Tuesday, April 21, 2009

odd birds in Houston

We've seen some unfamiliar birds in the last few days in Houston. Possibly the huge storm that blew through here on Saturday has driven some off of their migration course.

On Sunday, I saw a Baltimore Oriole (Icterus Galbula) - the very first time I've ever sighted one here. What a cheerful, beautiful song they have! The photo that I took is completely lousy, so I'll have to use someone else's... from a fellow microstock photographer on Dreamstime, Watware.

This afternoon, DH called me all excited - the bluebird of happiness was in the backyard! Once again, the photos do no justice to the bird. But I was able to positively identify it as the Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides). He was clearly blown off course since they don't usually come near the Houston area. Here is a nice shot from another Dreamstime photographer, Peterll. I'm glad this little guy stopped by - he sure is cute.

The final surprise happened this evening as I was watering the garden. There was an unfamiliar shape high in the sycamore tree... and I realized it was grey/brown, and had a crest. A Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)! Several of them perched high in the dead branches, and then a mockingbird flew at them and they hustled off towards the neighbor's live oak. While not completely unknown in Houston, I haven't seen them for many years. Here is a nice shot from Stephencoyle, another Dreamstime photog.

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