Wednesday, July 1

Birds Welcome July

I was so excited to see this black-billed magpie on a post today that I didn't notice it doesn't have the real long, greenish this a female? My bird book doesn't say...they're skittish so I was pleased to get an ok photo anyway. Near Nemo.

Am I being paranoid, or is this doe making a face at me?! Her tongue is sticking out a bit and she's scowling. Ok, ok, I'm moving on...

I found this red-naped sapsucker (or yellow-bellied? I can't tell the diff!) on one of my back roads I like to snoop around on in the N Black Hills. It was in a tree right by the opposite side of the road and tolerated my exiting my car to get a bit closer for photos.

A livestock road block on a back road in the N Hills... luckily the calves moved to let me pass.

I thought this to be a fledgling Western meadowlark, but not sure what it is, squawking hello to the world from its post. Just E of the NE Hills area.
Update 7/16: it's a grasshopper sparrow.

A red-winged blackbird too busy fluffing up his feathers to care about me creeping up alongside...also just outside of the NE Hills area. I saw more birds today, and more lovely things..will share more in the next few days.


  1. How nice to see a black billed magpie..a first for me!! Very pretty least from the back it is!! I also never saw a Western meadowlark..little guy isn't he, but he looks like he can belt out a song or two..
    It looks like you really had a great day!!
    left you several comments on prior posts,,hope you don't mind. :)

  2. the Red-naped Sapsucker. I've never seen one before. I've also never come across a small herd of cattle in the road. I think I would like seeing that! Very cool... Oh made me laugh. I think that doe is indeed sticking her tongue out at you. It must be a stage she's going through...

  3. Nice pictures again.
    That may be a young magpie,therefore the short tail, my field guides don't show difference between male and female that way. Maybe molting?
    I think the fledgling meadowlark is a vesper sparrow, the body shape and bill don't look right for meadowlark.
    Don't you hate those bovine roadblocks!

  4. Caroline, I think you're right...I found online that the female/male magpies look the same, so this one must be young...also you could be right about the fledging, the beak is curved...the meadowlark I heard singing must've been nearby; I did hear them a lot yesterday.

    Kelly, the cattle roadblock was a first for me too...we do have free-range cattle in a few spots in the Black Hills and I've seen them on the roadside but not IN the road. :o)

    Tina, the meadowlark may be mislabeled but we do have them all over the BH's and they're the easiest to photograph for me...the males are quite busy staking their territory w/ song. The magpies are hard to come by, they seem to have specific areas they prefer. I love getting comments, btw!