ARTISTS AND BIRDS
by Marilyn and Keith Davis

"A Perfect Flight"

       How fortunate we are to be able to make quick trips to any place we want to go. Jump in the car, zip to where we are going, and then zip home. Can you remember when people didn’t zipppp anywhere? When my mother was a girl, any trip involved a horse. Horse trips meant feathersbrushing them down, saddling them up, or hitching them to a wagon. Those were long, bumpy trips. When you got back home, it meant taking the whole rig off again, feeding and watering the horses (twice a day), mucking out the stalls, and all for being able to ‘trip’ somewhere.

       Today, with a nice vehicle at our fingertips, we spend little time doing maintenance to get us where we want to go. How would you like it if each day before any trip you had to tune up the engine, and worry about where to get your next tank of gas to keep going? Such is a bird’s life. Think of a bird as a small airplane making numerous stops and starts all day, in all kinds of weather. You wouldn’t want to fly on an airplane if there was a tear in the tail section, or a split in the wing. Everything should be perfect for every flight. Birds need a perfect flight. This is why they keep their feathers in such good shape. Small birds have as few as 1,000 feathers, and very large birds as many as 25,000 feathers to take care of.

       At first light one morning, my honey saw a Golden Eagle fly out of a thicket, land on a tree branch right in front of him, and spend 20 minutes preening its feathers. When your livelihood depends upon the condition of your feathers, you best preen and prepare every day for the rigors that are sure to come. Birds are able to fly because of their superbly designed feathers. Feathers keep the rain off, they protect the body from impacts, they insulate when its cold, and they keep them airborne. To keep its aerodynamic ability, feathers must be taken care of every day, and that takes work. If you happen to see a feather on the ground, pick it up. Note the weight, the color, the craftsmanship, and marvel at Mother Nature’s handiwork.

        The artist this week is Keith Davis. If you have questions about birds or the upcoming Christmas Bird Counts call Marilyn Davis at 435 673-0996 or go to our home page at  redcliffsaudubon.org .




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"  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 HBird)
"Poppies, Rock Wren, and a Trip in Time" (Rock Wren)

"What’s On Tonaquint Pond?" (Baby Mallard Ducks)
"Definitely Not High-Uintah Parrots" (Pine Grosbeak)
"Before Radio, Records, and Hi-Fi" (N. 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
"Live Christmas Tree Ornaments" Scrub Jay
"Red and Black and ..." Vermilion Flycatcher
"Bird Songs" Birds at the feeder

"Teacher! Teacher! Teacher!" Ovenbird
"Raptors and Bird Feeders"
"Who’s Who in Winter" Abert's Towhee

"The Original Centerfold Model" Eastern bluebird
"What This ‘Look-Alike’ Looks Like" Pine Siskin
"To Shine a Light on a Name" Cedar Waxwing
"Find a Ladder-backed WP" Ladder-backed WP
"The Price of Bird Seed" Lesser Goldfinch
"Our Juniper Trees" Townsend's Solitaire
"Bird Friendly Backyard" Lazuli Bunting
"What’s in a Lek?"
Sage Grouse
"The Dueling Doves" M. Dove - Collared-Dove
"Frozen Dinners" Turkey Vulture
"Stop, Sit, Listen & Watch" Common Yellowthroat
"The Night Hunter" Black-crowned Night-Heron

"Window Peekers" Hummingbirds
"When Food’s Free" Bullock's Oriole
 "Here To Stay!" House Sparrow
"Wild Places" Black-throated Sparrow
"Weird Spring - Many Birds" Western Tanager
"A Little Bird Watching" baby bird watching
"Stripes, Streaks, Bills, Crowns, and Colors"  Lark Sparrow
"Hoping for Perfect"
Gray Catbird
"Home Sweet Home???" Horned Lark
"Ah, the Western Bluebird!"
"The 'Under Cover" Bird" Green-tailed Towhee
"A Shady Patio"Juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk
"Quail Talk" Gambel's Quail
"Flight of Dragonflies"
  Ruffed Grouse/Rattlesnake
"Bird Feathers"
"Protective Coloration" Pigeons
"The Agile Scavenger" Common Raven
"Where Have All The Pheasants Gone?"
"Black is Beautiful!" Common Black Hawk

"A Best Friend" Barn owl
"The Ugly Duckling" Mute Swan
"What Birders Do" Magnificent Hummingbird
"The Magic of October" Double-crested Cormorant
"A Gibberish Conversation" Great-tailed Grackle
"Black Things - Flying" American Coot
"Flying Fortress White Pelican
  "What is a CBC?" Golden-crowned Sparrow
"Is That a Wild Canary?" Yellow Warbler
"A Tale of a Great Blue Heron
" Great Blue Heron
"Better To Wait For Breakfast..." Merlin
"This Was The Place" Red-winged Blackbirds
"Just To Be Noticed" Pied-billed Grebe
"Crash Landing" Eared Grebe
"Where’s It Gonna Show Next?" Anna's Hummingbird
"Become a Junior Birder"
"Seen Any UFOs???"
"Feathered Treasures"
"The Long Way Home" Northern Harrier

"Mr. Lonesome" Greater Roadrunner
"Four of a Kind" Black-crowned Night Heron
"Winter Colors" American Goldfinch

"Black Snow" European Starling
"Looking Way Good" Belted Kingfisher
"To Fill A Niche" Black-billed Magpie

"Worth Every Cent" Backyard Chickens
"Wet and Bedraggled Pigeon..." Cooper's Hawk
"Why Don't We?" Northern Cardinal
"Rarely, but Possible" Harris's Sparrow
"A Lucky Fluke" Yellow-headed Blackbird
"What Spring Will Bring" Willow Flycatcher
"To Venture Outdoors"  Sharp-shinned Hawk
"St. George at its Finest!" Canyon Wren
"A Suitable Nest" Vermilion Flycatcher
"Stuck in Dixie"  Tree Swallow
"Time to Visit Zion" Blue Grosbeak
"Call From the Wild" Bullock's Oriole nest
"Apple Valley Babies"Western Scrub Jays
"The Fading Song Act" Cactus Wren
"To Win the Ladies"
Northern Mockingbird
"Color is Significant to a Flicker" Northern Flicker
"King of Bunker Hill" Gambel's Quail
"The Dinner Table" Ferruginous Hawk
"A Water Tank" Mourning Dove
"Faraway Places
"
Black-throated Blue Warbler
"Faraway Places - Part 2" Franklin's Gull
"Brenda Rusnell - Artist"
"Hit Or Miss" Sharp-shinned Hawk
"The Flashy Singer/Babysitter" Prothonotary Warbler
"A Sighting To Remember" Canada Warbler
"Super Size this Meal but Skip the French Fries" BG Heron
"The Last Days of Summer" Red-eyed Vireo
"More Than Just Spectators" Great-tailed Grackles
"A Song to Love" Western Meadowlark
"The Amazing Migrant" Bobolink
"A Thistle Sock" Lesser Goldfinch
"From a Bird’s Point of View" Chipping Sparrow
"At Just the Right Time" Cedar Waxwing
"A Chicken in Every Pot" Chicken



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