Birds

The capability to fly is remarkable. I’m amazed at how birds fly through the tree tops dodging limbs, fly in flocks without colliding, and fly thousands of miles to the same area to nest every spring.


Wildlife attracted to dead trees

I often notice snags because of the woodpecker holes or woodpeckers drumming on the tree. However, woodpeckers aren’t the only ones utilizing snags. Snags (any dead or dying standing tree) are considered wildlife trees because they often provide more habitat for wildlife when dead than when alive. Wildlife utilize snags…

Continue reading

Larger birds visiting your feeder

Little songbirds may be the most frequent visitors to bird feeders but occasionally larger birds stop by. Over the past few weeks, I’ve written about smaller birds that commonly visit bird feeders and I’ll conclude the series this week with some of the larger birds. All of the following birds…

Continue reading

Less colorful birds visiting feeders

Little brown birds. Often sparrows and finches are called little brown birds because they look similar at first glance. Their markings may not be as distinct as chickadees and juncos but after watching them at the bird feeder for awhile and consulting a bird identification book, one can determine what…

Continue reading

Common birds to visit your feeder

A freshly-filled bird feeder can bring life to a backyard, deck or window. First one bird finds the feeder then entire flocks. Soon the feeder needs filled more than once a day. Certain birds tend to frequent bird feeders in winter more often than others. In a three-week series, I’ll…

Continue reading

Animals take advantage of trails in winter

When the snow becomes deep enough, we bring out our skis, snowshoes and snowmobiles to travel around. Even with snowshoes, slogging through knee-deep powdery snow can be exhausting if you are breaking trail. Worse is a thin icy crust that doesn’t support your weight and you punch through with each…

Continue reading

Owl pellets provide clues to owl’s diet

Even though most owls are nocturnal hunters and we can’t see what they hunt, we know a surprising amount of information about their diet. An owl’s feces look like any other bird dropping, so we can’t tell what they eat. The clues to an owl’s diet lay in owl pellets–regurgitated…

Continue reading

Pheasant populations dependent on weather and habitat

Every time I drive through the valley on Copeland Road I look for pheasants near Farm to Market Road, especially in autumn and winter. Most times I’m lucky enough to see at least one pheasant run for cover into the tall grass. Pheasants (more accurately ring-necked pheasants) haven’t always lived…

Continue reading

Spotted sandpiper teeters along our shorelines

Boundary County has a few shorebirds and one can be found from the shorelines of the Kootenai River to high mountain lakes like West Fork Lake and Pyramid Lake–the spotted sandpiper. Shorebirds can be difficult to distinguish especially when they are numerous along the coast. The spotted sandpiper is easier…

Continue reading

Not all eggs created equal

Many birds are dutifully sitting on a nest right now keeping eggs warm. Eggs come in all shapes, sizes and even the contents inside vary. Both the shape and size of the egg are determined by the internal structure of the female. Large birds lay large eggs and tiny birds…

Continue reading

Duration of mates varies among waterfowl

Since the ponds have become ice free, pairs of mallards, Canada geese and other waterfowl have been swimming and preparing to nest. A pair of mallards and a pair of Canada geese have been swimming in a little pond I walk by daily. Are they the same pairs as last…

Continue reading