May 23, 2008

Birding in Montana

These are a few of the birds I saw while I was home. Some I've seen before, but two were new to me.

This is the Western Meadowlark....the fields are full of them, and their song....its one of the most beautiful bird songs I've heard. They sing all day! This is Montana's state bird.

These are two ducks that flew by me at eye level. I was standing on a cliff about the creek looking for three snow geese I'd seen that morning. The geese were gone, but this pair was still around. I havn't identified them yet. They look like mallards, but several species of ducks have similar markings. I havn't looked at my book for them yet.

This is a Common Yellowthroat. My bird book said the only time you see them is when the male perches on the highest grass stalk and sings his mating song.....well.....apparently you also see him when he's hopping around in the grass by your bedroom window.

These are three little sparrows I snapped a shot of at sunset as I was stalking an owl perched in the tree across the yard. I'm not sure what kind of sparrow they are. I havn't looked them up yet. But I like the picture.

This is the owl I was stalking. I couldn't get a good shot of him because he was facing the sun. So I got him in shadow and I got a good picture of his front while he was watching me, but its from a distance and this copy is too small to see detail. He is a Long Eared Owl. He was really pretty. I got pretty close one night, but didn't have my camera. The next night he decided he didnt' like my hassling him, so he kept his distance.

This is a Yellow Warbler. There were several in my yard on Saturday and a couple of them were hunting in the grass beneath my bedroom window. In fact, they chased off the Common Yellowthroat you saw earlier. They were really pretty, especially when the sun hit them. Brilliant gold!

In addition to these, I saw several herons, a Rufous Sided Tohee (common in TN too), Mourning Doves, several species of sparrows, hawks, etc etc etc.

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