Monday, August 16, 2010

Winter on my Mind

I just got back from a week-long trip to western Montana to visit my relatives, see as many birds as I could, and temporarily escape the August central Texas heat. (I posted some photos from my trip here.) One of the things I love about birding in Montana in the summer is getting to see some familiar birds that we only see in the neighborhood during the winter. Some of these are Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Yellow-rumped Warblers, American Goldfinches, Vesper Sparrows, Lincoln's Sparrows, Song Sparrows, and Dark-eyed Juncos. Here's a photo I took of a Dark-eyed Junco in our neighborhood in late January, 2009:

Dark-eyed Junco

And here's one I found in Montana last week, eating a grasshopper:

Dark-eyed Junco eating Grasshopper - 1

I think the ones we get in Austin are a subspecies called "Slate-colored" while the Montana birds are a subspecies called "Oregon".

Despite the hot temperatures, birds are already headed south. I hope to get back out into the neighborhood this weekend and see what I can find!

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