Bird brained stories!

Sunday, December 31, 2006

The usual suspects

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Pity the poor Black-Capped Chickadee, so common he's usually overlooked. Anyone reading state birdlistservs will rarely see posts proclaiming "Black-Capped Chickadee in Menasha!" No, that honor goes to the Slaty-Blacked Gull, subject of numerous posts in the past week on wisbird.

I have not been in a position to take a drive across the state to see for myself if this bird really is a Slaty-Backed or something else. As a general rule, I don't make it a habit of driving much beyond my local birding haunts anyway. Out of the area bird trips have to be combined with other activities that required me to travel. Had this bird made its appearance just a few days earlier, I could have justified the trip in combination with visits to my son at a medical facility near Menasha. It was not to be.

As a result, I am not likely to be one of those ardent birders out to try and catch one last bird for my list of 2006 today. With a nasty head cold, I'm finding my late 2006 birding confined to what can be seen outside my windows or while walking the dog around Lake Neshonoc. This time of year, that means what I get to see are those birds usually lumped into birding reports as "the usual suspects." The poor birds don't even garner a listing out of their names. In honor of all the "usual suspects," I will list them out by name. My proud late-2006 sightings!

Black-Capped Chickadee
American Tree Sparrow
House Finch
Blue Jay
American Crow
White-Breasted Nuthatch
Downy Woodpecker
Red-Bellied Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Cooper's Hawk
Red-Tailed Hawk
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

Along with my two cool sightings on the dog route--

Great Horned Owl--thank you, American Crows and Black-Capped Chickadees, for leading me to him!
Ruffed Grouse--thanks probably go to Loca, the dog, for her too-close approach.

Though my birding these last couple months has been sorely limited, I've enjoyed each encounter, whether it's with a magnificent owl or a jaunty little chickadee scolding me. Happy New Year!


  • Good to see you posting again, Gwyn. Wishing you health and peace in 2007 (c:

    By Blogger Amy, at 1:24 PM  

  • he may be common but he is quite adorable . . . glad you made his acquaintance . . . :D

    By Blogger doris, at 4:53 PM  

  • Most of your "usual suspects" are also what I call my "backyard regulars" and I love them all. They are like my every day friends, the kind that stick around when things are boring or fun or difficult or happy.

    Happy 2007-

    By Blogger Lynne, at 7:28 PM  

  • I do the same stick to my area's, now we have a black-backed woodpecker, snowy owl and I know of a place where there is a hawk owl...I just love birding.

    By Anonymous Jimmy, at 8:47 AM  

  • I've really missed reading your words.. and I'm glad you're managing to get out and enjoy those 'common' birds- they too have their own magic to share.
    I owe you an email which I'll try to get to later..
    sweet photo BTW :)

    By Anonymous Cindy, at 10:55 AM  

  • just like the chickadee, the oriental magpie robin is too common here in Malaysia and often overlook. i guessed we need to re-train our observation on common birds.

    anyway, good luck in your 2007 list.

    By Anonymous wengchun, at 9:24 AM  

  • I really enjoy this blog and hope to see lots more posts. I enjoy the little funny stories you put with each bird also. Cheers.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:45 PM  

  • They are beautiful. We see them at our feeder frequently.

    By Blogger knitsteel, at 5:40 AM  

  • I love chickadees, ubiquitous or not.

    By Blogger Barbara, at 7:43 PM  

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