Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Birds of the Day: A Feathered Palette of Colors on the West Campus

Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)
A little bit of a different post today, because I couldn't settle for just one bird. I was walking the perimeter of the west campus this afternoon, and saw a palette of different bird colors. As I was going over the pictures, I realized they all had color as part of their names as well, so the bird of the day is a five-way tie. A colorful tie.

The first is a Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) that I've seen a couple of times in the last few days. It was perched on a telephone pole at the northeast edge of the campus.
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)
The White-crowned Sparrow  (Zonotrichia leucophrys) is a common visitor on the west campus, enough so I don't try as hard to get the "perfect" shot. But sometimes they just sit there waiting for me to take one.
Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana)

If it is red and white, then blue must be next. There have been dozens of Western Bluebirds (Sialia mexicana) on campus these last few days. They have been mostly around the cattle pastures, looking for bugs in the grass.
So...Purple or House Finch?
Here's where I show my general cluelessness with the most common of bird species. Is the bird above a House Finch, or a Purple Finch? I have House Finches at the feeders in my backyard all the time, and this one struck me as different. If it is a Purple, it is the first I've identified. If it's a house finch, then oh well, it's beautiful anyway.
Finally, there is a nice clear shot of a Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata) in the cow pasture. I caught a few pictures the other day at Chaw'se in the Sierra Nevada foothills, but the ones I got on campus were pretty fuzzy. I liked this one.

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