Sunday, February 28, 2010

Strange Backyard Birds

Baby Green Heron

Turkey Vulture

Great Blue Heron. He ate all the neighbors gold fish, not once but several times. The neighbor finally gave up trying to have a gold fish pond.

Most of the time these birds don't land in your backyard but all these did.

Cooper's Hawk

This is Gary, the Cooper's hawk. He comes to our backyard for little birds and yes he finds them. That is Nature's way.

The American Kestrels

Calvin is the male Kestrel. Notice his blueish grey wings.

Caleigh is the female. Notice her wings are the same color as her body.

We always know Calvin since he has one toe that turns up.

Caleigh brings home an insect.

These are the Kestrels that have nested and raised their young in our backyard. What is so interesting about the Kestrels are they develop real personalities.

The Western Bluebird

These are some of the photos taken of Western Bluebirds in our backyard. They have raise several broods of little ones. They use the same Bluebird house every year.

Western Kingbird

This a Western Kingbird.

California Hummingbirds

Mother hummingbird still feeding the fledling a week after they had left the nest.

This is a female Anna's Hummingbird.

This a Black-chinned.

This is an Allen's Hummingbird. We only see a couple of these each summer. They are often confused with the Rufous Hummingbird. The Allen's has green on its upper back,which is rarely seen on a Rufous.

All these hummingbirds were photographed in our backyard using high speed flash.

Great Horned Owl

This is a Great Horned Owl photographed at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum as part of the "Free Flight Program."

Roark, The Red-shouldered Hawk

This is Roark, the Red-shouldered Hawk that visits our backyard almost every morning looking for and finding grubs to eat. He has decided our backyard is the perfect place to have breakfast.

The Owl Box

The owl box is located in our backyard in San Marcos, CA and is 15 feet off the ground. She appears to be a first time mom. The owl is about 14 inches tall. She laid her first egg on February 13th. We are expecting owlets around mid to late March. Incubation is 30 to 34 days. owlets will hatch in order laid. Not all at one time like chickens.

The male has a white chest and face. He usually shows up after dark but has spent an entire day with the female. We have named the female Molly and the male McGee. The Barn Owl is widespread but usually a scarce species. They are strictly nocturnal and rarely observed in flight during daylight hours.

The owl house is located on a 15 foot pole and there is a tree just outside the opening. The box has been up for two years and it took two years before the owls showed up. No other birds have tried to nest in the box. We have a very eco-friendly backyard; we live on an acre lot with lots of trees and plants for wildlife. We have had kestrels, bluebirds, hummingbirds, phoebes, wild ducks, killdeer and mockingbirds all nest and raise their young in our habitat. We do not have any cats or dogs to disturb the wildlife. This is our first owl to nest here. We have identified 58 different birds in our yard.

Female: 13 to 16 inches tall. Wingspan 43 inches
Male: 12 to 15 inches tall. Wingspan 42 inches

McGee the World Famous Barn Owl

This McGee, the world famous male barn owl.

Molly The World Famous Female Barn Owl

This is Molly the world famous female barn owl roosting on the perch outside her house. She has been on Ustream since February 15, 2010 and has had 33,000 views.

These are the dates she laid her eggs and the estimated hatch dates. Owl eggs hatch one at a time and approximately 30 to 34 days after being laid.

Egg 1 2/13/10 12:15 PM Est. Hatch 3/14-17/10
Egg 2 2/16/10 07:23 AM Est. Hatch 3/16-20/10
Egg 3 2/18/10 09:13 AM Est. Hatch 3/18-22/10
Egg 4 2/20/10 11:07 AM Est. Hatch 3/20-24/10
Egg 5 2/22/10 02:00 PM Est. Hatch 3/22-26/10
Egg 6 2/25/10 09:35 AM Est. Hatch 3/25-29/10