Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Reflections on the 2020 A to Z Challenge

Orr Lake
Siskiyou County, California 

I thoroughly enjoyed participating
in this years A to Z Challenge.
First off, I had fun choosing what 
birds to use. Then choosing what
photos of mine to use. And finally
many, many thanks to the wonderful
Without this resource it would have been
very hard for me to complete on time.
Plus this web site enabled me to give the viewers 
the best available information 
plus the best photos/images possible. 
It was great fun and I truly appreciate
all the viewers kind comments. 
And many, many thanks to everyone
who participated! I had fun reading other's
blogs. I made it a point to look and comment
each day on all the blogs I had chosen to
follow. Wasn't easy, but once I chose a
blog to follow I didn't want to miss out
on anyone's words and photos.  
And thanks to all of you who helped
organize the 2020 A to Z Challenge! 
An incredible amount of work!
And thanks to everyone who played!

One last photo....wild turkeys outside
our former home in Weed,
Siskiyou County, Northern California.
We were on 10.5 acres and had plenty
of room for the sometimes 40 surrounding us!
Cheers and have a lovely day!

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Z is for Zenaida Macroura, April 30, 2020

2020 A to Z Challenge!
Z is for Zenaida Asiatica.
Also known as the White-winged Dove.
In order to utilize the "Z" I had to use
this bird's scientific name!


Originally a bird of desert thickets, the White-winged Dove has become a common sight in cities and towns across the southern U.S. When perched, this bird’s unspotted brown upperparts and neat white crescents along the wing distinguish it from the ubiquitous Mourning Dove. In flight, those subdued crescents become flashing white stripes worthy of the bird’s common name. Take a closer look and you’ll see a remarkably colorful face, with bright-orange eyes and blue “eye shadow.”

 To learn more about this lovely bird
visit this website. You can also
hear their calls on that site. Enjoy!
And oh! before I forget...thanks to everyone who visited and commented ever so nicely on my 2020 A to Z blog! Cheers and I hope you have a lovely and healthy year!

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Wednesday, April 29, 2020 Y is for Yellow Throat!

2020 A to Z Challenge!
Y is for the Yellow Warbler! 

North America has more than 50 species of warblers, but few combine brilliant color and easy viewing quite like the Yellow Warbler. In summer, the buttery yellow males sing their sweet whistled song from willows, wet thickets, and roadsides across almost all of North America. The females and immatures aren’t as bright, and lack the male’s rich chestnut streaking, but their overall warm yellow tones, unmarked faces, and prominent
 black eyes help pick them out. 

 Yellow Warblers eat mostly insects, so they don’t come to backyard feeders. Larger yards that have small trees or are near streams may provide nesting habitat for these birds.
To learn and hear more of these birds
go to this LINK
And do have a lovely day.
Thanks for visiting!

Monday, April 27, 2020

Tuesday April 28, 2020 X is for Xenus Cinereus!

2020 A to Z Challenge!
X is for Xenus Cinereus.
Also known as Terek Sandpiper.
In order to utilize the "Z"  I had 
to use this bird's scientific name !  

Unique smallish wader with stumpy bright orange legs and a noticeably upturned bill. Plumage gray overall with white belly, but in flight shows conspicuous white trailing edge to wings. Breeds in valley floodplains in tundra and taiga. In the non-breeding season, occurs singly or in flocks in varied wetland habitats, from fresh marshes to tidal mudflats, and often apart from other shorebirds. Feeds by dashing after insects and also by probing bill in mud, like a mini-godwit.
To learn and hear more about this bird
go to  this LINK! 

Enjoy exploring this birds world.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Monday April 27, 2020 W is for Woodpecker!

2020 A to Z Challenge!
W is for Woodpecker!
Hairy Woodpecker
 Information and Photo credit link

The larger of two look alikes, the Hairy Woodpecker is a small but powerful bird that forages along trunks and main branches of large trees. It wields a much longer bill than the Downy Woodpecker's almost thornlike bill. Hairy Woodpeckers have a somewhat soldierly look, with their erect, straight-backed posture on tree trunks and their cleanly striped heads. Look for them at backyard suet or sunflower feeders, and listen for them whinnying from woodlots, parks, and forests.

 Downy Woodpecker
Information and Photo credit link. 
If you go to this LINK
You will see our own personal experience
 with a California Acorn Woodpecker.  
These woodpeckers were my favorite
as they were so communal with each
other and "talked" back and forth.
Have a lovely day!

Friday, April 24, 2020

April 25, 2020 V is for Vulture!

2020 A to Z Challenge!
V is for Turkey Vulture
and Black Vulture! 

If you’ve gone looking for raptors on a clear day, your heart has probably leaped at the sight of a large, soaring bird in the distance– perhaps an eagle or osprey. But if it's soaring with its wings raised in a V and making wobbly circles, it's likely a Turkey Vulture. These birds ride thermals in the sky and use their keen sense of smell to find fresh carcasses. They are a consummate scavenger, cleaning up the countryside one bite of their sharply hooked bill at a time, and never mussing a feather on their bald heads.    

The most common time to see a Turkey Vulture is while driving, so look along the sides of highways and in the sky over open countryside. When hiking or traveling in hilly or mountainous areas, keep your eyes peeled for vultures.  Sudden changes in topography allow for updrafts that the birds use 
to carry them into the sky.  

Black Vulture

With sooty black plumage, a bare black head, and neat white stars under the wingtips, Black Vultures are almost dapper. Whereas Turkey Vultures are lanky birds with teetering flight, Black Vultures are compact birds with broad wings, short tails, and powerful wingbeats. The two species often associate: the Black Vulture makes up for its poor sense of smell by following Turkey Vultures to carcasses. Highly social birds with fierce family loyalty, Black Vultures share food with relatives, feeding young for months after they’ve fledged.
In the U.S., Black Vultures are outnumbered 
by their red-headed relatives, Turkey Vultures, 
but they have a huge range 
and are the most numerous vulture in the 
Western Hemisphere.   

Keep your eyes to the skies on warm days for Black Vultures soaring high up on thermals. Their broad, forward-canted wings, small head, and short tail give them a distinctive silhouette even if you can’t see any color. They also have a distinctive flight style, giving a few deep, rapid wingbeats and then snapping their wings out wide a little like a baseball umpire signaling “Safe.” In the morning while the air is still cool, look for flocks perched in roost trees or structures, where you may see them spreading their wings to catch the sun. 
You may also spot these vultures gathering at roadkill or around dumpsters.
For more information about either of these vultures go here.
Thanks for visiting and I hope to see
you tomorrow!
Enjoy your day and if you have time
please take a peek at my other blog:

Thursday, April 23, 2020

April 24, 2020 U is for Uria Aalge

2020 A to Z Challenge!
U is for Uria Aalge
(scientific name)
also known as the Common Murre
 Breeding adult

Common Murre are numerous, but vulnerable to oil spills and gill-netting. The North American Waterbird Conservation Plan estimates a population of 4,250,000 in North America, rates the species an 11 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score, and lists it as a Species of Moderate Concern. They are not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List. Pacific populations have declined and partially recovered, while Atlantic populations appear to be increasing.

Non-breeding adult/imature

Breeding adults
Be sure to click on the link as it
will lead you to more information plus
videos and sound tracks that are fascinating!
   Have a lovely day and I'll be back tomorrow
with more birds and information! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

April 23, 2020 T is for Turkey!

2020 A to Z Challenge!
T is for Wild Turkey!

Photo by Kathe Worsley
March 28, 2018
Most North American kids learn turkey identification early, by tracing outlines of their hands to make Thanksgiving cards. These big, spectacular birds are an increasingly common sight the rest of the year, too, as flocks stride around woods and clearings like miniature dinosaurs. Courting males puff themselves into feathery balls and fill the air with exuberant gobbling. The Wild Turkey’s popularity at the table led to a drastic decline in numbers, but they have recovered and now occur in every state except Alaska.

Photo by Kathe Worsley
March 28, 2018
To find Wild Turkeys it helps to get up early in the morning, when flocks of these large birds are often out foraging in clearings, field edges, and roadsides. Keep an eye out as you drive along forest edges, particularly forests with nut-bearing trees such as oak and hickory, and you may even see turkeys from your car. In spring and summer, listen for gobbling males; the calls are loud, distinctive, and they carry great distances. You’ll usually find turkeys on the ground, but don’t be surprised if you run across a group of turkeys flying high into their treetop roosts at the end of the day.

 Photo by Kathe Worsley
March 28, 2018

We lived for almost 7 years outside 
of Mt Shasta California. We lived on
10.5 acres on top of a hill with lots 
of California Black Oak trees,
amazing views of all the mountains,
not to forget all the wild animals
we were lucky to see.  I took all these
photos on this particular blog post 
plus this video I made in Spring of 2018.
Springtime is when the 
male Turkeys strut their stuff!
Enjoy! We sure did!


April 22, 2020 S is for Stork!

2020 A to Z Challenge!
S is for Wood Stork !

Large, white Wood Storks wade through southeastern swamps and wetlands. Although this stork doesn't bring babies, it is a good flier, soaring on thermals with neck and legs outstretched. This bald-headed wading bird stands just over 3 feet tall, towering above almost all other wetland birds. It slowly walks through wetlands with its long, hefty bill down in the water feeling for fish and crustaceans. This ungainly looking stork roosts and nests in colonies in trees above standing water.

Storks, mainly the White Stork of Europe, figure prominently in mythology. They are revered in Greek, Chinese, and European mythologies as good luck and harbingers of spring and birth. The association between storks and babies was popularized by Hans Christian Andersen's fable "The Storks," written in the nineteenth century featuring the White Stork of Europe.  

Wood Storks occur only in a few areas in the United States, so to get a look at one, head to a wetland preserve or wildlife area along the coast in Florida, South Carolina, or Georgia. Wood Storks tend to be busily foraging with their head down and body held horizontally, but their large size should help them stand out amongst the other pale herons, ibises, and egrets in wetlands even if you can't see their hefty bill. If they aren't foraging in areas with standing water, check nearby trees for groups of roosting Wood Storks, or look up in the sky for soaring birds with black-and-white wings. They are mostly silent, but during the breeding season, sounds of begging chicks might help you find a colony.
You can click on this LINK to listen! 
Or click HERE to learn more!
Enjoy and have a lovely day!

Monday, April 20, 2020

April 21, 2020 R is for Raven!

2020 A to Z Challenge!
R is for the Common Raven!

Adult Raven

Adult Raven
In flight, note wedge-shaped tail.

The intriguing Common Raven has accompanied people around the Northern Hemisphere for centuries, following their wagons, sleds, sleighs, and hunting parties in hopes of a quick meal. Ravens are among the smartest of all birds, gaining a reputation for solving ever more complicated problems invented by ever more creative scientists. These big, sooty birds thrive among humans and in the back of beyond, stretching across the sky on easy, flowing wingbeats and filling the empty spaces with an echoing croak.

Backyard Tips

You can attract ravens to your yard by leaving out large amounts of seed, grain, or pet food, or simply by not putting the top securely on your garbage can. These tactics might cause more trouble than they’re worth, though, attracting rodents and other pest animals or luring in ravens that may then raid nests in your yard. Find out more about what this bird likes to eat and what feeder is best by using the 
Project FeederWatch 

Look for ravens anywhere from the outskirts of towns (particularly landfills) to foothill forests or scrub, and out to the deep woods of mountains and national parks. If they’re around you’re likely to hear a deep gurgling croak from far overhead: look for a long-tailed black bird flying on long wings and easy, graceful wingbeats. When driving, keep an eye out for them on the roadsides, gathered at roadkill, or flying straight down the center line on the lookout. 

Juvenile common Raven

Enjoy your day and I hope to
see you tomorrow!

Sunday, April 19, 2020

April 20, 2020 Q is for Quail!

2020 A to Z Challenge !
 Q is for California Quail ! 
Photo credit to Cornell Lab of Ornithology
The California Quail is a handsome, round soccer ball of a bird with a rich gray breast, intricately scaled underparts, and a curious, forward-drooping head plume. Its stiffly accented Chi-ca-go call is a common sound of the chaparral and other brushy areas of California and the Northwest. Often seen scratching at the ground in large groups or dashing forward on blurred legs, California Quail are common but unobtrusive. They flush to cover if scared, so approach them gently.

Several California Quail broods may mix after hatching, and all the parents care for the young. Adults that raise young this way tend to live longer than adults that do not.
To hear and read more go here
And if you have time
please do visit my other blog
Thanks and have a happy and safe day!

Friday, April 17, 2020

Saturday April 18, 2020 P is for Penguin!

2020 A to Z Challenge!
P is for Penguin!
Photos were taken by me in 2008 while
touring Punta Arenas.

They just marched along the path.

And gathered together at the edge of the sea.

Penguins are a group of aquatic flightless birds. They live almost exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere, with only one species, the Galápagos penguin, found north of the equator. Highly adapted for life in the water, penguins have counter shaded dark and white plumage and flippers for swimming.  
Wikipedia provided this information.
Have a superb day! 

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Friday April 17, 2020 O is for Osprey!

2020 A to Z Challenge !
O is for Osprey !

Unique among North American raptors for its diet of live fish and ability to dive into water to catch them, Ospreys are common sights soaring over shorelines, patrolling waterways, and standing on their huge stick nests, white heads gleaming. These large, rangy hawks do well around humans and have rebounded in numbers following the ban on the pesticide DDT. Hunting Ospreys are a picture of concentration, diving with feet outstretched and yellow eyes sighting straight 
along their talons. 
Ospreys are excellent anglers. Over several studies, Ospreys caught fish on at least 1 in every 4 dives, with success rates sometimes as high as 70 percent. The average time they spent hunting before making a catch was about 12 minutes—something to think about next time you throw your line in the water.
The Osprey readily builds its nest on man made structures, such as telephone poles, channel markers, duck blinds, and nest platforms designed especially for it. Such platforms have become an important tool in reestablishing Ospreys in areas where they had disappeared. In some areas nests are placed almost exclusively on artificial structures.
Want to learn and hear more? Go here
Meanwhile, have a lovely day!
PS If you have time please visit my other blog
It's a Snap!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Thursday April 16,2020 N is for Nuthatch !

2020 A to Z Challenge !
N is for Red-breasted Nuthatch ! 

An intense bundle of energy at your feeder, Red-breasted Nuthatches are tiny, active birds of north woods and western mountains. These long-billed, short-tailed songbirds travel through tree canopies with chickadees, kinglets, and woodpeckers but stick to tree trunks and branches, where they search bark furrows for hidden insects. Their excitable yank-yank 
calls sound like tiny tin horns being 
honked in the treetops. 
The Red-breasted Nuthatch collects resin globules from coniferous trees and plasters them around the entrance of its nest hole. It may carry the resin in its bill or on pieces of bark that it uses as an applicator. The male puts the resin primarily around the outside of the hole while the female puts it around the inside. The resin may help to keep out predators or competitors. The nuthatch avoids the resin by diving directly through the hole.
To see and learn more go here!
Have a great day!
And for more entertainment
you can go to my other blog A Snap a Day.
Here's today's link:


Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Wednesday April 15, 2020 M is for Mallard

2020 A to Z Challenge !
M is for Mallard !

If someone at a park is feeding bread to ducks, chances are there are Mallards in the fray. Perhaps the most familiar of all ducks, Mallards occur throughout North America and Eurasia in ponds and parks as well as wilder wetlands and estuaries. The male’s gleaming green head, gray flanks, and black tail-curl arguably make it the most easily identified duck. Mallards have long been hunted for the table, and almost all domestic ducks 
come from this species. 

Photo credit to Cornell Lab of Ornithology

 Mallard pairs form long before the spring breeding season. Pairing takes place in the fall, but courtship can be seen all winter. 
Only the female incubates the eggs and takes care of the ducklings.
As always to hear and learn more 
please go to this link! Enjoy!
Profuse apologies for my not visiting anyone
yesterday, but we were celebrating our 
30th anniversary and just paid 
attention to each other! 
Today I will behave and visit all!