I swore I’d never become a bird watcher, and I still have no desire to travel around tallying up how many yellow-throated whatcha-ma-callits I’ve encountered. But I am interested in identifying the birds that pass through our yard, especially since we have several feeders now. I’m really bad at remembering which birds are which, so that’s why I started this page, which then grew into cataloging all the other animals that we find in our yard.
The birds are grouped and sorted by their taxonomic family.
Ardeidae – Egrets & Herons
(Ardea alba) – Great Egrets are seen often in the nearby fields, we rarely see them in our yard when they fly out of the creek or land in the trees on the bank.
Great Blue Heron(Ardea herodias) – I spotted one of these taking off from out of the creek bed. It’s a big bird. (spotted 7/7/2019)
Cardinalidae – Cardinals & Grosbeaks(Pheucticus melanocephalus) – We see these during the summer as they migrate south for the winter.
Fringillidae – Finches
Purple Finch(Carpodacus purpureus) – Why this is called a purple finch I don’t know. The male color ranges from a bright red to an orange red. The females are brown. They show up at the seed feeder en masse in spring, and we see a few scattered sightings year round.
American Goldfinch(Spinus tristis) – Of the two goldfinch species, this is the brighter yellow one.
Pine Siskin(Spinus pinus)
Icteridae – Blackbirds
Brewer’s Blackbird(Euphagus cyanocephalus) – These birds were never taught to not talk when their mouths are full. This male was chattering with a mouthful of caterpillars that he probably wanted to feed his young but he didn’t want to give away his nest location in my rose arbor. He was later joined by his mate, who had also been busy hunting, and she joined him in voicing their displeasure of my presence in the garden. The males are black with yellow eyes, while the females are dark grey/brown and have black eyes.(spotted 7/1/2019)
(Icterus bullockii) – We occasionally see these. I’ve only noticed males, the females look very different, but I don’t recall ever seeing them.
Passerellidae – Sparrows
Dark-eyed Junco(Junco hyemalis) – A constant year-round visitor to the seed feeder.
Tyrannidae – Fly Catchers
(Sayornis nigricans) – Males and females look alike.
Turdidae – Thrushes
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_robin) – I do believe turdus is an appropriate name for the robin.