A conversation last year with a female friend about how promiscuous hummingbirds were, ended quite funny. Every time she sees one, she says "Oh look, there goes a "Little Fucker". And that's how they are referred to!
There's a bird up on the Icicle, the Swainson's Thrush, the song of which instantly transports me back to being a little boy wandering around through the forests and thickets around our house at the coast, above San Francisco, what seems like light-years ago. I could listen to this bird for hours on end.
Alex, I love the Swainson's thrush, too. I think of it as having an upwardly spiraling song, in contrast to its close relative the Veery, with a downwardly spiralling song.
Both have been eclipsed as my favorites since moving to Washington by the Varied Thrush. I love the single clear note on a different pitch every time it calls; it transports me to forests by a stream in the quiet hour just after dawn. http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Varied_Thrush/sounds
The pileated is a big (think crow sized) bird. The Red Breasted Sapsucker looks mostly black with a red head but no pronounced crest. They both have lighter breasts but you won't see that when viewing them from the back while the bird (not you) is clinging to the trunk of a tree. I see both of these birds every few days at this time of year at the edges of our yard.
Yesterday morning I watched the largest Pileated I've ever seen tear apart a stump in search of insects. They can really make the chips fly.
Hey Alex, thanks for the link to the Swainson's song.
I've always wondered what bird produced that song that I heard and enjoyed so often in the alpine areas while on a climb or backpack. Many's the morning I've awakened to that wonderful call and just listening to it here instantly draws me back to laying in the mummy bag in the tent or bivy sack, anticipating another new day in the mountains!
In-laws (Whitefish, MT) used to have western tanagers in their yard back in the 80's-early 90's, Stellar Jays, too, but they gradually headed someplace else. Magpies, which I never saw many of north of Kalispell, have moved in, as well as blue jays.
Since we're on the subject of birds, here's one for ya.
The stepson says just last week he saw 6 to 8 sparrow or finch-sized birds here in the central Kitsap area. The thing is, he says they were all a bright lime green color! I told him he had me stumped but later I checked both my Peterson's and Smithsonian's guides and the only birds that came close were kinglets or vireos. But they seem a very subdued green color mixed with darker plumage.
Outside of a big break-out from the bird department of Farmland Feed on Silverdale Way, anyone have an idea?
There have been a lot of reports lately of Red Crossbills in the area. The females are somewhat of a lime green color. They do come to feeders.
Maybe that's what he saw?
Also, check for female Goldfinches - a bit of lime color on them.
Ruby Crowned Kinglets can have a greenish cast to them, too. But they're smaller than most finches or sparrows.
There's also a flock of small parrots that roam around, usually north of Seattle. They've been around for years. Theory is that they're obviously escapees and that they must be able to find heat vents on rooftops to stay warm enough to survive N.W. winters. Other areas including San Francisco Bay area and surprisingly, Connecticut have large numbers of parrots that survive as well.