While out for a drive…

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Unidentified Hawk


hawk markingsPeabody: Yeah! What is it?

Orson: I don’t know. It’s markings were kind of strange.

Peabody: Here, I took a photo of it.

Orson: It’s probably a Swainson’s Hawk; maybe someone out in
blogland could tell us!

hawk markings

2009 Audubon California Yellow-billed Magpie Survey

2009 Audubon California Magpie Survey

2009 Audubon California Magpie Survey

Yellow-billed Magpie

Yellow-billed Magpie


Yellow-billed magpies have been my favorite bird since my youth.  When I was young, my good friend Ranse and I would hop on our bikes and ride out past the edge of town to go fishing and I was always fascinated with the many magpies we would pass along the way. 

The Yellow-billed Magpie which is often the subject of my painting, lives in California’s Central Valley and along the coast ranges; and more to the point  the largest population is here in Yolo County.   

By clicking on the top image, you can access the 2009 Yellow-Billed Magpie survey results and if you are interested you can also access information to help with future studies of this beautiful and unusual bird.

Mockingbird Attitudes

I don’t think that a Mockingbird ever met a Blue Jay that it did not despise,  however they apparently become more discriminating among other creatures.

A friend of mine once told me about a Mockingbird nesting in his yard.  The bird appeared to undisturbed by his cat, but mercilessly harassed strange cats that came near  the nesting area.  It was like my friend’s cat had some kind of property rights.

mockingbird copy

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