It was quite birdy this morning!  Although Larry, Moe, and Curly (the three squirrels) brought along a friend (Shemp, perhaps?) for their now-daily assault on the feeders, there were still a lot of birds waiting around in the crabapple tree and up on the power lines for their turn.  Unfortunately, squirrels don’t know how to share (even with their own kind), and so there was more squirrel feeding going on than actual bird feeding.  Surprisingly, later on a European Starling appeared at the feeder tray while the Mourning Doves were having a go.  I think this may be the first time at the new house that I’ve seen one at the feeders.

The two highlights for the morning, though, didn’t happen at the feeder.  The first one occurred as I was preparing to leave for work.  I took one last look out the kitchen window and my jaw dropped as a Great Blue Heron flew low not far above the roof lines across the alley and then over the house.  Perhaps it was heading for Lake Montebello?  Although I haven’t been over there recently, and it may be frozen over.  Not much other open water nearby.  But it’s always a good sign when my spirit bird appears.  And a new yard bird, as well!

The second highlight happened during my morning commute.  Today was the first day I biked to work after the double blizzard.  As a result, I had to alter some sections of my route due to traffic congestion and ice-covered roads.  Inconvenient as it may have been, I was unexpectedly rewarded when I turned onto one road and heard the “kee-aah, kee-aah” of a Red-Shouldered Hawk.  It was so loud that I just about fell off my bike!  I navigated through some snow onto the side of the road and had some good looks at this noble bird as it surveyed the urban landscape from its perch high up in a tree.  I wonder if it was the same one I saw on Sunday, soaring above the neighborhood?

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