Friday’s Feathered Friends- Red, White, and Blue

Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I told you I would show you the beautiful Vermilion Flycatcher that I went to see in Maxwell, CA a few week ago, and today is the day! He’s a year round resident of Mexico and South America. He does come north to So. Texas and So. California for breeding season, and has been seen in the states along the gulf coast states. How this one found his way up here in Central Calif. is a mystery, but it’s been returning for 5 winters now. He’s rare there.

Isn’t he pretty?

Fuji X-T3 w/ Fuji 100-400mm lens @400mm

Almost two weeks ago He-Man went up to Washoe Co. the next county over to go on a bike ride and I went with him not to ride, but to bird while he rode and guess who I saw? The White-headed Woodpecker! This is a male. I only saw this species for the first time last year so I still do a happy dance when I see one.

This one was so busy foraging he didn’t care about me too much. Once in awhile he did check me out.

Fuji X-T3| Fuji 100-400mm @400mm

Sunday two neighbors and I went for our walk and we decided to go further than the mailbox and go up the hill and come home the back way where we saw Mountain Bluebirds foraging in the Russian Olive trees. The Olives are like little nuts that they seem to really like.

I saw this species for the first time last Spring, but didn’t have my camera with me but, by the time I raced home on foot to get the camera and return to the spot I saw one it was gone. I am so glad I had a camera with me on Sunday! Mountain Bluebird Male

Panasonic Lumix FZ200 @600mm

It’s been a good birdy couple of weeks that has been waylaid by weather. We’ve had snow! I won’t be out birding for a few days.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend, stay healthy, and safe.

more to come…

70 thoughts on “Friday’s Feathered Friends- Red, White, and Blue

  1. The fly catcher is so cute. And your last one is like a fairy tale, love the light and the colors in your capture:)

  2. Wow! You’ve captured some beautiful birds, Deborah! That Vermilion Flycatcher sure is vibrant! And I love the softness of color in that Mountain Bluebird.

  3. Awesome photos, Deborah! The Vermillion Flycatcher can often be seen in the outlying areas of Las Vegas in the springtime (March-April). Maybe longer, but we have seen them in those months. Desert National Wildlife is one place they frequent, but it has been 4 years since we were there last. I would love to see that Woodpecker. That would be a lifer for me. The Mountain Bluebird is another favorite and we have seen them on every trip out west in recent years. 🙂

  4. You definitely scored a hat trick! The birds are truly beautiful. Thank goodness your amazing photography captured it for the rest of us to see.

  5. Wow! I’ll say you’ve had some birdy days, Deborah. Hard to believe you had the joy of finding the vermillion flycatcher in Central California, so I’m glad you gave some background. It’s always so thrilling when a wayward bird comes through…and for five winters. And so great you captured it. And OMG! The white-headed woodpecker was also a thrill. I’ve seen so few of these (one or two) that I went to allaboutbirds to see what their range is, I want to see more of this beauty. Lovely photo too of the mountain bluebird. Thanks for sharing these incredible photos and birds with us.

    1. Thank you so much, Jet for stopping by to see my images of these three beauties.

      The White-headed Woodpecker is a year rounder in my tiny corner of NV and in larger parts of CA that’s I’ve played in on and off for years. It’s a wonder I never saw one before!
      It’s thrilling to see them. I hope we both get to see more of them.

  6. It has definitely been a good birding week for you – wow! These are handsome birds, striking colors, and your photography skills are certainly on display here. The branch framing on the first one is wonderful. Thanks for sharing these beautiful shots.

  7. I love your posts, Deborah. Like a breath of fresh air and bright part of my day. I recall you mentioning this bird. Nothing more beautiful than the colours in nature. The white-headed Woodpecker is a first for me, too. Oh, wow, no words for the Mountain Bluebird. Thank you for taking me birding with you.❤️

    1. Thank you, Pit! I was afraid my Lumix wouldn’t get the job done so ran home grabbed my Fuji and went back for more images of them.
      I was surprised at the details this image has, but happy. Sometimes this little camera does the job well at the long end.

  8. So pretty! What a thrilling group of birds you saw. I know that many species are starting to shift north with global warming~ I wonder if that is what is going on with the flycatcher. It will be interesting to see if he starts having company.
    I love woodpeckers. I remember my dad seeing one here (!). We wondered if it was a red-headed woodpecker with a coloration anomaly, or a white headed pretty far from home. Red headed woodpeckers used to be fairly common here but have basically disappeared from all the development that has happened. So I was thrilled to see one fly past my son’s house last weekend when we went up to visit him in northern Wisconsin.
    And, finally, it is interesting that the mountain bluebirds are enjoying the fruit of a non-native tree. The tree is quite invasive here, but if it thrives and provides food for native species, is it bad??? Tough question.

    1. Thank you so much, Melissa!

      There’s a Vermilion up in LA somewhere that a friend photographed and another friend saw one in AZ so there are a few adventurous Vermilions out there.

      Ah, the Redhead! I still need a better sighting and image of one. Last year the one I saw was a stinker and didn’t give me a good view of itself. 😀

      I detest those Russian Olive trees and am surprised there’s not a big push to get rid of them, but there are a lot of them here. Lore has it that the Basque put them in way back when. We have them lining the back fences in our neighborhood and I just want to chop them down and put in more rabbit bush and sagebrush. My neighbors like them because they protect their houses and windows from errant golf balls. We cut them way down every year and put on safety screens when we bought the house. I want the view!

      1. It is sort of good, isn’t it, how the photos we want to get often elude us? Keeps us busy. 🙂
        I’m with you on the Russian Olive trees. I was just reading a book about rabbit bush/sagebrush habitat. Pretty neat. How tall does Rabbit bush get? Not tall enough, evidently. I like your way of dealing with errant golf balls.

        1. The visions in my head keep me heading out with my camera looking for birds, and scenes. 😀

          Doesn’t Rabbit Bush get up to 3 feet tall and wide? That would work a treat behind my back fence. Sagebrush can get tall and wide as well.

          You should see the collection of them I have gathered from my yard. I store them in a flower pot and when it gets full I give the balls to my neighbors since they both golf. There are A LOT of BAD GOLFERS out there!

  9. Beautiful photos, but no one is ever going to get me to like woodpeckers. We had one that did big $$$ damage to our house. Since then I see them as sources of evil. Just saying

    1. Thank you so much, Ally! Oh my, I can totally understand why you’re not a fan of woodpeckers! I don’t think my opinion of them would be any higher than yours if it happened to us and our house.

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