Today is Brownie's 2nd birthday! (Actually his 24th birthday in cat years). He has had a breakfast of his favorite food (tuna) and gone bananas with his new (and stinky) catnip banana! Here are the latest texts from Brownie and Luna. The blue texts are from Brownie and the gray texts are from Luna.
I had few guesses last week, but Charlotte and Bird Boy guessed last week's correctly: White-crowned Sparrow! This week's is a text description instead of a photo.
This relative of the common city pigeon, or Rock Dove, is common in the forests of the Pacific Coast and the Southwest. They are large birds with small heads, a gray body, a yellow bill, pale gray at the tip of the tail, a purplish-gray breast and belly, and yellow feet. These forest birds eat seeds, nuts, fruits, and buds and flowers. Do you know what this bird is? Even if you don't, take a guess and leave it in the comments below!
Other What Bird Wednesday posts:
Birds in Your Backyard
Brownie: I'm so excited!
Brownie: Because my birthday is in only 6 days!
Luna: Oh, right! Well, happy birthday, then. How old are you turning?
Brownie: You should know! I'm only one month older than you are. I'll be turning 24 years old.
Luna: 24? Are you serious?! I thought you were turning 2! 24 is really old for a cat!
Brownie: Well, 24 is the equivalent of 2 if you're a cat. So if I'm turning 2, then it's really 24. Right now I'm 23, and you're 22. Confusing, right?
Luna: Seriously confusing. I don't understand it at all.
Brownie: Well, look it up! I know it's confusing, but our humans are saying that I'm turning 2 but really that's the equivalent of 24 if you're a cat.
Luna: Okay, okay, I'm 22. I'm taking a nap. Don't disturb me.
Here is my weekly Feathers on Friday post for April 24, 2015. This week's Feathers on Friday bird is a male Lesser Goldfinch in the pinon tree in our front yard. The goldfinches look beautiful now; all in their breeding plumage with bright yellow, green, and black.
Don't forget to comment on my What Bird Wednesday here!
Only William guessed all the birds correctly last week. Everybody else (Charlotte and Josiah) guessed everything else right except number 2.
1. Western Kingbird
2. Black-chinned Hummingbird
3. Western Tanager
4. Turkey Vulture
5. Blue Grosbeak
6. Lark Sparrow
Photo credits: Western Tanager: By Tim Zurowski courtesy of zuropak.com. Lark Sparrow: By Jeff Cooper courtesy of neovistabirding.blogspot.com.
Can you get this week's bird?
Here is my weekly Feathers on Friday post for April 17, 2015. This week's Feathers on Friday bird is a Western Scrub-jay at the top of a juniper tree taken in our neighborhood today.
Today we went on a bird walk with the Thursday Birders from CNMAS, or Central New Mexico Audubon Society. I saw two life birds: Swainson's Hawk and Hooded Merganser. We also saw an Eastern Phoebe, rare for New Mexico! It was a beautiful place and I took lots of photos, which you can see below. Here is my eBird checklist if you are interested in seeing it. We saw 50 species, but since I didn't write them down and just remembered them, there are only 46 species on the eBird checklist. Enjoy seeing my photos!
William guessed last week's right: American Robin! This week I'm not going to do a picture or text like usual; instead, I'm going to do a Birds of New Mexico ID Challenge. All six birds are birds who spend spring and/or summer in New Mexico. There are some pictures that have been cropped to show only part of the bird and there are also a few descriptions. See if you can get all of them! (Some of these pictures are not mine; I will include photo credits in the next What Bird Wednesday).
1. This bird is mainly gray and yellow with some black and white. They are a common summertime sight across New Mexico, most of the western United States, and southwestern Canada. They can be found in Mexico during migration and in winter. They have crimson feathers which are usually kept hidden under their gray crown. This bird prefers valleys and lowlands, including grasslands, deserts, sagebrush, agricultural fields, and open woodlands. Occasionally some will winter in southern New Mexico. Fact: This songbird was originally known as the Arkansas Kingbird, but scientists changed its name to acknowledge its wide range across western North America.
4. These large birds of prey have a pink head and feet more suited to walking than grasping. They have a wingspan of up to six feet. They are black all over except for the head and feet. They can be found in summer across most of the lower 48, except for parts of the eastern U.S., where they are found year-round. They are also found year-round in South America, Central America, and Mexico. Look for them along roadsides, in suburbs, farm fields, countryside, and food sources such as landfills, trash heaps, and construction sites. Fact: This bird has the name of another bird in its name.
5. This songbird has an all-blue body with rusty wingbars and a very large, gray bill with black around the base. The female is a dull tan bird with rusty wingbars. This bird returns to New Mexico in early May. They eat insects and seeds and will come to seed feeders. They spend the summer in the southern and southwestern states and winter in Mexico. Look for them in old fields, woodlands, hedgerows, stream edges, deserts, pine forests, forest edges, and backyards. Fact: According to genetic evidence, the Lazuli Bunting is this bird's closest relative.
Brownie: YAAAAA! I loove my caatnipp tooy! Who who who!
Luna: Uh, Brownie? What are you doing?
Brownie: I don't know. Bye, Luna! YAAAAAA!
Luna: Brownie! Come back here!
Brownie: YAAAAA! Who who who!
Brownie: Weee who!
Luna: Oh, I think I understand. Where's the catnip?
Brownie: It's over there. YAAAAAA!
Luna: Hm...smells delicious. YAAAAAA!
Brownie: Who who who!
Luna: So...delicious. I'm goinng toooo tak a napp.
Brownie: Me too. Can I rest my leg on your head?
Here is my weekly Feathers on Friday post for April 10, 2015. This week's Feathers on Friday birds are Sandhill Cranes from January. These birds are now migrating north all the way up to Canada and Alaska. They'll be back in New Mexico next fall.
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