I have always enjoyed identifying birds, tracks, animals, plants, trees… whatever seems to cross my path. I was VERY frustrated on my cruise last year… asking locals what the names of the trees were and they would simply say, “I don’t know.” I don’t like that. I try to know what things are! Now I may forget, but chances are, at some point, I’ve tried to look it up! Or like this… I’m confused.
Winters tend to be hard on little songbirds in Wyoming, so I try to help out by feeding them just a little extra.
Next to Oregon Juncos, these are the most popular birds at my feeder. I’ve been calling them Cassin’s Finches, because in my bird book… that’s what they look like. But I double-checked myself before I wrote this… and now I’m not so sure!
I doesn’t help that I took this photo on a cold day… and they’ve fluffed themselves up to be fatter (and warmer) than usual.
Upon further inspection… I think these are House Finches. I disqualified Rosy Finches and Purple Finches. But I’ve listened to the songs… looked at photos… read about them… and I could STILL be wrong! Argh. Any birders out there that can help??? I’d like to know what I’m feeding!
Whatever it is, it is the top bird in this photo. In the middle is a juvenile (I think) Pinyon Jay. (Piñon is how I grew up spelling it.) On the bottom is an Oregon Junco. Now I KNOW it is a Piñon Jay, because these huge obnoxious flocking birds appear in winter and can clean out my bird feeder in 15 minutes! Like I said, they are usually found in flocks. But this guy is a loner. Very unusual. And the flock hasn’t come back since he has arrived. Usually Piñon Jays send out scouts who then call (they sound like crows with a caw-caw call) and soon afterwards the entire flock arrives. Therefore, I only put a limited amount of seed out in my feeder. That’s why I bought what I thought would be a deterrent feeder with the wire around it… Ha! Piñon Jays can still reach in and steal the food. I need to put another cone around it made of chicken wire, to keep them off of it! But if any birders read this post, I’d like their opinions of this big guy as well.Find me here!