Meet Sarah

Sarah is the bird here on the left. She is a sulfur crested cockatiel who routinely accompanies her people as they go about their days. She’s curious, gregarious, and quite ready to be the center of attention.

Sarah is 27 years old and according to her people she can live up to 60 years or more. Although she didn’t regale us with opinions we were told that she has a vocabulary and readily makes her needs and feelings known. Click here for more information on cockatiels.

Housing boom

Over the years we’ve added to the local bird housing stock. First a few. Now we’re up to ten little houses, including a couple of duplexes. Tree swallows are the tenants. We’ve numbered each house as we’ve watched for new families. This is unit six, this year’s most active property.

Birds perch on the tree branches we’ve attached to the posts. I like to think they’re enjoying the view.

Theme Day: Nature

Today’s Theme Day topic, Nature, is my favorite subject. For me it’s impossible to narrow down to a single photo. Or even a single concept. “Magnificence” comes to mind as it broadly encompasses the beauty of the natural world. Here, Washington’s Hoh Rainforest teems with so much life it’s hard to tell where water ends and forest begins.

And yet, in the moonscape desert of Death Valley in California the magnificence of time and elements never fails to evoke its own form of awe.

Nature’s creatures are another wonder. Who can ignore the wild majesty?

Great or small, Nature surrounds us with magnificence.

For other interpretations of today’s theme, click here.

Red-breasted sapsucker

A local friend heard this bird making a racket as it drummed on a wire fence at her house and shared several nice shots. Not surprisingly the drumming was part of a mating routine that’s undertaken by both males and females. Bang, bang, bang. “Hey, baby, what’s up?”

As best I can tell this is a red-breasted sapsucker. I tell you this not just to inform you but because I also find it one of those descriptive but amusing names. Maybe it comes with the territory if you beat your head on a wire fence to attract a mate. But then humans don’t always have very dignified rituals either.

Thank you for the photo, my dear local friend!

Other birds

Though I sadly missed shots of many smaller birds on my San Juan Islands excursion with Puget Sound Express last week, I didn’t miss them all. Cormorants posed on piers, driftwood, and rocks as we passed.

Occasionally they took flight.

I spied great blue herons now and then.

We saw lots and lots of rhinoceros auklets and even though these are small I have to post a tiny sample since these are such pretty specimens. Auklets are alcids, common residents here during spring and summer. They’re the chubby black birds with white markings in the center of the shot. There are shorebirds on either side of them, along with a duck. Auklets generally hang out in deep salt water and dive for fish.

Late note: I’ve incorrectly identified the rhinoceros auklets. These are in fact male harlequin ducks. My mistake. I’m certain they were correctly identified on our journey. My memory is at fault. For more details click on today’s comment section and see the comment from Paul from Powell River, a superb blogger and knowledgeable birder.