Saturday, December 15, 2012

CyFair Campus Birds

Last week was a fairly quiet week for birds on the CyFair campus. I was hoping that the colder weather would bring in Cedar Waxwings and perhaps some more sparrow species but this didn't happen. Nevertheless, there were enough birds to insure that every brief walk I took around the campus produced something worth looking at.

Whenever I drive over to Longenbaugh Road and other parts of the Katy Prairie, I see lots of Crested Caracaras. However, we don't see many Caracaras on the campus and so I was pleased to see this one.

Our resident Red-tailed Hawks usually perch very high up on the utility pylons along the north side of the college grounds. This one, though, decided to perch by the entrance road for a change.

I don't think I've ever before seen as many Eastern Phoebes in southeast Texas as I have this fall. And they are as common on the campus as elsewhere in the Houston area.

Apart from Northern Mockingbirds, the most common campus birds at present are Yellow-rumped Warblers. I see and hear them every time I leave the building where my office is located.

Sometimes it's very easy to see how this species gets its name.

We seem to have more White-throated Sparrows than usual this winter.

Lincoln's Sparrows are also plentiful at the moment.

Although we used regularly to have a winter flock of about 20 American Pipits, I have only seen a solitary bird so far this winter. It seems rather lost hanging out in grassy areas with Savannah Sparrows and Killdeer.

Over the summer I would see Mourning Doves wherever I walked on campus. Then in the fall they were largely replaced by White-winged Doves. However, I am glad to say that not all of our Mourning Doves have been displaced, because they really are charming little birds.

We don't see many gulls at CyFair. However, a couple of Ring-billed Gulls have been hanging out on the lamp posts in the parking lots. Their plumage certainly looks fine against the deep blue of the Texas sky.


No comments: