ARTISTS AND BIRDS

green
Western Scrub Jays

        The storm has cleared. The few brief days of snow, cold, and gloomy skies has past. Today the sky is a lovely blue with puffy white clouds and a magical wind stirring the last few leaves. It’s the Christmas season in southern Utah and time to decorate for the holidays. In my yard I see live Christmas ornaments arriving. They are birds dressed in a variety of colored feathers. There are single birds, groups of birds, and flocks of birds. Birds that swirl through the skies and then drop to the trees or alight in the pasture. Meadowlarks, Starlings, Juncos, White Crowns, Pipit’s, Red wings, Finches . . . all tiny creatures of God that come in winter to brighten our lives. December is a great month to enjoy live Christmas ornaments. All it takes is bird seed and a protected area for birds to stop by to dine.

        A few days ago my honey and I made a trip to Zion. We never tire of driving through the canyons. When there is snow on the ground and on the trees it becomes a winter wonderland. We stopped by the Checkerboard Mesa viewing area to rest and stretch our legs. This was a great stop because the pine trees surrounding the parking area weren’t only covered with snow, they had live Christmas ornaments. The ornaments were friendly Western Scrub Jays with beautiful blue feathers that seemed to glisten in the sunlight. They flew from tree to tree and to the parking area wall, probably wanting to see who the visitors were, or perhaps to find a dropped goody.

        We are fortunate to live in Utah’s Dixie. The mild winter weather and spectacular scenery just can’t be beat. Best wishes to all, and may your decorated Christmas trees, sparkling with lights, bring as much joy into your lives as my live Christmas ornaments covered with feathers bring to me.

        If you would like an outdoor experience, with colorful birds, plan to be a part of our upcoming Christmas Bird Counts.  The St. George CBC is Saturday, December 26. The Silver Reef CBC is Monday, December 28. There could very well be 100+ different species at each count. To register for the counts, call Marilyn Davis at 435 673-0996.  Birders and wanabes welcome.


live Christmas ornaments


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Past Articles:


"Cold Days and Good Memories"  (White Pelican) 
"Where's Sherlock Holmes When You Need Him?" (YB Cuckoo)
"Tale of Four Birders"  (Western Scrub Jay)
"East Zion Continued" (Golden-crowned Kinglet),
  Vermilion Flycatcher
"Aerial Wolves" (Sharp-shinned Hawk)
"From Clown School to Pond" (Ruddy Duck)
"Shades of Red" Red-tailed Hawk
"Predatory Songbird" (Northern Shrike)
"The Cagey Killdeer"
"A True Bird Story" (Willet)
"A Song to Remember" (Hermit Thrush)
"To Catch a Fish..." (Green Heron aka Green-backed Heron)
"No Spring Cleaning" (Brown-headed Cowbird)
"Look-alikes Galore" (Sage Sparrow)

"A Jazzy Singer" (Cassin's Finch)
"Salute the Coot" (American Coot)
"Put a Smile on Your Face" (Greater Roadrunner)
"The Tale of Fred and Ethel" (Mallard)
"A Flutter of Sparrows" (Clay-colored Sparrow)
"A Sight to Remember" (Blue-gray gnatcatcher)
"About Night Life" (Northern Saw-whet Owl)
"Black and White and Smart All Over" (BB Magpie)
"Dressed for Dinner... of Fine Wines and Bugs" (RN Sapsucker)
"A Life List" (Painted Redstart)
"Bird-Brained" (Flammulated Owl)
"Needle in a Haystack" (White-throated Sparrow)
"Booby Trap Nest" (Red-breasted Nuthatch)

"The Crowd Pleaser" (Western Tanager)
"Seeds and Civilization" (American Tree Sparrow)
"A Childhood Treasure" (Black-headed Grosbeak)
"Those Itchy Red Bumps" (Cliff Swallow)
"Is There a Bee in Your Bonnet" (Utah bees)
"Where's My Winter Coat" (Great-tailed Grackle)
"Ice Age Tree Planter" (Blue Jay)
"An Uncommon Beauty" (Black-and-white Warbler)
"What's In a Name" (American Redstart)
"When the Cold Winds Blow" (Western Grebe)
"A National Beauty" (Bald Eagle)>
"Feathered Tiger" (Cooper's Hawk)
"The Accomplished Carpenter" (Acorn Woodpecker)
"Jewels" (Evening Grosbeak)
"Observations on the Road" (Rock Pigeon)
"A Leftover Memory" (California Gull)
"Lifelong Dreams" (Greater Roadrunner)
"Who's in Your Yard"  (House Wren)
"A Touch of Blue" (Mountain Bluebirds)
"Fur and Feathers" (Spotted Owl)
"Chick-a-dee-dee-dee" (Mountain Chickadee)
"In Search of" (Red-breasted Nuthatch)
"Wanderlust" (Canada Goose)
"Einstein Birds" (American Crow)
"What Spring Brings" (American Wigeon)
"Magnificent and Adaptable" (Golden Eagle)
"The Lonliest Sound" (Common Loon)
"When a Rare One Shows" (Thayer's Gull)
"Bird of the Ocean Shores" (Brown Pelican)

"A Mature Forest" (Northern Goshawk)
"When Black Eyes are Cool" (Short-eared Owl)


"Spring Is Busting Out All Over" (American Robin)
"Acrobatic Survivor" (Common Raven)
"Are You Ready For Hummers?" (Calliope Hummingbird)
"Poppies, Rock Wren, and a Trip in Time" (Rock Wren)
"What’s On Tonaquint Pond?" (Baby Mallard Ducks)
"A Good Story, but Definitely Not High-Uintah Parrots" (Pine Grosbeak)
"Before Radio, Records, and Hi-Fi" (Northern Mockingbird)
"Bloomington Hills Drive Pond" (Birds of Southern Utah)
"Marks of Identification" (Northern Harrier)
"Nature’s Fighter Plane" (Common Nighthawk)
"King of the Western Skies"
(California Condor)
"Are Bugs On Your Diet?" Ash-throated Flycatcher
"Warblers with Cavities" Lucy's Warbler
"Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner" Steller's Jay
"Life Bird List" Indigo Bunting
"Valley of Ghosts" Burned habitat
"One Raven is a Good Omen" Raven
  "Way-Cool Bird" Cassin's Kingbird
"What a Song Will Do" Virginia Rail
"Surprise at Kolob"  Chestnut-backed Chickadee
"Hatches and Hatches" Mourning Dove babies
"Power Lines and Fence Posts" American Kestrel
"Pump-er-Lunk, Pump-er-Lunk" American Bittern
"What's a Chukar" Chukar
"A Jacket in The Morning" Oregon Junco
 "Silhouettes in the Sky" Turkey Vulture
"The Sound of Fall" White-crowned Sparrow
"Where Birds Hang Out" Ruby-crowned Kinglet
"Just Desserts" Canvasback Duck
"Reasons to Visit Zion" Wild Turkey
"Disappearing Act" Sage Sparrow
"A Favorite Bird of the UK" English Robin
"The Christmas Card Bird" Black-capped Chickadee
"Warm Slippers" Rough-legged Hawk
"Beautiful, But Strange" Northern Shoveler

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