Winter has been bitterly cold here and after not going out for a few weeks I could not stand it anymore. Have made one trip out to the refuge to see if I could stay warm with some new boots and got the pic of the Great Horned Owl. The boots worked pretty well with heat packs in them. Took these pictures yesterday in my back yard. I need to practice for an upcoming trip. I have a camo drape that my Mother was kind enough to make for me. I sit on a little stool with the cloth draped over me. It is amazing how quickly the birds forget that you are there. There is quite a lot of drama in my backyard. I have a feeder set up for the small birds which they have been flocking to. We have at least two hawks that hunt the little birds on a regular basis. It is interesting to watch the hawks. They show up and the little birds all take refuge in bushes that the hawks are too large to get into. The little birds scold and chatter at the hawks from their hiding places. Yesterday this Coopers hawk landed on the fence and watched the birds for a bit allowing me to get photos of him. Then he flew at the bushes until all the birds flew out and he chased them. He was not successful this time but I have observed the Sharp-shinned Hawk eating a sparrow from my weeping cherry tree. Just wish they would snag the pigeons. I feel fortunate to have so much going on right out my back door!


Quail are among my favorite birds. I love their calls and that silly top knot feather they carry on their heads . I have quite a few visiting my yard this winter. They can’t get into my feeder but they wait patiently for the smaller birds to knock seeds down to them. From my tent blind I was able to take some decent photos of them yesterday.