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Birds on our farm
Birds II Birds III
Often raptors visit the farm to snack on mice, rabbits, or other birds. This Red-tailed Hawk finds a observation point on our raptor pole or windmill. We placed this raptor pole on the farm before we had trees.
Even with many of our trees having now grown to over 50 ft. high in the last 15 years, the pole is often used for a "birds eye" view of the farm. If you have a good location, then making a raptor pole maybe of interest.
After over 6 years and with the help of Rich Levad at the
GVAS, we placed two specially designed birdhouses in our
tress. We were happy to
have Kestrels, Flickers and others raise families over the past
On Saturday, we did finally see our first Western
Screech Owl looking out the box's
hole. The GVAS has place hundreds of boxes in the valley to help
this species. The Owl probably dines on mice that visit under
the bird feeders in the field nearby.
We will try to capture pictures
of our shy guest soon. After a windy spring storm in 2004 the owl decided to move. We have anchored this house better and constructed several other birdhouses to try again to have a resident Western Screech Owl.
Success, but only briefly for in February of 2005 the Screech Owl returned, but was scared away when a strong wind storm shook the losely anchored nesting box. Although we immediately stabilized the nesting box the owl has yet to return.
January 2008, the Western Screech Owl has returned to the box and has take shelter from a cold snowy winter in Colorado.
Each spring has brought many sightings. Sandhill Cranes, flying high over the farm, the babbling communication were heard as they returned north.
Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles add variety to outside chores.
This Golden Eagle returned to its old hunting ground after being absent previous years. Rabbits, ground squirrels and prairie dogs must be on its menu.
One of the more cold and snowy winters in recent memories brought
some added benefits.
The increased moisture was greatly appreciated
after the previous hot and dry summers and in mid January a flock
Bluebirds visited for several days.
During subzero days, the open water in our pond attracts much
wildlife. This may have encouraged a flock of Bluebirds to linger
for several days.
A Juvenile Lewis's Woodpecker waits its turn for a place at the feeder
A male Bullock's Oriole shyly eats and drinks and then quickly disappears.
Here a young Oriole demonstrates the technique of entering the flower from the bottom and flicking the blossom away so that a sweet snack is obtained.
Blue Herons are often seen flying over.
They occasionally fish along the Grand Valley Canal, but would rather try our pond to catch some fish.
These were photographed at Connected Lakes State Park about four miles south of the farm.
Here a Blue Heron drops by for some "Fish & Chips" at the farm's natural buffet. We have always been concerned about their dining habit so...
Patricia has grown a Japanese Koi from when it was barely an inch long to over 18 inches.This colorful fish is the king of our pond,but Patricia worries that it will become a fish dinner for the local Blue Herons so we bought a fake plastic Blue Heron to stand guard.The theory is that the highly territorial bird will not land if there is another one already there.Note the plastic Blue Heron in the red circle, but unfortunately you will also see a real Blue Heron in the blue circle.This Blue Heron does not subscribe to the Territorial Theory and is frustrated by the inattention of the plastic Blue Heron's cold shoulder response to his quest for a date.
A male Yellow-headed Blackbird watches over the bird feeder.
This Yellow-headed Blackbird decided to stay in Grand Junction for the winter of 2004/2005. He was observed on several occasions. He usually flocked with Red-winged Blackbirds - identity crisis?
A Mourning Dove either carefully gets a drink from the pond or just admires its reflection.
This photo of a Belted Kingfisher was caught just as it starts to dive into the pond for a "goldfish snack".
A pair of Northern Flickers come to the feeders for suet mostly during the fall, winter and spring.We have noticed that most birds respect their long powerful bills and give them extra space at the dinner table. Although they have the reputation of having difficulty defending their home sites from other birds, perhapshere this has been decreased by the numerous bird houses around the farm. For two winters the male Flicker lived in a wide spot of our bat house. Perhaps the warmth of the dark green bat house collected on the south wall of the barn was the reason for such an unusual residence. Finally in the summer of 2005 the Flickers moved into a more suitable residence after our owl moved out.
This Gambel's Quail has about 50+ other relatives in the coveys on the farm.
Field Work: Commit to survey one or more blocks (about 3.25 miles on a side) of each USGS 7.5' topographic map in the state.