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Friday, December 10, 2010

Front Porch Birds

Yesterday I was pleasantly surprised to find yet another new species visiting our feeders on the front porch: a hairy woodpecker. The downy woodpecker continues to be an occasional visitor, but even though they share similar coloration there's no mistaking the size of this hairy:


The above photo isn't the best: it was taken through our sliding glass door and into the sunlight. But for as poor as the photo conditions were yesterday, they were "picture perfect" early this afternoon, just when a double-crested cormorant swam within a few feet of our houseboat. I see this species regularly from the front porch, but either out in the channel beyond the marina or flying to one of their perch trees a little ways down the shoreline. (Check out this post from nearly two years ago for an audio clip from when I was trying to figure out what in the world I was hearing late at night - it ended up being these roosting double-crested cormorants!) It's rare to see them fishing right in and among the boats of the marina, but that's what this one was doing today! Look at those water droplets on its back:


It's not until you see a bird like this up close that you realize what a beautiful species they are. The pale yellow bill, the orange throat pouch, the emerald eye, and the fine brown downy feathers on the head:


3 comments:

Vera said...

Super cormorant pictures!

Warren Baker said...

Thats why we love the birds Monika - they just turn up anywhere :-)

Ivan Phillipsen said...

I just put up my first suet bird feeder. I'm hoping to lure back the downy woodpeckers I saw a couple months ago. And I agree that cormorants are surprisingly pretty up close. I watched a recent video from Oregon Public Broadcasting about cormorants and I was impressed by their coloration.