Common Redpoll

Common Redpolls frequent our area in the winter each year but seeing them seems a hit or miss proposition as they move around quite a bit. This winter we got lucky and had a few hanging around the neighborhood for a couple of days in a big mixed flock of finch species.

During winter, some Common Redpolls tunnel into the snow to stay warm during the night. Tunnels may be more than a foot long and 4 inches under the insulating snow.

Common Redpolls can survive temperatures of –65 degrees Fahrenheit. A study in Alaska found Redpolls put on about 31 percent more plumage by weight in November than they did in July.

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Common_Redpoll/overview

On the bull kelp

yellow_rumped_bull_kelp

A tiny Yellow Rumped Warbler found the bull kelp a perfect perch for hunting sand flies and other small insects on the beach. This girl would quickly dart down form the kelp to snag a small meal and quickly return to her perch. Seeing her sitting on the head of the bull kelp made us realize just how small she was. We watched a documentary about songbirds the other night called The Messenger. Here is a link to the website http://songbirdsos.com
It is a very timely reminder about what a world without song birds would be like.

Looking out – Looking in

On a recent very chilly morning while the rest of the house finches were visiting the feeders one very curious gentleman decided to take a minute and see what was going on inside the house. It was a short but nice chat, but given the quantity of seed a little bird needs to eat to keep warm at -10, he was quickly went back to his business at the feeder.

Where’s Hatchmo?

Well, we can all agree 2021 has been a strange and unordinary year in many respects and one event that has us scratching our heads and has just turned the strange-o-meter up to 11 is the absence of Hatchmo this winter.

As long as we can remember Red-Breasted Nuthatches have been a neighborhood fixture. Not just in winter but all year long. Their honking a constant reminder that someone is out there in the trees and their visits to the feeders in winter are sure to bring a smile to our faces when the sun is low and temperatures are cold. Perhaps they have all gotten together and moved south this year or perhaps they have just moved to the next valley over.

Whatever the reason it has left of scratching your heads, searching the web for explanations and feeling just a little lonely this winter.

So if you see Hatchmo tell them the feeders are full and it’s OK to come home.

Pelagic Cormorant

Watching, listening and right at home this Pelagic Cormorant enjoys a sunny winters afternoon.

Among the cormorants of North America’s Pacific Coast, the Pelagic is a small and slender species that flies with a thin, straight neck often compared to a broomstick. Breeding adults are black with glossy purple-green highlights. They have a coral-red throat patch and neat white patches on the flanks. They nest on coastal cliffs and forage in rocky water, rarely traveling far from shore despite their name. 

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Pelagic_Cormorant/overview