Thursday, December 08, 2005

the ruby-crowned kinglet's ruby crown

Some birds are named for their call, some for their color, and some for a distinguishing feature. But some distinguishing features are really hard to see. Here's one: the Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Kind of makes a cold blustery day in Texas worth while. (click on photo for a larger view)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

the battle of the pileated and the red-belly

On the other side of the creek is this tall, skinny, dead pine tree. The woodpeckers love it. It is a lookout post, plentiful source of bugs and worms, and an apartment building with many living quarters, some round entries probably made by the red-bellied, and some irregular and squared-off, probably remodeled by the pileated.
Today there was a pileated loudly pecking away at the very top. The sound it makes on this hollow tree fills Echo Valley. Another pileated joined him (her?) Several floors below live two Red-bellied Woodpeckers. One was clinging to the outside of the tree and the other was sticking his (her?) head out through the hole. It's pretty early in the morning and I don't think the red-bellies liked all the noise. One of the red-bellies went out on the branch nearby and the other started scooting up the tree toward the pileated. As the red-belly got closer the pileated flew away, then came back. They parried in the air a little, then resumed their business.
The pileated continued hammering, you could hear answering calls throughout the Valley. One of the red-bellies flew to a suet cake.
Life goes on, until the next skirmish.....

Monday, November 28, 2005

the goldfinches are here

First sighting of an Ameican Goldfinch for this winter. The finch feeders are out. Now, purple finches, juncos and brown creepers, where are YOU?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

finally! the elusive Pileated

I have tried for 3 1/2 years to capture a decent picture of one of the Pileated Woodpeckers that live here at Echo Valley. This is a red-letter day for me.
Click on photo to see a larger image.

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