Mission: To promote the appreciation of wildlife and increase harmony between humanity and nature.

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Patriots, Pilgrims & Perennials

As we approach Thanksgiving some birds have left Union Bay for the winter, some are new arrivals and some have been here all year round. Do you know which are which? This week's challenge is to look at each of the photos and decide if the bird is likely to be seen on The Fourth of July, on Thanksgiving Day or both. To help with your classification you can sort the birds into three groups:
        • Patriots. 
        • Pilgrims &
        • Perennials. 
Note: Because the independent minded bird can be seen anywhere at anytime there could be exceptions when a Pilgrim was seen on July 4th or a Patriot on Thanksgiving Day. However in this quiz we are looking for the patterns not the exceptions. Good Luck! 

A Female Gadwall with her Chicks:

A Young Barn Swallow:

 A Male Wood Duck:

Male Hooded Merganser:

Eurasian Wigeon:

Ruby-Crowned Kinglet:

White-Crowned Sparrow:

Golden-Crowned Kinglet:


Cliff Swallow at the Nest:

Northern Pintail:

Male Red-Winged Blackbird:

American Crow:

Female Pileated Woodpecker:

Male Northern Flicker:

Male Downy Woodpecker near the Nest:

Trumpeter Swans (and maybe Tundra too):

Male Common Mergansers:

Bald Eagles (Eva and Albert at the Nest):


Peregrine Falcon:
(Thank you to Tom Talbott Jr for the use of this photo and to Barbara Deihl for arranging permission.) 

Canada Goose with Goslings:

Tree Swallows:

Male Northern Shoveler:

The Answers:

Gadwall - Perennial
Barn Swallow - Patriot
Wood Duck - Perennial
Hooded Merganser - Pilgrim
Eurasian Wigeon - Pilgrim
Ruby-Crowned Kinglet - Pilgrim
White-Crowned Sparrow - Perennial
Golden-Crowned Kinglet - Pilgrim (Not a sparrow)*
Flycatcher - Patriot, A reader* suggested this might be a Western Wood-Pewee (it would still be a summer time bird). Apparently I am still learning the differences between these birds. The Pewee looks browner while the flycatchers are more greenish. I apologize for not being conclusive on this one.
Cliff Swallow - Patriot
Northern Pintail - Pilgrim
Red-Winged Blackbird - Perennial
American Crow - Perennial
Pileated Woodpecker - Perennial (It has been a couple months since my last siting.)
Northern Flicker - Perennial
Downy Woodpecker - Perennial
Trumpeter Swan - Pilgrim
Common Mergansers - Pilgrim
Bald Eagles - Perennial (However they do seem to take vacations.) 
Osprey - Patriot
Peregrine Falcon - Perennial (Not a Merlin)*
Canada Goose - Perennial
Tree Swallow: Patriot
Northern Shoveler - Pilgrim

Patriots = 5
Perennial = 11
Pilgrims = 8

The Pilgrims are highlighted to help remind you that these are newly arriving birds you may currently be able to find. In spite of the freezing temperatures at night these "pilgrims" have come south to enjoy our nice warm winter weather.

*Thank you to Harsi Parker for catching my oversights!

I hope you have enjoyed the challenge. Have a great day on Union Bay...where nature lives in the city!


PS: By the way Connie Sidles sent an email to say she has published a new book "Fill of Joy" which could make a nice Christmas gift. You can find out more at her website:

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