Two Elusive Birds, and One Not

A short post of three pictures I’ve been wanting to post for a week.

The first two birds are rather elusive. Sometimes I see them on my walks, but most of the time I don’t. Perhaps it’s the rarity of seeing them that brings me pleasure.

The first is an old friend that a number of you have seen over the past year or two. Only, the Barred Owl hasn’t been on it’s familiar roost for a few weeks. About a week ago I walked past the spot; no owl (that was expected). Then, a little further on, I looked to my left and there it was, among some Carolina Jasmine. With all the twigs and vines there was no clear shot, but the image gives a sense of how sheltered it was.

The second is a Hermit Thrush. They spend most of their time low down in the undergrowth. However, unlike other ground foragers, such as thrashers and towhees—which are quite noisy in scratching and calling, the Hermit Thrush is quiet and discreet about it. Sometimes I only notice them when I glimpse a fast movement near the ground.

The Hermit Thrushes were quite busy last Sunday. I saw at least two; this one was near the south bridge, the other was around the north bridge. Or maybe it was the same thrush, but moving around and keeping pace with me.

Finally, the not-so-elusive bird: the Green Heron. As I’ve written before, at some point in March, the Green Herons return to the pond. This bird was the year’s first explorer. A few days later, there were three of them. Today, it was hard to keep track, but I believe I saw at least five.

We will see the herons from now until late August flying from here to there around the pond or sitting (surprisingly high up) in the trees. They’ll be busy raising two or perhaps three clutches of young.

We will also be hearing them. The Green Heron has two unusual vocalizations: a strange swallowed “skeeow” or, when nervous, an odd “kuk-kuk-kuk-kuk-kuk” call.

Click on the images to see them at a higher magnification.

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2 thoughts on “Two Elusive Birds, and One Not

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