Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Christmas Treats

Yesterday I saw a flash of golden yellow feathers as a large bird flew at and then immediately away from a suet feeder. With only a brief glimpse I had an impression that this was a Northern Flicker. But it couldn't be at this time of year. Or could it? Later I saw the same bird drinking from my heated bird bath. It definitely was a Northern "Yellow-Shafted" Flicker (Colaptes auratus). I have never seen one here in the winter before.

A Northern Flicker was drinking from my heated bird bath on Christmas Day.

And the avian surprises didn't end there. At dusk an Eastern Screech Owl calmly looked out from a roost box entrance. I had been watching for the usual winter visit from this little owl for weeks and was beginning to worry that something untoward had happened. So glad to see it's stern looking wee face again.

Late on Christmas Day, an Eastern Screech owl appeared from one of my roost boxes.

These bluejays will soon be screaming their owl alarms.

While clearing snow from my driveway I noticed rabbit tracks leading into a hole in a brush pile. All summer I had wondered if this little opening was an animal den and now I know. The cotton-tail rabbit that is almost a lawn fixture has been sheltering here all along.

Fresh rabbit tracks lead directly into a hole in a brush pile.

My resident cottontail rabbit munching sunflower seeds.