Monday, April 27, 2015


In order to see the birds, it is necessary to become a part of the silence.
- Robert Lynd

Spring on the prairies is full of birds. There's lots of water around so there are lots of ducks and geese and swans. Robins are everywhere. The hawks are returning. Sky colored mountain bluebirds are busy building their nests. Meadowlarks tilt their heads back, show off their sunny yellow breasts, and sing their hearts out.

I stopped for coffee at the Cypress Hills Resort and sat by the window. The suet filled bird feeder hanging outside the window was soon visited by a female downy woodpecker. After a bit she left and a red capped male arrived, presumably her mate? The waitress told me the woodpeckers had made a nuisance of themselves hammering on the building so they put up the feeder to distract them. It seems to have worked.

The other day walking into Innovation Place I had heard the sound of hammering on metal. I wasn't sure if it was workmen or a woodpecker. There was a metal light post nearby but I couldn't see any birds. I continued walking and the hammering sounded again, close by. I looked back and a woodpecker (flicker?) was perched on top of the metal reflector on top of the light post. I watched as it vigorously hammered at the metal. Woodpeckers sometimes hammer to defend territory, but I think this one was attracting a mate since another woodpecker soon arrived and they left together :-)

red-tailed hawk

mountain bluebird (female)

mountain bluebird (male)

western meadowlark

See all 7 photos as a slideshow or overview

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