For about ten years now, a family of peregrine falcons have made their home under the Interstate 5 Ship Canal Bridge. I think I want to go visit them, sometime soon. The Peregrine is renowned for its speed, reaching over 200 mph (322Â km/h) during its characteristic hunting stoop (high speed dive), making it the fastest member of the animal kingdom. It is also the world’s most widespread bird of prey being found far and wide throughout the world.Â Both the English and scientific names of this species mean “wandering falcon”. Before the 1970′s DDT, the terrible pesticide, killed off many of the peregrine falcons—leaving it endangered. However, we finally wised up and banned DDT and since, with the help of a large-scale protection of nesting places,
Washington State Archive
The House Sparrow or Passer domesticus is the only Old World Sparrow (meaning it was brought over by Europe — the old world…) we have in Washington State and they come in abundance to my porch. They are also known as English Sparrow because they were brought over to Central Park in the 1850′s in an effort to populate the park with every bird mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays. What a sweet sentiment but how it was not such an intelligent idea. They were also re-introduced in the 1870′s to “control pests”. This did not work. Too bad they flourished at the expense of many native birds, such as the Bluebirds and other native cavity-dwelling birds. Now they are one of the most abundant birds found
We added an arm to the bird feeder on the back porch and then added a suet case. This has attracted a few new birds. We will try to get photographs of them sometime soon. However, one regular visitor now is the downy woodpecker. He hangs out for long periods of time, pecking away at the suet. How adorable! =) They are similar to the pileated woodpecker (think woody wood pecker) but they don’t have the red tuft and are much smaller. The downy woodpecker is the smallest woodpecker in North America. It likes to eat insects, larvae, eggs, sunflower seeds and suet from backyard feeders. They are found throughout Washington State year-round. Lucky us! =) We have since added another post about the Downy
Song Sparrowâ€¦head-on! Originally uploaded by rwolfert The unknown bird we photographed last week was a song sparrow indeed. I thought it was but I was not certain. It has been confirmed. We found these little birds in the bushes. This is common for song sparrows as they live and nest on the ground or near it trees and bushes. They primarily eat larvae, roots and berries but they will also eat insects and grains. They are tiny, cute little birds. Listen to its song here. — Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Anna’s Hummingbird Originally uploaded by lselman Calypte anna, also known as Anna’s Hummingbird, flew into the bird of the day by flying into the tree right by my railing while we were feeding the crows the other day. We spent about an hour identifying it and now we know for certain, it was an Anna’s Hummingbird. How adorable it is… and this photograph is an amazing shot of a mom feeding her chick. They are sweet. Anna’s hummingbird is known as a medium sized hummingbird at about 4 inches long with a wingspan of 5 inches and only weighing between 0.11 and 0.21 ounces! This is a tiny little bird but apparently not so tiny in comparison to other hummingbirds. I got the following cool
Ha-ha-ha-ha-hahahahaha… woody woodpecker was fashioned after today’s bird, the Pileated Woodpecker. He’s sooooo cute. It is about the size of the crow which is actually large for a woodpecker. I wouldn’t have thought they’d be so small really. I don’t know why. Maybe I watched too many cartoons growing up and not enough birds in the trees. These woodpeckers peck at the wood to get sap and ants. Interestingly enough, they peck square holes in the trees. They peck so hard, they can break smaller trees. And the holes they peck into trees often become homes for smaller birds. The Pileated Woodpecker likes my neck of the woods, the Pacific Northwest, lucky me! =) Listen to the pileated woodpecker here (Source: Cornell Lab of Ornithology).
The Mallard is the most common duck seen in the United States. The males are more colorful than the females and this is so the female can choose from the males when it comes to mating. She should have a variety afterall. =) The Mallard (and the Muscovy Duck)1 are believed to be the ancestors of all domestic ducks. They are hardy birds able to adapt to almost anything and they eat a little bit of everything, so it seems. This adaptability to both environment and diet helps them survive and thrive, even when people are involved. I found their courting/mating ritual quite entertaining, it is not unlike that of the humans… “During courtship, three or more males may display simultaneously, shaking heads and tails,