So, I have a new patio set and grill, which has helped me to enjoy my backyard. The warm weather has also encouraged the hubby and I to open our windows at night. This getting back to nature has also brought to our attention a variety of feathered and furry critters.
In addition to the Grey Squirrel (the bird-feeder battle against whom you can read about in a previous blog post), we have this fellow, who obligingly showed up during last weekend's barbecue:
This is a Pileated Woodpecker. He flew in, landed on the neighbor's maple, and hammered away for a few minutes before taking off again. How nice of him to join us! :P
Then, last night, I heard a noise that I sleepily thought was my toddler in the next room. When I woke up, I discovered we had an owl hooting in the backyard. I listened to him hoo-hoo-hoo-rrrrr for about a half hour before he decided to take his business elsewhere. He did a pretty good job of shutting up the songbirds this morning - they must have been afraid to make a peep while he was about. I identified him as a Barred Owl this morning, using the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's "All About Birds" website. It includes pictures, natural histories and habitats, and samples of each bird's call. If you're a backyard birder, you owe it to yourself to check out this page. It won a Webby Award, and with good reason!
So, while I woke up extra early, courtesy of our feathered caller, it's been fun to garden and birdwatch, now that the weather's cooperating. Guess I have to start my own birdwatching list now!