Backyard birds of the week
This week’s birds are two more species that we can see in our Rio Rancho yards.
The first is the Lesser Goldfinch, which we can usually see during their mating season. I have seen them as early as February and as late as October!
This little bird is just a delight to watch as it fits about in the back yard. Their flight pattern is distinguishable, because they will give several quick flutters of their wings with very brief rests in between. And when the males fly, the white coloring is visible with each wing extension.
Their coloring is quite lovely, with the males displaying bright yellow bodies and black bands that extend from their head to the tips of their wings. The females are more muted, as usual, with a subtle yellow coloring across most of their head, body, and wings.
Lesser Goldfinches are usually spotted flying from flowering bushes, such as the Russian Sage, which they love to snack on every summer. They are also huge fans of thistle seed inside hanging thistle socks.
Their call is probably one of the most unique of the birdsong we hear in Rio Rancho. They sound like a very high-pitched laser. They also twitter to one another across the yard. They’re just a lovely little bird!
The other bird this week is called a Curve-Billed Thrasher. This unique-looking bird loves to nest in the middle of cholla. Their eggs are a soft blue-green with small brown speckles.
While the adult’s feathers are mostly a dull gray color, their eyes are an incredibly brilliant shade of yellow, or sometimes orange. And they are easily identified, as indicated by their name, by their slightly curved bill. They have a fairly long tail, as well.
These birds forage on the ground, under rocks and leaves, for bugs, larvae, seeds, and fruit. They also enjoy sipping water from a bird bath.
Curve-Billed Thrashers not the least bit shy about calling out with a “whit-wheet” right out in the open. They’re fun to listen to, as they can be quite loud!
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