Better Birds Desired

Lewis’s woodpecker (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

6 October 2021

In early October it’s easy to find pigeons, red-bellied woodpeckers, northern flickers, blue jays and chickadees in Pittsburgh. Ho hum! I wish for better birds.

At Jackson Lake in Los Angeles County, California last Sunday, there were similar but more interesting species. Here’s a sampling from Ted Keyel’s eBird checklist.

Instead of rock pigeons there were band-tailed pigeons (Patagioenas fasciata), North America’s largest wild pigeon.

Band-tailed pigeons in southern California (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Instead of red-bellied woodpeckers (Melanerpes carolinus) there were two other Melanerpes. A flock of 40-60 migrating Lewis’s woodpeckers (Melanerpes lewis) …

Lewis’s woodpecker from the Crossley ID Guide via Wikimedia Commons

… and six acorn woodpeckers (Melanerpes formicivorus).

Acorn woodpecker (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

We have northern flickers in Pittsburgh but they are yellow-shafted (click here to see). In California northern flickers (Colaptes auratus) are red-shafted. Wow!

Northern flicker, red-shafted (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Instead of blue jays California has Steller’s jays (Cyanocitta stelleri).

Steller’s jay (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

And instead of black-capped or Carolina chickadees they have mountain chickadees (Poecile gambeli).

Mountain chickadee (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

These are much better birds!

Note: Ted posted photos on his checklist but I do not yet have permission to use them so these are from Wikimedia Commons. Click here to see Ted’s photos.

(photos from Wikimedia Commons; click on the captions to see the originals)

5 thoughts on “Better Birds Desired

  1. Hi Kate, my neighbor and I were so excited to see a pair of black-throated blue warblers yesterday at the suet feeder. Just passing through I guess. Your photographs are beautiful.

    1. Thanks, Colleen. Yesterday’s photos were mine but I the bird photos are never mine. Today’s are from Wikimedia Commons.

  2. Beautiful. Thank you for the California post. 🙂 I volunteer at a Sierra wildlife center in the spring during nesting season and when we get a few chickadees in at a time, they all line up on a branch and are so cute with their little bandit faces! On the other hand, the Steller’s jays are super obnoxious and loud, as jays are I guess. The blue mohawks are very cool though.

  3. Sigh. But I miss Cardinals.
    Don’t take any of the birds for granted. In SoCal we also have sea birds covered in oil.

  4. Don’t forget we had a Stellar’s Sea Eagle in the Pittsburgh North area, if you knew where to look! Hard to spot one of those on the loose & in the wild. Can’t get much better than that!

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