This is what our “bluebird” birdhouse looked like last year, the first year it was up. Things are more hopeful this year. Read on to check out the prospective occupants checking out their prospective digs.
I’ve been concerned about a couple of potential issues as the audience for USWildflowers.com grows, and while the jury is still out on the effectiveness, I hope they’ll be helped a bit by using a CDN – Content Distribution Network. I doubt this will interest most folks reading this journal, but I want to get it down “on paper” as a record of when and why.
The “Northern” in “Northern Mockingbird” (Mimus polyglottos) seems strange for a bird now found throughout the United States, especially since in the past the range did not include the northern part of the country. Turns out, however, that there is a cousin species, the Tropical Mockingbird (Mimus gilvus,) found from southern Mexico down into Brazil, so I assume that would be the “southern” mockingbird.
In any case, this bird, full of personality, is one of our year-round residents. This one was on a post at Reflection Riding Aboretum in Hamilton County, Tennessee on January 3 of this year, and appears to be enjoying a meal of an insect.
We took advantage of some beautiful but chilly weather the past two weekends with a couple of short trips down to The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain. The picture from yesterday is a pretty good status update: still winter.
Deptford Pink, a non-native, has been added to the USWildflowers database (02/12/2011.) Scientific name is Dianthus armeria. It is listed as an invasive species by some authorities. It’s also known by the common name Mountain Pink, although that common name (as happens often with common names) also applies to another species (Centaurium beyrichii.) Photo below was taken in Haywood County, NC on July 12, 2010.
Deptford Pink – Dianthus armeria
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius) on a snowy day in early January.
We were discussing at our house Wood Thrushes on Sunday, Jan 23, so when I saw this the next day I thought that it might be a Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina). When I checked one of our books for confirmation, I noticed that the area around the eye wasn’t right, and that this bird was a bit smaller than a Wood Thrush, and then the last straw – the Wood Thrush leaves the United States for winter. Fortunately right down the page was the listing for the Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus), which is a winter visitor to North Georgia, heading much further north (or to higher elevations in the Rocky Mountains) during the summers.