A transplanted Southern Californian living in North Dakota Idaho, with some insights on life with deaf dogs, a gluten free spouse, and the occasional mischievous garden gnome. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Birds Have Returned

One of our favorite hobbies is watching birds, either here at the homestead or when we're on vacation. We aren't hardcore birding folk by any means (though we still vividly remember the Harlequin Duck we saw in Glacier National Park years ago), but anywhere we go we try to have a bird identification book, binoculars, and Alycia's iPhone with bird ID apps aplenty.

Back in North Dakota we had a plethora of birds visit the homestead. You can find old posts about cool birds we saw in North Dakota here, here, here, and here. There are probably even more bird posts, because uhhh we kinda like bird posts. Bird visitation was usually concentrated in Spring and Summer though and there were few year round inhabitants.

During our first several months at the new homestead in Boise, Idaho we'd noticed a real absence of birds, spotting a few common chickadees and nuthatches, but not much else. We're in an older neighborhood with lots of large, tall, densely planted trees. Hawks and raptors crying in the distance and circling way overhead are common. We were afraid that the presence of birds of prey would diminish the local small birds at our feeders. It took a few weeks of putting out feeders with nyjer/thistle, black oil sunflowers seeds, and suet before we finally had visitors.
Some small goldfinches started showing up, and after a few days they were numerous. These goldfinches are noticeably smaller than the American Goldfinches that were regulars in North Dakota. Alycia and I have settled on an ID of Lesser Goldfinches. Since it's still Winter, it will be a few more months before the males develop their bright yellow gold coloration. We'll be watching in anticipation for them to develop their summer plumage, and eagerly awaiting any other birds that stop by for a visit.

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