Birds of Edmonds, WA. 2020

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
My first time out in ages. I was getting cabin fever and asked my wife drive Daren and me down to the marsh on Valentine's Day (2-14-2020).

The herons paid no particular attention to me.

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Wesley, on the other hand, wondered where I had been.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thursday afternoon (2-20-2020, an interesting date number) I arrived at the marsh near sunset.

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The herons were taking off to roost in the trees on the south side of the marsh or the roofs of the boat ports at the marina. They cannot spend the night on the ground at the marsh due to coyotes.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
I hope recent improvements to my health will continue that will allow me to get back out to photograph. Wesley was glad to see me back at the marsh late Thursday afternoon (2-27-2020) and flew in for come closeups. Taken handheld with the 1DxII + 100-400L II telephoto zoom. Fairly sharp for 2000 ISO and cropped.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Tuesday morning (3-24-20) I hit the shelter-in-place trifecta with a pair of pileated woodpeckers, a pair of Douglas' squirrels, and a pair of varied thrushes in my back yard.

Monday my neighbor told my wife he had seen the pileateds in our back yard. I spotted them Tuesday morning hammering away on the habitat trees. These photos were taken through a window with the 1Dx II + 100-400L II telephoto zoom.

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Female

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Male

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
This was my first of the season and first of the year varied thrushes. I have not heard or seen them in my back yard like last year.

Female perched on the back fence.

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Male foraging for seeds that had fallen out of the bird feeders along with a spotted towhee and a Douglas' squirrel.

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Scroll down this page for more photos of the Douglas' squirrels.

 
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
A female flicker at my my ground seut feeder. Taken from my dining room Thursday (4-3-2020) looking through the glass of the sliding door. Flickers are usually very skittish and I did not want to scare it by opening the door and going out on to the back deck for a closer shot.

Taken handheld with the 1DxII + 100-400L II telephoto zoom. Not bad for an auto ISO setting of 4000.

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Terry O

Active Member
Tuesday morning (3-24-20) I hit the shelter-in-place trifecta with a pair of pileated woodpeckers, a pair of Douglas' squirrels, and a pair of varied thrushes in my back yard.

Monday my neighbor told my wife he had seen the pileateds in our back yard. I spotted them Tuesday morning hammering away on the habitat trees. These photos were taken through a window with the 1Dx II + 100-400L II telephoto zoom.

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Female

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Male

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Great shots, Bill!
 

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Friday (4-10-2020) was a warm, sunny day, so I had my son drag the "big" lens (600L telephoto) up to the back deck so we could sun ourselves and hopefully take some photos of backyard birds.

Juncos have taken over the feeders this year. I did get shots of a chestnut-backed chickadee, but missed on a red-breasted nuthatch.

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It took a bit of waiting, but more interesting birds finally showed up. A female pileated woodpecker landed on one of our Douglas firs. It was so close that I took this uncropped photo with the 1DxII + 100-400L II telephoto zoom. After calling for its mate to no avail, it flew into the backyards of my neighbors before returning to Pine Ridge Park.

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A pair of red-shafted northern flickers have been feeding at my suet feeders. I once read that they do not feed near their nests, so I guess my house is safe form them trying to burrow into the attic. I do wish they would try to nest in one of my habitat trees, but the trees may not be sheltered enough or too close to the suet feeders for their liking.

Female

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Male

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I always try to get a shot of a male's nape to look for a red chevron, the sign of a red-shafted/yellow-shafted intergrade bird. Over the years I have photographed several intergrade males in Edmonds, but only one yellow-shafted male.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Sunshine and warm temps returned Saturday afternoon (4-11-2020), so my son Daren and I returned to the back deck where we photographed some new birds.

Bewick's wren

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Pine siskin

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Spotted towhee

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Brown creeper

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A flock of band-tailed pigeons has roosted in my neighbor's tree for several years. I don't know what their diet is, but I have never seen them at my feeders.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
I planted myself on the back deck again Sunday (4-11-2020). I thought the backyard Douglas's squirrel was behaving strangely as it chirped and did not come down off the fence to forage for seeds beneath the bird feeders. Some time later I discovered what may have been the cause.

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Age old question: Cooper's hawk or sharp-shinned hawk? It looks like a juvenile as it still has yellowish eyes and vertical stripes on its neck. I am surprised I don't see more hawks in the backyard as my seed feeders attract both squirrels and birds.
 

Terry O

Active Member
I planted myself on the back deck again Sunday (4-11-2020). I thought the backyard Douglas's squirrel was behaving strangely as it chirped and did not come down off the fence to forage for seeds beneath the bird feeders. Some time later I discovered what may have been the cause.

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Age old question: Cooper's hawk or sharp-shinned hawk? It looks like a juvenile as it still has yellowish eyes and vertical stripes on its neck. I am surprised I don't see more hawks in the backyard as my seed feeders attract both squirrels and birds.
I'm pretty sure this is an immature Sharpie. I've managed to forget his name (worked at Paws) identified a very similar bird is photographed in our yard. The identifying feature he mentioned was the lack of feathers on his legs. Great shots, Bill.
 

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
A little about my back deck setup.
More is not necessarily better. After learning the hard way, I have decided against using a teleconverter with the 5DIII + 600L telephoto. I missed shots of squirrel skirmishes because the 600L + 1.4x TC (effective 820mm) got me too close. Sometimes I need a wider field of view to get everything in the shot or to follow fast moving critter action. I do keep the 1.4x and 2x TC's on a nearby table "just in case."

I think the Douglas's squirrels and some of the birds, like the pileated woodpeckers, are habituating to my presence. They have gotten close enough for full frame shots with the 1DxII + 100-400L II telephoto zoom, which I keep within arm's reach.

Now for shots from Monday afternoon (4-13-2020).

I heard a song that I did not recognize and tracked it down to a Bewick's wren perched on some shrubs.

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Juncos have taken over my backyard this year. One decided that the tops of my habitat trees offered a good view of the backyard. Not a really good place to perch if that hawk is still in the area.

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The male pileated woodpecker flew in over our heads to dine at the suet feeder. It provided an interesting contrast in size with a chestnut-backed chickadee.

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The pileated woodpecker is the largest bird to feed at the suet feeder and I believe bushtits are the smallest. Coincidentally, a pair of them came to the feeder after the pileated left. The female is the bird on the left with the spooky yellow eyes. Bushtits pair up for nesting season but travel in fast moving flocks during the winter, when I have seen what may have been twenty birds hit my suet feeder at once.

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The red-breasted nuthatch is another small bird that visits both the suet feeder and the seed feeders. If it picks a seed it doesn't like, it will flip it away like a Frisbee.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Tuesday afternoon (4-14-2020) on the back deck.

Not everything with wings is a bird.

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Two members of the flock of band-tailed pigeons that roost in my neighbor's trees.

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An evil minion of the Dark Lord stakes out my backyard from atop one of the habitat trees.

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A Bewick's wren at the suet feeder.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
More backyard birds from Wednesday afternoon (4-15-2020).

The Bewick's wren continues to make stops at the feeders.

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I wanted to get a shot with the 600L telephoto of the band-tailed pigeons that roost in the yard two neighbors to the north before the trees leaf out and I can no longer see them.

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The pair of bushtits were back. As time passes I'll have to keep an eye out for a nest.

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male

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
For several years I have been filling one of the seed feeders with safflower seeds. In the past I had to frequently refill the feeder, but this year it has hardly been touched. The answer to this mystery became apparent with the arrival of a lone male house finch.

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House finches were the dominant birds at my feeders in years past. They were the ones that were consuming the safflower seeds.

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For reasons unknown to me, house finches have been a no-show at the feeders going back to last year, hence no activity at the safflower seed feeder. Maybe this guy will tell his friends that their favorite food is still available in my backyard.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
My son was not home to help me set up the big lens, so Thursday (4-16-2020) afternoon I made do with the 1DxII + 100-400L II telephoto zoom.

A male flicker perched atop one of the habitat trees.

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A chestnut-backed chickadee somehow got tangled up in my neighbor's rhododendron bush. It worked itself free after a few minutes.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Monday afternoon (4-20-2020) on the back deck. Lots of photos today as it may be overcast and rainy the rest of the week.

My backyard neighbor's rhododendron bush is about to bloom. I'll try to get photos of birds among the flowers when it does.

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Members of the neighborhood flock of band-tailed pigeons on my neighbor's roof.

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Female bushtit

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Chestnut-backed chickadees are native to the PNW.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
A pair of red-breasted nuthatches was checking out my habitat trees. Nuthatches have a distinct call which enables me to know when they are in the area.

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Nuthatches are cavity nesters. I don't know if the holes in my habitat tree, made by piliated woodpeckers and flickers, are deep enough for them to use.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
A Bewick's wren was at my ground suet feeder, then flew up to the feeder containing safflower plus a few other seeds I had mixed in to encourage the birds to feed.

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I now know why the safflower feeder, which had remained untouched all winter, has suddenly needed frequent filling. Those white things in mid air are safflower seeds that the wren was shoveling out of the feeder.

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The wren finally found a seed to its liking and took off with it.

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The safflower seeds will not go to waste as they will be picked up by squirrels and juncos foraging beneath the feeders.
 
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