What is that Bird?
Special to the Journal by Roger Foote
Winter is fast approaching, the holidays are with us, and our local
birds are helping themselves at our feeders again. Every year I am
determined to identify those little critters, each and every one!
Sure I make some progress, but what of those tough ones that look so
similar, those little brown jobs hopping around under the feeder?
Yes, I know most are sparrows and surely those feeding above are
finches, but which species is each? I definitely need an expert!
Peregrine Audubon has those experts who can help bring us a step
closer to our goal on Thursday, December 7, 2006, at 7:00 p.m. in the
Ukiah City Council Chambers. That is when Bob Keiffer and Matthew
Matthiessen will point out distinguishing field marks of our Ukiah
area birds. Sparrows and finches, jays and blackbirds, ducks and
geese, as well as the raptors, the hawks and owls, will be discussed
and illustrated in living color (or at least in shades of winter
brown). Matthew has revised and expanded his beautiful slide
presentation from last December. His photos will allow us to learn
more about identification.
Bring your tough questions for the experts. What sparrows can I
expect in my back yard this winter? How do sparrows and finches
differ? Is it really possible to distinguish the house from the
purple finch? What are the hawks that I see in the valley? Anyone
interested in birdcalls? Bob and Matthew can help with that too.
Peregrine Audubon also offers help in the field. Beginners and
experienced birders can come to the December 7 meeting and sign up
with Bob Keiffer for our Christmas Bird Count (CBC), which takes
place on Saturday, December 16. Bob will match you with a group that
can best help take you that next step toward better bird biology. The
really avid begin before daybreak and in all kinds of weather. The
rest of us can participate for parts of the day or even count at home
if we live within the 15 mile diameter count circle (which includes
Ukiah). We meet after the CBC for a potluck dinner in the Grace
Hudson Museum Public Room on South Main Street. Bring a dish and your
eating utensils and join us at 6:00 p.m. By all means, contact Bob
Keiffer (744-1160) to get details.
Directions to the Ukiah City Council Chambers for the December 7
meeting and slide show: from Hwy 101: take Perkins St. east to North
State St.; turn left and head south; take the third right (Seminary
Ave) and go to the end.