Identifying the Bird in Your Backyard
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19 August 2018
 
So, you look outside your window and see a bird you’ve never noticed before.

Wondering what it is, you head to Google to see what you can learn. That ends up being an exercise in frustration.

The problem is, if you are not an experienced bird-watcher, navigating through bird sites can be daunting and intimidating. All you want is to figure out what that bird is in your backyard. Or maybe identify the one foolishly building a next on the light fixture next to the front door. 

Perhaps you’re interested in finding out some of the characteristics of that bird. What does it like eating? Where does it like to hang out? Is it usual for it to be that aggressive? 

This isn’t your hobby or lifelong interest. You don’t have birding books, binoculars or super long lenses for your camera. You just want to know what that particular bird is. 

Well, you’re in luck. 

There’s a great website to help identify local birds in central and northern Arizona with a guide "...to help assist casual, novice or beginner backyard birders." It’s the Jay’s Bird Barn website’s Online Bird Guide! What's nice is that it is very understandable, gives interesting facts about the bird’s behavior, has clear photos of almost every bird and often includes a recording of the bird’s call.  

Banook Rodarte, an eNews reader, sent in the photo above of the Cooper’s Hawk chilling out in his birdbath. When we received the photo, we wanted to learn more about Cooper’s Hawks. Jay’s Bird Barn Online Guide to the rescue.

Looking up "Cooper’s Hawk," we verify its identity, and then find out that they are relatively common in this area, frequently seen in local parks and residential settings. 

 According to the Online Guide, Cooper’s Hawks love a diet of Gambel’s Quail and Mourning Dove. These birds can be kind of sneaky, or clever, depending on your perspective. As explained in the Guide, "Cooper’s Hawks are known to drive birds into large picture windows, then swoop down and pick up the either stunned or dead prey." 

If you’d like to hear what a Cooper’s Hawk sounds like, click here.

Thanks to Mr. Rodarte for sending in a great photo, and thanks to Jay’s Bird Barn for such an awesome resource the local community can use!

PS: Did you know that 2018 has been named the Year of the Bird?

 

 

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Lynne LaMaster

Lynne LaMaster is the Founder and Editor of the eNewsAZ Network of websites. She asks a lot of questions! In her spare time, she loves photography, cooking and hanging out with her family.