On the pond

A nice assortment of ducks graced the pond one recent afternoon. All just passing through and very temporary visitors staying just long enough to rest-up and grab a meal on their journey south. Lesser Scaups (both males and females) Red-headed ducks and Buffleheads were present and enjoying a nice afternoon of filtered winter sunlight.

Short day-Long Shadows

There’s no escaping and no mistaking this time of year. Early December, high noon, without a cloud in the sky, yet the sun casts long shadows upon a male Red-winged Blackbird with wing-bar colors faded to only a pale yellow. Short days and long shadows. A calendar and perhaps a metaphor.

Big Bird

It’s amazing that with just a few quick footsteps this big bird can seemingly disappear into their surroundings. A Sandhill crane with feathers matching their environment hunts for a meal in the dried reeds and cattails in an ever shrinking wetland. It’s a true testament to survival with these creatures when this years wetlands become next years strip-mall.

House Sparrow

It’s always nice to find a House Sparrow away from the house so to speak. Perched in the dried cattails and with all those shades of brown and rusty reds they just seem to look more at home.

The House Sparrow was introduced into Brooklyn, New York, in 1851. By 1900 it had spread to the Rocky Mountains. Two more introductions in the early 1870s, in San Francisco and Salt Lake City, aided the bird’s spread throughout the West. House Sparrows are now common across all of North America except Alaska and far northern Canada.