Like last month, February wildlife adventure was all about the birds; it’s been a bit too cold on a regular basis for much insect goings-on. That’s fine–I enjoy feathered friends and entice them to my gardens in winter with food and water.
I’ve seen this single gal-I think she’s female because she’s quite large, perched atop trees around my home many mornings throughout this past month.
She’s a Red-tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis, and I hope a juvenile hawk, not ready to take a mate yet, rather than an adult without a mate. That would be sad. I’ve also seen her hidden in Live Oak trees, upsetting the Carolina Chickadees and scattering the feathers remaining of her meal of White-winged Dove.
She’s magnificent, sitting at attention early in the morning or as she glides from tree to tree, on the hunt in the neighborhood.
House Finch, Haemorhous mexicanus, is a common species of bird living year-round in my gardens. I realized that I didn’t have any photos of this charming, gregarious finch. Here, this male munches a sunflower seed.
I need a companion photo of a female House Finch–they’re not as colorful, but cute and perky, nonetheless.
Every February I look forward to the hordes of the migratory bird, Cedar Waxwing, Bombycilla cedrorum. I usually hear them before I see them; they travel in groups and sing with a high-pitched keening as they swoop across the sky to settle in trees.
They are gorgeous birds and maybe just a little vain. They’re always preening,
…and displaying their pretty feathers for all to admire,
…and posing so you can view them at best advantage.
Cedar Waxwings are social birds too; they remind me of those girls in high school who can’t do anything alone–they go everywhere and do everything in a group.
They are clearly having a grand time bathing in the newly cleaned pond,
….splashing, with flashing of red and yellow, and dashing in their Mardi Gras-esque masks. Can birds be full of themselves?
I see male Northern Cardinals everyday, but the ladies are shyer and elude the use of my camera with their quick movements through the cover of trees and shrubs. I find them as attractive as the masculine of their kind. This lovely lady Northern Cardinal, Cardinalis cardinalis, was not so flighty as is typical of her female friends.
She landed and sat in the woody shrub for a long while before taking flight to another.
I love the funny, quizzical look on this female Lesser Goldfinch, Spinus psaltria, stopping for a sip at the bar.
I meant to do that.
This Black-crested Titmouse, Baeolophus atricristatus, landed in a small tree after snatching a seed from the feeder.
He pecks to the left,
….and pecks to the right,
…and finally, mmmmm, that seed is tasty.
I introduced this handsome dude, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, Melanerpes carolinus, in my last post.
He’s part of a couple, no doubt gearing up to raise a little family of redheads, though I don’t know where their nest is. Not in my garden unfortunately, but he does visit.
I hope wildlife shared your gardens this month, even though winter retains its icy grip on so many places. Please join in posting about the wildlife in your gardens for March Wildlife Wednesday. Share the rare or mundane, funny or fascinating, beneficial or harmful critters you encounter. When you comment on my post, please remember to leave a link to your Wildlife Wednesday post so we can enjoy a variety of garden wildlife observations.
Good wildlife gardening!