, but on the few short flights it took did not see the white rump of a Harrier. Is there a facial disk, or is that just my wishful thinking? What do you think it is? I've also asked Ryan and will let you know his verdict.
Around home, the little Dark-eyed Junco was the first bird of the new year for me.
Our Carolina Wren loves eating peanuts from the feeder. I found some leftover zickdough and put it out. The Starlings descended on it right away, but our Mockingbird chased them off.


Jen said...

Awww your Carolina Wren is just adorable! As for the hawk, I tend to assume everything is a Red-tailed, but I see what you mean about lacking a breast band. Maybe Red-shouldered? Hope you figure it out!

Ryan Ankeny said...

Hey thanks for the shout out! It is definitely a Red-shouldered. I got some pics of it today that are now on my blog. I'll let you know if any more Rough-legs show up with the snow tomorrow.

Arlene Ripley said...

My vote is for juvenile Red-shouldered. Oh, I see it's already been identified!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

It sure looks like an immature Red-shouldered Hawk to me, but I will take a look back at some of my hundreds and do a side by side comparison, but that would be my best guess too~