ARTISTS AND  BIRDS
by Marilyn and Keith Davis


"Bedraggled!"

Great-tailed Grackle

         Have you ever noticed someone wearing an old, worn out overcoat that looked like it was badly in need of repair and a wash? That’s the way the bird looked, sitting under a car next to me in the parking lot. By necessity, birds must keep their feathers in tip top shape – clean, smooth, and ready at a moment’s notice to fly. Birds never know when they must obtain flight . . . when a predator will show or some tasty bug Great-tailed Gracklearrives for dinner. This bedraggled bird, with feathers in every direction, looked like he had spent the night drinking in a cheap bar that had sawdust on the floor and sold beer in quart mugs. Then, I realized that this bird had just gone through molt. Molt is a condition where birds annually loose their old feathers and replace them with new. Why, in a couple of weeks this same bird will have shiny, black feathers. It was a Great-tailed Grackle. Grackles never loose all of their feathers at once, but lose a few at a time. Grackles must still be capable of flight even though they look like an airplane wreck.

         If you go to one of our super markets and find a weird looking bird in the parking lot, keep in mind that in just a week or two you could see a ‘spiffy’ looking Grackle with new feathers all set for the coming cold weather. Bird feathers have been used by man for blankets, mattresses, and pillows because of their great warmth and durability. Feathers are one of Mother Nature’s best designed tools . . . being light, water resistant, and having great insulating qualities. Each bird feather is a miracle. Each bird species has its own specialized feathers, distinctly colored and adapted for the varied habitats for hot, cold, or wet weather, and in all four seasons.  I hope you will enjoy the many miracles found outdoors. 

      
Marilyn Davis is the artist this week. For information about bird activities or the September field trip, call 435 673-0996
or visit our home pageWe welcome all new and interested birders. 

        Past "Artists & Birds" articles are listed in the table below.



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 Loneliest 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
"A Perfect Flight" Feathers 
"An Atmosphere of Comfort " Burrowing Owl
"Goose Girl" Domesticated Goose 
"Looking For A Super Sleuth" Vermilion Flycatcher 
"Birds and Bugs" Black Swift 
"Why Not Make a Memory?" Spotted Towhee 
"Curious About Birds? " Bewick's Wren
"Ow-Wow, Ow-Wow, Ow-Wow" Hooded Merganser 
"A Snipe Hunt"  Wilson's Snipe
"The Butcher Bird" Loggerhead Shrike 
"Just Happens Event" Killdeer
 
"A Spring Show" Cattle Egret 
"Are You Nuts" Double-breasted Nutcracker 
"If You Build It, They Will Come" American Robin 
"Passing Through Southern Utah" Black-necked Stilt 
"Listen Inside and Outside" Say's Phoebe
"Frozen Dinners" Paper Wasps vs Woodpeckers 
"Weather or Not" Golden Eagle 
"Troubadours From Mexico" Great-tailed Grackle 
"Sticks, Straw, and Bricks "
"Front Door Nursery
"Eggs And Ravens" Common Raven
"Field Trips are to Die For" Phainopepla
 
"A Successful Introduction" Wild Turkey 
"Follow The Leader" Turkey Vulture 
"When There’s Fire" 
"A New Kind of Sport "
"What to Do With Flying Pests "
"Oak Grove and Hummers" Broad-tailed Hummingbirds
"Being Fed" Feeding baby birds

"Crash Day"Learning to Fly 
"Thunderstorms and Scrambled Eggs" 
"Hold the Mud . . ."  Blue Grosbeak
"A Feathery Mystery"
"Magnetic Yards" 
"Rainbows and Gambel’s Quail"
"Not an Ordinary Bird" Phainopepla
"Sunflowers - Free Lunch" Lesser Goldfinch
"Passing Through" Townsend's Warbler
"How High Can You Count?" Blackbirds
"Belly Flops and Kingfishers" Belted Kingfisher
"Listen and Learn" Northern Mockingbird
"Food, Safety and Welcome" Red-winged Blackbird 

"Whooo, Whooo, Whooo, Whoooo?" Long-eared Owl
"Have Breakfast with a Bird" Baltimore Oriole
"Tongue Lashing from a Bird" House Wren
"Food and Easy Takings" Mourning Dove

"When It's Snow Time in the Rockies" Snow Birds
"Clothes Make the Man . . But *" Indigo Bunting

"The Call of Roosters" Chickens
"Find The Vermilion Flycatcher"
"A Snowy Zion" Dark-eyed Junco
"A Day Well Spent" Bald Eagle
"Easy Pickings" Eurasian Collared-Dove
"The Christmas Bird" Northern Cardinal
"Feathers in the Air" American Kestrel
"Is the Festival Over?" California Gull
"A Song of the Outdoors" Hermit Thrush
"What's on Your Pond?" Bufflehead
"A Must See" Ring-necked Duck
"Bird with the Most Smarts" American Crow
"Free Symphonies This Spring" Young artists birds
"Own a Chunk of Gold" Sandhill Crane
"Feathers on the Ground" Peregrine Falcon
"A Bill for What?" Northern Shoveler
"He's Back" Say's Phoebe
"Opportunistic Feeders" Cattle Egret
"When Habitat Disappears" Long-billed Curlew
"Bug Spray or Flycatchers???" Vermilion Flycatcher
"Talk to a Bird" Yellow Warbler
"Bathing Beauties"
"Who's Who...Parent or Baby"
"Did You Know..." California Quail
"Surprise Sighting" Solitary Vireo
"Bringing Home the Bacon (Bugs)"Western Kingbird
"Are the Grapes Ripe Yet?"House Sparrows
"Following Mom"
"When Grapes Are Ripe" Northern Mockingbird
"Dangers All Around"  Gambel's Quail
"Unexpected Visitor" Hummingbird
"Don't Miss What's Happening in Your Yard" Sharp-shinned Hawk
"Common, but Not So Common" Greater Roadrunner
"The Bird That Digs and Runs" Crissal Thrasher
"Birds and Temperature" American Wigeon
"A Picnic for Travelers" Lesser Goldfinch
"UFO's - Unexpected Flying Objects" Turkey Vulture
"Golden Eagles vs Cheatgrass"
"A Roller Coaster Ride"
"Hawks and Doves"
"When Leaves Fall from Trees"
"One Small Superhero" Northern Saw-whet Owl
"Snow in Dixie" Western Scrub Jay
"A Sunday Buffet?" American Kestrel
"Unexpected Surprises"
"Almost Never" Streak-backed Oriole
"Bird-friendly Plants" House Sparrow
"The Fly Over" Mute Swan
"Help...Help...Help" Peacock
"Picnic on the Beach" California Gull
"Hotel Accommodations" Say's Phoebe
"Weather Sense" White-crowned Sparrow/Dark-eyed Junco
"Looking for Quality Males" Sage Grouse
"A Keynote Bird" Vermilion Flycatcher
"A New Comer" White-winged Dove
"Fascination" Western Kingbird
"Migration Stopover" Glossy Ibis

"Sweet Sweet Sweet - I’m So Sweet" Yellow Warbler
"With a Black Spot" Song Sparrow
"The Most Wanted List" Brown-headed Cowbird
"Strange Looking Birds" Say's Phoebes
"The Everywhere Bird" Horned Lark
"Hollyhocks and Hummers" Black-chinned Hummingbird
"Habitats Make a Difference" Hooded Oriole vs Social Weaver Bird
"!!*&#!!@%*$#!!" Northern Mockingbird
"A Turkey in the Sky" Turkey Vulture
"A Bird with Many Names" Black-billed Magpie
"Desert Hummers" Costa's Hummingbird
"People Matter"

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