Saturday, March 23, 2013

Mistaken Identities... The Beginning of Spring!

Now that it is officially spring, I'm eager to get out and about, but it is still too cold and breezy to be outside for more than a few minutes. So car birding it is for me, until that weather warms up. Since I had such good luck in Deer Park on Enoch Rd., I headed back there today to see if I could get some more birds in.

The first bird I saw after I turned off the busy highway was a small rusty-breasted bird with a dark body sitting on a phone wire. I snapped a quick pic, thinking it was a Barn Swallow. But after looking at the shot on the computer, it didn't look quite right for a swallow. With the rusty belly, and a grayish, blue tone back, and a notched tail, I knew right where I wanted to check next in my Stokes guides. Sure enough, I had mistaken the identity and had actually captured a Western Bluebird. Makes me happy because I haven't seen one since 2004. So almost 10 years ago. Nice to put one on my 2013 list.
Western Bluebird
As usual, I saw lots of Red-tailed Hawks.
Red-tailed Hawk
Thought I saw a Bald Eagle, in the same area where I saw two Bald Eagles last week (the one in the photo-merge pic from my last post). I was thinking maybe it was a juvenile eagle who's white head had not quite come in all the way. There were two of the large birds out in the field close to each other, both looked like they were in different stages of molt or different ages. Wasn't sure if they were Bald Eagles or Red-tailed Hawks. It looked like too much white on the chest for a Bald Eagle when I looked through the binoculars. So I took several pictures, and when I got home, I enlarged the pics on my huge 23" screen computer. Consulted my old Stokes Field Guide to Birds Western Region (1996) and my new Stokes Field Guide to Birds of North America (2010).  Did some research online and determined they were neither Bald Eagles or Red-tailed Hawks.

Finally, I came to the conclusion that they were indeed hawks...

Of the Rough-legged variety (with feathers on their legs).

Rough-legged Hawk... a new life bird for me #101.

Of course spring means lots of American Robins.
American Robin
Also, new for this year, were a dozen Killdeer out in the field hanging near some European Starlings. They were too far off for pictures, so I had to use the binoculars and could still barely see them. They are such cute little birds and their sweet little faces that stood out even in the distance. A fun fact about Killdeer is the parents will fake a broken wing and start chirping real loud to distract predators from it's nest. It's a hoot to see!

These sweet little bunnies were busy getting ready for the big Easter weekend coming soon...

Best of all, I didn't even get a hint of car sickness wearing my motion sickness bands! I feel like Super Bird Woman with them on!

Oh yeah, forgot to mention that Bird Lady Assistant (hubby) is taking me to the Big Horn Show this weekend to see the Birds of Prey Exhibit! They showed a one-eyed Barn Owl named One-eyed Willy on the news today. I'm excited to go and hope to get some close-up pictures of some cool Birds of Prey! Stay tuned...

~ Sherrie (Super Bird Woman)


  1. Wow, love all the Hawks and the pretty bluebird. The Western Bluebird is one missing from my list. have a great time at the Birds of Prey Exhibit, I hope to see some photos. Happy Weekend!

    1. Thank you Eileen. It's nice to see a new type of hawk. Tricky I.D. You probably haven't seen a Western Bluebird because they are only on the west side of the U.S. Maybe a Eastern Bluebird is in your area?

      Off to the Birds of Prey show soon :O)

  2. It is always wonderful to ID a new bird, congrats on the Rough-legged Hawks!

    1. I love getting a new life bird to add to my list! Happy to be in the triple digits now! 100+ life birds! Exciting for me, but an avid bird watcher FB friend of mine has over 100 species for just this month!

      Thanks for stopping by Bird Lady Blog Mia! I enjoy your blog.