Monday, November 5, 2012

One Thing Leads to Another........Bird

One of the powerful forces associated with birding is how tuning into one bird or species in the field often leads to others.  The downside to that force is that if you are not careful you'll get stuck in a trap that won't release you without some real effort.  I sort of fell into that enjoyable trap just the other day as I was within two minutes of being home.

I was passing by an abandoned dairy farm owned by a friend and neighbor. I glanced across a field just as a couple of Magpies were flushing a Sharp-shinned Hawk from a small stand of Cottonwood Trees. I decided to pull over to the side of the road to watch the chase and observe the snappy flap-flap-flap-glide wing beats by which the Sharpie began to gain altitude and soar above the tree line. The Sharpie eventually glided over a silo. Seeing the silo reminded me that I still needed to check out the condition of a Barn Owl box in that had been used for a few years by some local Barn Owls.

I had ventured over to the silo earlier in the summer only to be deterred by all the swarming honey bees inhabiting a ring of hives that completely surrounded the base of the silo. Seeing how the season had changed and cooler temperatures prevailed I thought it might be safe to take a look.  I had already been given complete access by my neighbor, but I decided to knock on the door to let him know.  As I walked toward the front porch I saw a quick flash of a bird and heard some high-pitched trilling. One glance revealed a small, opportunistic flock of Cedar Waxwings alternating between feeding on Juniper Berries and perching in nearby trees. Once again I was deterred from whatever plans existed just moments ago. I had my camera in my truck so I decided to capture a few images of both juvenile and adult waxwings.
Juvenile Cedar Waxwing Feeding on Juniper Berries
Pleasant Grove, Utah

Juvenile Cedar Waxwing Posing in Juniper Bush
Pleasant Grove, Utah

Adult Cedar Waxwing Feeding on Juniper Berries
Pleasant Grove, Utah

Adult Cedar Waxwing Stretching to Feed on Juniper Berries
Pleasant Grove, Utah

Adult Cedar Waxwing Swallowing a Juniper Berry
Pleasant Grove, Utah
I eventually made it back to the silo and the owl box was in tact. I returned to my original plans and made it home for the evening, but I'm looking forward to the next nesting season for the owls!

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