Column: Rare and familiar birds outside window are welcome distractions

Column: Rare and familiar birds outside window are welcome distractions

I have expended a good deal of time seeking at the earth these days by means of raindrops on my office window.

It is not that I have very little much better to do, but the significant window ideal upcoming to my computer system desk is a constant distraction.

When I’m crafting, I have a backyard garden view that incorporates a hummingbird feeder suitable at the window and a seed basket about 15 toes absent previously mentioned a butterfly-pleasant lantana hedge. I need to give my spouse credit rating for insisting that we include oversized windows when we designed our home listed here on Mt. Hoo.

On the floor below the hedge is a shallow saucer that I continue to keep crammed with h2o as a result of a slender irrigation drip line.

There are no fences listed here on Mt. Hoo, so our indigenous wildlife neighbors are absolutely free to appear and go as they make sure you.

Relying on their nocturnal or diurnal schedules they slip out of the cover of close by chaparral to consume from the floor saucer, sip from nectar feeders, or peck at the seed offerings.

Some thing is generally taking place working day and night, but it’s the birds who attract my awareness most normally.

Quail are among the regular visitors at Mt. Hoo.

Quail are among the the standard people at Mt. Hoo.

(Ernie Cowan / For The San Diego Union-Tribune)

It is also why individuals will normally check with me what I’m wanting at throughout a Zoom meeting, or the purpose it at times normally takes me a pair of times to finish just one of my columns. So a great deal nature going on just outdoors the window.

In a way, my massive window features an extended sit-and-see journey, and the hours invested gazing exterior the past couple weeks have permitted me to satisfy some new friends.

There are always the common suspects. The Anna’s hummingbirds, dwelling finches, dove and quail coming by for h2o, nectar or seed all through the working day.

At evening, my trail digital camera frequently sees raccoons, opossums, coyotes or the occasional bobcat passing via or stopping for a drink.

Irrespective of the rainy days, the authentic enjoyment from my huge-window view of mother nature has been the arrival of the occasional or even the exceptional visitor.

Two of those people uncommon visitors confirmed up in the earlier 7 days.

Much has been prepared about the uncommon selection of American robins that have arrive in this article for the winter. Probably it’s the availability of food stuff, or the bitter winters to the north, but they have appear south to community gardens.

As I seemed out in between the raindrops, a gorgeous male robin landed on a stake. I marveled at the shiny purple breast, black head, yellow beak and exclusive white eye rings. He was happy on his perch, and I captured many pictures.

A spice finch visits a seed basket.

A spice finch visits a seed basket.

(Ernie Cowan / For The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Before, my awareness was drawn to the seed basket as I found a slightly distinct customer amongst the collected flock of regulars. Finding up my constantly-ready telephoto, I noticed a scaly-breasted munia, a indigenous of southern Asia, also known as a spice finch or nutmeg mannikin.

These are well-liked caged songbirds, but possibly escaped or had been released and have tailored effectively with recognized breeding populations in our indigenous grasslands and urban gardens throughout the United States.

A spotted towhee at the seed feeder.

A noticed towhee at the seed feeder.

(Ernie Cowan / For The San Diego Union-Tribune)

A several minutes later on, the flock of munia vanished in an explosion of feathers and seed but have been promptly replaced by a vibrant spotted towhee with jet black head and cape, white breast and rusty flanks.

These are 1 our most typical chaparral birds, but not regular people to the seed feeder. I guess even birds enjoy a luxury working day at Mt. Hoo Wildlife Vacation resort and Spa. He posed fantastically for photos.

This scrub jay is passionate about sunflower seeds.

This scrub jay is passionate about sunflower seeds.

(Ernie Cowan / For The San Diego Union-Tribune)

The fowl seed mix I use involves sunflower seeds, and next to nuts, the scrub jays are passionate about them. When this pugnacious hen reveals up, absolutely everyone else scatters.

Mr. Jay would sprint in quickly, snatch a beak full of seeds and fly away, his radiant blue colors flashing brilliantly, even in the uninteresting light-weight of a rainy working day.

A male roadrunner with red, white and blue breeding colors on the bare skin patch behind his eyes.

A male roadrunner with crimson, white and blue breeding hues on the bare pores and skin patch guiding his eyes.

(Ernie Cowan / For The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Our resident roadrunner also built a cameo appearance, wandering up the back garden walkway with an eye out for lizards, snakes, insects, snails and compact birds. This member of the cuckoo loved ones is not a seed eater, but usually hangs out close to my hummingbird feeders in hopes of snatching one particular out of the air.

I have designed it additional difficult for him to do this by hanging the nectar feeders a bit increased.

He might have also been wanting for a mate as he wandered by way of the garden, because he was all decked out in patriotic pink, white and blue breeding hues on the bare skin patch behind the eyes.

I think the roadrunner considers me a employees member listed here at the Mt. Hoo Wildlife Resort, now enabling me to get very near immediately after lots of encounters.

Alright, I actually will need to get this column concluded. I’m likely to pull the shade but just for a little bit.

I have traveled the environment to photograph wildlife, but some of my most interesting encounters have been sitting down correct listed here gazing out the huge window.

Cowan is a freelance columnist. Electronic mail [email protected] or take a look at