Today we have a selection of photos from reader Richard Kleinknecht. His captions and IDs are indented, and you can enlarge his pictures by clicking on them. (Don’t forget to send in your own photos!)
All these photos save two were taken from the back deck of my current or previous house, each about 40 minutes east of Seattle in a wooded and rural setting. The odd photos were taken inside my house, looking towards the front while standing at my kitchen sink. The houses are a bit more than one mile from the beginning of the upward climb onto the western slope of the Cascade Mountain Range.
The term, grosbeak, refers to any bird with a large, strong beak and is not a term in the Linnean classification system. Birds with large beaks (grosbeaks) are included in the finch family (Fringillidae) and the cardinal family (Cardinalidae ). The next two photos are of birds from the finch family and show first a male then a female black headed grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus). They, too, are year-round residents.
The pond is seasonal, filling with rainwater/snow melt, then drying out from July-October. No fish are present but there is an abundance of frogs in springtime, which attract garter snakes and great blue herons (Ardea herodias).
The house finch (Haemorhous mexicanus), lives in the area year-round and is a frequent visitor to my feeders.
This male rose-breasted grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) from the Cardinal Family seems to be away from his usual environs, since sources identify the breeding range as mostly east of the Rocky Mountains but including much of Alberta, Canada. They migrate annually to Central America or northern South America, so the Western US is not on their migration path.
Steller’s jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) is often called a blue jay, which it is not, and it has a very loud and grating call.
Two female hairy woodpeckers, mom feeding her juvenile fledgling. I can’t believe I don’t have a photo of a downy! That will have to change.
The Oregon Dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis oreganus) is a year-round resident and quite plentiful.
The hummingbirds are either a female or immature male Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna). Mature males have an iridescent rose-pink throat patch.
Tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) nest in the bird house I built and installed just outside my kitchen window, and they have done so for all seven years the bird house has been there.