November 15, 2004 [LINK]

Bird records update

Andrew's bird photo montage I've essentially finished compiling the first-of-season migratory bird records on the Wild Birds page, and to mark the occasion I have created this montage of my bird photos, which also appears on the Photos page. All but the wood duck were taken this year with our new Canon ZR-65 MC digital video camera. I've also retouched some old photos that were previously posted and added a couple photos of birds that "slipped through the cracks" along with way, including a close-up of a male Purple finch.

On Sunday a hawk of the accipiter family (probably a Sharp-shinned hawk) flew into our back yard for a couple minutes and then left at high speed. (Click on that link to see the photo I took, which would have been great, except that the hawk's back was turned; just wait till next time!) On a walk behind the Rescue Squad later that day I saw both Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned kinglets, but my attempts to get pictures of them were frustrated. On the way back I noticed what I'm pretty sure were Owl pellets, the regurgitated remains of small rodents eaten by the nocturnal raptors. I learned at an Augusta Bird Club meeting last year why owls have such small beaks: They swallow their prey whole, rather than tearing them apart like hawks and eagles do.