Birds Do It

Birding is not for prudes. Everywhere I look, birds are busy making sure there will be another generation to carry on. It must be spring.

First it was the Cooper’s Hawks. We noticed two on recent trip to a county park. The larger one, the female, was sitting on a branch, preening. The smaller male zigzagged closer and closer as he flew from tree to tree, finally landing beside the female. There was a bit of a chase, some friendly bickering, and the next thing we knew, she had flipped up her tail, allowing him access. He was quick to hop on, and in a matter of a second or two, the deed was over. I hadn’t even had time to focus.

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January Bird Quiz

With the start of a new year, I thought I might do something a little different with the monthly quiz. No, I’m not going to tell you what it is. You’ll figure it out eventually!

This year the photos won’t be cropped. Instead, I’ll start you out with an easy one. This bird was photographed in Arizona in April. Can you identify it? The answer appears next Monday.

01 Tucson-AZ_LAH_4467

Footsies

Great Egret feet_HomosassaSP-FL_LAH_8290

When out in the field identifying birds, how often do we look at the feet? For me, at least, the bird’s feet may be the last thing I take note of—if I can see them at all. Wading and swimming birds keep their feet under water and out of sight, and mind. Perched birds’ feet are often hidden in the foliage, or too small to see from a distance. Yet, bird feet can provide a clue, not just to a bird’s identity, but also to its habitat, diet, and general lifestyle.

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