Archives for 2016

Backyard Birding and Beyond - November

Greetings birders! When I left home mid-October the weather had turned cool and rainy. There were flocks of robins around town feeding on the remaining berries and earthworms. The juncos, thrushes and the migrant sparrows were in our back yards on their way to their winter homes further south. My travels took me to Southern California. When I arrived here the White Crowned Sparrows which nest further north along the Pacific coast had made their way south to their winter home. They were joined by the local year round residents ….. Anna’s Hummingbirds, Lesser Goldfinches, Black Phoebes, House Finches, California Towhees, Scrub Jays and American crows.

Late one afternoon the grandchildren and I witnessed a strange event involving crows. We heard it first ….. the loud noisy cawing of many crows. Looking into the backyard we saw a number of crows attacking something in one of the palm trees. Some were swooping in on the tree, some were landing in the tree while others were waiting in the trees nearby all the while cawing incessantly. At one point I counted 50 crows. What a racket! This went on for a good half hour. As dusk settled the crows lost interest and left. This is when we went out to see what had caused such a commotion. There among the fronds sat a Great Horned Owl. As we took our time checking him out he quietly looked down on us apparently unaffected by what had just happened. Great Horned Owls are very common throughout the western United States and Canada. They can be heard in this area on a regular basis during the night …. and apparently crows love to harass them during the day. If you would like to read more about the Great Horned Owl go to: article No. 102. Until next month successful birding!

by Connie Senkiw

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