Wilson Post Blogs
Our Feathered Friends - Feb. 8
Well, I’m sure all of you enjoyed last week’s article from Ray as much as I did. He always weaves colorful stories and memories into his writing. I guess I just don’t have as much to pull from, seeing as I am a “few years” younger than Ray! (Don’t worry, Ray, I won’t give away your age!)
I mentioned in my last article about my birding trip with Ray and how we saw a beautiful flock of Cedar Waxwings. I’ve decided to mention a little more about them because they are truly unique and lovely birds. They have a cinnamon colored body with a small crest on their heads (like the cardinal). They also have what I like to refer to as a raccoon mask. The outer wing feathers and tail feathers have a more prominent black tent to them and it looks as though the tips of their tails have been dipped in yellow paint.
Over in the Smoky Mountains they can be a year-round resident, but they are only in Middle Tennessee for the winter…and many times just passing through. They spend their summers in the far northern states as well as Canada. In the summer they will break apart to mate and raise their young, but in the winter they will be found in flocks.
If you see a flock be sure to look carefully because my husband and I had a huge flock in our cedar trees about eight years ago and noticed that one looked “different.” After grabbing my bird book we realized there was a Bohemian Waxwing in the group. Although very similar in overall appearance, the Bohemian has a more vibrant coloring scheme with additional red and white on his head, wings and tail. They are generally found in the northwest upwards to Alaska, but can occasionally get mixed up with the wrong flock and provide a nice little surprise!
Tammye Whitaker contacted Ray this week to let him know she has seen the return of a Great Horned Owl to her property that she has not seen in a few years. Her family has been anxiously awaiting her return, and they are very excited to have spotted her. They are hoping she will fill her nest with some little ones and give us all a treat!
Roy Garr of Garr’s Feed & Rental met with me this week to discuss his “Donate A House” program he is trying to jumpstart. Purple Martin houses need to be cleaned out on a regular basis to prevent Starlings and House Sparrows from taking up permanent residence. If you are not interested in your house or unable to care for it we would love for you to donate it. Some of the local state parks and schools are interested in taking on these houses with the assistance of Boy Scout troops from the area to aid in maintenance and care.