I was very surprised to discover a Red-winged Blackbird eating from the bird feeder in my backyard this weekend. It spooked when we went outside to watch it, but it came back soon after. My wife and I sat and watched it eat while the kids went crazy playing in the yard. I don’t know how common it is for a blackbird to eat from a feeder, but I’ve never seen it before, so I had to get some pictures to share.
It’s been pretty exciting to watch all the birds come to the feeder through the spring. Among the many House Sparrows that are year round residents in the neighborhood, I’ve also had several White-crowned Sparrows, many Robins, two pairs of House Finches, and (also surpisingly for me) a trio of Common Grackles. Of course there have been many other birds as well, but these are the repeat visitors…
Anyway, here are a few pictures of the Blackbird from the other day. Because of the patchy colors on the wing it appears that this bird is a juvenile (1st summer).
There are lots of large animals that are easily found in the Rocky Mountains (and the foothills). One of the most beautiful, and one of my personal favorites, is the Bighorn Sheep. These animals are usually very easy to find in the same places over and over again, and so I’ve been able to observe them many times.
I recently took a drive west of Calgary along a route that I had never taken before. In two different places along the highway (near Exshaw) I saw large herds of sheep shortly after passing warning signs for sheep in the area. It’s funny how often you can see warning signs for animals but then never actually see any of animals. That is definitely not the case with Bighorn Sheep!
Although there was one memorable time when I was gently reminded by a rather large sheep that they really are wild animals, they are generally very passive and aren’t very concerned by human interaction. These two herds almost completely ignored me and they barely bothered to glance up while continuing to eat their morning meal.