Bird Roll Call: February 18, 2018

  • American crow2
  • American goldfinch1
  • American robin1,2
  • American tree sparrow2
  • Belted kingfisher2
  • Blue jay1
  • Canada goose (overhead)1,2
  • Carolina wren (heard)1
  • Dark-eyed junco1,2
  • Downy woodpecker1,2
  • Eastern bluebird2
  • European starling1,2
  • Great horned owl (heard)1
  • Gull sp. (overhead)2
  • House finch1
  • House sparrow1
  • Mallard2
  • Mourning dove1,2
  • Northern cardinal1,2
  • Northern flicker (male and female)1
  • Pine siskin1
  • Red-bellied woodpecker1,2
  • Red-tailed hawk2,3
  • Snow goose (overhead)2
  • Tufted titmouse2
  • White-throated sparrow1
  • Yellow-bellied sapsucker2
  • Yellow-rumped warbler2

Robins played in the neighbor’s yard. The female northern flicker landed on another neighbor’s chimney cover. Two red-bellied woodpeckers scurried up yet another neighbor’s tree. In my yard, two mourning doves pumped their heads at one another in the silver maple. Later, my partner and I took our dog to Shawnee Mission Park. It was cold and windy. We saw eastern bluebirds and a male belted kingfisher.

Locations — in my backyard and at Shawnee Mission Park.

1. Seen at home
2. Seen at Shawnee Mission Park

Bird Roll Call: January 7, 2018

  • American crow
  • American goldfinch
  • American tree sparrow
  • Black-capped chickadee
  • Blue jay
  • Carolina wren
  • Cooper’s hawk
  • Dark-eyed junco
  • Downy woodpecker
  • Eastern bluebird
  • European starling
  • House finch
  • House sparrow
  • Mallard
  • Mourning dove
  • Northern cardinal
  • Northern flicker
  • Red-bellied woodpecker
  • Red-tailed hawk
  • Rock pigeon
  • Song sparrow
  • White-breasted nuthatch
  • White-throated sparrow
  • Yellow-rumped warbler

The Cooper’s hawk landed on my neighbor’s fence without fanfare just before 10 a.m. She was larger than when I first saw her last November. She had an angular head shaped like a rectilinear helmet, as if a sculptor began carving the head from marble but gave up before refining the head’s contours.

She looked like a Cooper’s hawk in all respects, especially when two squirrels approached hoping to use the fence railing to make their way back home. (The railing is their highway, or at least their main local road.) Displeased, she spread her wings in protest and revealed a large, fan-shaped tail with the classic Cooper’s hawk curve. She also had a bulky body shaped not unlike a wine bladder, which took on a comical effect as she leapt a few inches into the air with the grace of an undisciplined ballet dancer before returning to the railing.

After protesting several times, the hawk dropped over the other side of the fence like a lead fishing weight being thrown into a lake. The squirrels were able to resume their use of the railing.

Locations — in my backyard, at Shawnee Mission Park, and while driving to and from these locations.