Birds

Birds of Yellow Pine

This page is a work in progress and will be updated to add more birds.
Updated October 13, 2019

All photos are from Local Color Photography in Yellow Pine
Bird descriptions by The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Link to Bird of the Week posts

Birds are listed by the following categories:
Full-timers – year around residents
Summer-timers – seasonal visitors
Weekenders – short time visitors
Tourists – not seen very often

Full-timers

Red-breasted Nuthatch
(year around)
red-breasted-nuthatch-2-a
(click image for larger size)
Photo by Local Color Photography

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Sitta canadensis
Size and Shape: A small, compact bird with a sharp expression accentuated by its long, pointed bill. Red-breasted Nuthatches have very short tails and almost no neck; the body is plump or barrel-chested, and the short wings are very broad.
Both Sexes
Length: 4.3 in (11 cm)
Weight: 0.3-0.5 oz (8-13 g)
Wingspan: 7.1-7.9 in (18-20 cm)
Color Pattern: Red-breasted Nuthatches are blue-gray birds with strongly patterned heads: a black cap and stripe through the eye broken up by a white stripe over the eye. The underparts are rich rusty-cinnamon, paler in females.
Learn more about this bird: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
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White-breasted Nuthatch
(year around, not common)
20101225-white-breasted-nuthatch-a
(click image for larger size)
Photo by Local Color Photography

White-breasted Nuthatch
Sitta carolinensis
Size and Shape: The largest nuthatch, this is still a small bird with a large head and almost no neck. The tail is very short, and the long, narrow bill is straight or slightly upturned.
Both Sexes
Length: 5.1-5.5 in (13-14 cm)
Weight: 0.6-1.1 oz (18-30 g)
Wingspan: 7.9-10.6 in (20-27 cm)
Color Pattern: White-breasted Nuthatches are gray-blue on the back, with a frosty white face and underparts. The black or gray cap and neck frame the face and make it look like this bird is wearing a hood. The lower belly and under the tail are often chestnut.
Learn more about this bird: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
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Mountain Chickadee
(year around)
chickadee2-a
(click image for larger size)
Photo by Local Color Photography

Mountain Chickadee
Poecile gambeli
Size and Shape: Tiny, large-headed but small-billed, with a long, narrow tail and full, rounded wings.
Both Sexes
Length: 4.3-5.5 in (11-14 cm)
Weight: 0.4 oz (11 g)
Color Pattern: Like all chickadees, strikingly black-and-white on the head, gray elsewhere. The white stripe over the eye identifies Mountain Chickadees from all other chickadees.
Learn more about this bird: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
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Northern Flicker
(year around)
Male
20150522-flicker-web-a
(click image for larger size)

Female
110525-female-flickerweb-a
(click image for larger size)
Photos by Local Color Photography

link to photos of female and nesting box

Northern Flicker
Colaptes auratus
Size and Shape: Flickers are fairly large woodpeckers with a slim, rounded head, slightly downcurved bill, and long, flared tail that tapers to a point.
Both Sexes
Length: 11.0-12.2 in (28-31 cm)
Weight: 3.9-5.6 oz (110-160 g)
Wingspan: 16.5-20.1 in (42-51 cm)
Color Pattern: Flickers appear brownish overall with a white rump patch that’s conspicuous in flight and often visible when perched. The undersides of the wing and tail feathers are bright … red, in western birds. With a closer look you’ll see the brown plumage is richly patterned with black spots, bars, and crescents.
Note: The males have a red “mustache”.
Learn more about this bird: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
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Pileated Woodpecker

(year around)
2012pileated-nofnce-a
Female front, male rear
(click image for larger size)
Photos by Local Color Photography
link to more Pileated Woodpecker photos

Pileated Woodpecker
Dryocopus pileatus
Size & Shape: The Pileated Woodpecker is a very large woodpecker with a long neck and a triangular crest that sweeps off the back of the head. The bill is long and chisel-like, about the length of the head. In flight, the wings are broad and the bird can seem crowlike.
Both Sexes
Length: 15.8-19.3 in (40-49 cm)
Weight: 8.8-12.3 oz (250-350 g)
Wingspan: 26.0-29.5 in (66-75 cm)
Color Pattern: Pileated Woodpeckers are mostly black with white stripes on the face and neck and a flaming-red crest. Males have a red stripe on the cheek. In flight, the bird reveals extensive white underwings and small white crescents on the upper side, at the bases of the primaries.
Learn more about this bird: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
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Hairy Woodpecker

(year around)
(male)
20130206-Male-Hairy-Woodpecker-web-a

(female)
20130202-Female-Hairy-Woodpecker-web-a
Link to hairy woodpecker photos
Photos by Local Color Photography

Hairy Woodpecker
Dryobates villosus
Size and Shape: A medium-sized woodpecker with a fairly square head, a long, straight, chisel-like bill, and stiff, long tail feathers to lean against on tree trunks. The bill is nearly the same length as the head.
Both Sexes
Length: 7.1-10.2 in (18-26 cm)
Weight: 1.4-3.4 oz (40-95 g)
Wingspan: 13.0-16.1 in (33-41 cm)
Color Pattern: Hairy Woodpeckers are contrastingly black and white. The black wings are checkered with white; the head has two white stripes (and, in males, a flash of red toward the back of the head). A large white patch runs down the center of the black back.
Learn more about this bird: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
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Downy Woodpecker

(year around, not common)
downy1web-a
(click image for larger size)
Male (female lacks the red patch)

link to more Downy Woodpecker photos:
Photos by Local Color Photography

Downy Woodpecker
Dryobates pubescens
Size and Shape: Downy Woodpeckers are small versions of the classic woodpecker body plan. They have a straight, chisel-like bill, blocky head, wide shoulders, and straight-backed posture as they lean away from tree limbs and onto their tail feathers. The bill tends to look smaller for the bird’s size than in other woodpeckers. About two-thirds the size of a Hairy Woodpecker.
Both Sexes
Length: 5.5-6.7 in (14-17 cm)
Weight: 0.7-1.0 oz (21-28 g)
Wingspan: 9.8-11.8 in (25-30 cm)
Color Pattern: Downy Woodpeckers give a checkered black-and-white impression. The black upperparts are checked with white on the wings, the head is boldly striped, and the back has a broad white stripe down the center. Males have a small red patch on the back of the head. The outer tail feathers are typically white with a few black spots.

Learn more about this bird: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
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Three-Toed Woodpecker

(year around, not common)
Male
20121228-3-toed-male-web-a
Female
20121228-3-toed-woodpecker-fem-web-a
Photos by Local Color Photography

American Three-toed Woodpecker
Picoides dorsalis
Size and Shape: A medium-sized black-and-white woodpecker, more black than white.
Both Sexes
Length: 7.9 in (20 cm)
Weight: 2.3 oz (65 g)
Color Pattern: Head black with a white mustache stripe and a thin white line behind eye. Throat, breast, and belly white. Adult males (and juveniles of both sexes) have a yellow crown patch.
Learn more about this bird: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
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Black-backed Woodpecker

(year around, not common)
male
IMG_2330-Black-Backed-Woodpecker-2web-a
(click image for full size)

More photos by Local Color Photography

Black-backed Woodpecker
Picoides arcticus
Size and Shape: Medium-sized woodpecker.
Both Sexes
Length: 9.1 in (23 cm)
Weight: 2.1-3.1 oz (61-88 g)
Color Pattern: Back entirely black. Sides barred black-and-white. Throat, chest, and belly white. Face black with white and black mustache marks. Male with yellow cap.
Learn more about this bird: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
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Raven
(year around)
20110413ravenweb-a
(click image for larger size)
link to more ravens
Photos by Local Color Photography

Common Raven
Corvus corax
Size and Shape: Not just large but massive, with a thick neck, shaggy throat feathers, and a Bowie knife of a beak. In flight, ravens have long, wedge-shaped tails. They’re more slender than crows, with longer, narrower wings, and longer, thinner “fingers” at the wingtips.
Both Sexes
Length: 22.1-27.2 in (56-69 cm)
Weight: 24.3-57.3 oz (689-1625 g)
Wingspan: 45.7-46.5 in (116-118 cm)
Color Pattern: Common Ravens are entirely black, right down to the legs, eyes, and beak.
Learn more about this bird: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
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Summer-timers

.

Weekenders

Clark’s Nutcracker
(year around higher elevations, locally seen in fall and winter)
120227clarksnutcracker2web-a
link to more photos including juveniles:
Photos by Local Color Photography

Clark’s Nutcracker
Nucifraga columbiana
Size and Shape: Clark’s Nutcrackers are the size of a jay but the shape of a crow, with short tails and rounded, crestless heads. The bill is long, straight, and sharp-tipped.
Both Sexes
Length: 10.6-11.8 in (27-30 cm)
Weight: 3.7-5.7 oz (106-161 g)
Color Pattern: Clark’s Nutcrackers are pale gray birds with black wings. In flight, the wings show large white patches along the trailing edges (secondaries). The tail is black in the center with broad white along either side. Nutcrackers have black bills, legs, and feet.
Nutcrackers travel in flocks and use their spike-like bills to pick seeds out of pine cones. They eat some of the seeds and bury thousands of others for the winter. Nutcrackers fly on broad, floppy wings and make rolling, gravelly calls audible from far away.
Learn more about this bird: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
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Tourists

Red Naped Sapsucker
(summer breeding, not common)
red-napedsapsucker-a
(click image for larger size)
Photo by Local Color Photography

Red-naped Sapsucker
Sphyrapicus nuchalis
Size and Shape: The Red-naped Sapsucker is a medium-sized woodpecker with a slight peak to the back of the head. It clings vertically to trees giving it an elongated appearance. The bill is stout and sharply pointed.
Both Sexes
Length: 7.5-8.3 in (19-21 cm)
Weight: 1.1-2.3 oz (32-66 g)
Wingspan: 16.1-16.9 in (41-43 cm)
Color Pattern: Red-naped Sapsuckers are black and white overall with a red cap, nape, and throat. They have a long white bar on the folded wing. A black stripe through the eye is bordered by white stripes. The belly is mottled black and white, with a dingy or yellowish cast. Female Red-naped Sapsuckers have a white patch on the chin while males have entirely red chins. Juveniles have a brown cap and an overall brown wash on their belly and head.
Learn more about this bird: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
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Lewis’s Woodpecker

(summer breeding, not common)
20160510-lw5-web-a
(click image for larger size)

links to more photos: here and here
Photos by Local Color Photography

Lewis’s Woodpecker
Melanerpes lewis

Size & Shape: Lewis’s Woodpeckers are hefty with an elongated body, long wings, and a long tail. The bill is woodpecker-like, but thinner than most.
Both Sexes
Length: 10.2-11.0 in (26-28 cm)
Weight: 3.1-4.9 oz (88-138 g)
Wingspan: 19.3-20.5 in (49-52 cm)
Color Pattern
This woodpecker often appears all dark, especially from a distance, but in good light its unique color pattern shows. It has a pink belly, a gray collar, a dark green back, and a dark red face.
Learn more about this bird: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
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Sandhill Crane

(not common)
20190920SandhillCraneAnn-a
photo by Ann F 20190920 in Yellow Pine
20150329-Sandhill-Cranes-aa
photo by Local Color Photography 20150329 near Cascade

Sandhill Crane
Antigone canadensis
Size and Shape: Sandhill Cranes are very large, tall birds with a long neck, long legs, and very broad wings. The bulky body tapers into a slender neck; the short tail is covered by drooping feathers that form a “bustle.” The head is small and the bill is straight and longer than the head. About the same size, but considerably bulkier, than a Great Blue Heron. Smaller than a Whooping Crane.
Both Sexes
Length: 47.2 in (120 cm)
Weight: 119.9-172.8 oz (3400-4900 g)
Wingspan: 78.7 in (200 cm)
Color Pattern: These are slate gray birds, often with a rusty wash on the upperparts. Adults have a pale cheek and red skin on the crown. Their legs are black. Juveniles are gray and rusty brown, without the pale cheek or red crown.
Sandhill Cranes breed in open wetland habitats surrounded by shrubs or trees. They nest in marshes, bogs, wet meadows, prairies, burned-over aspen stands, and other moist habitats, preferring those with standing water. Breeders gravitate toward the edges between wetland and upland habitats, while nonbreeders may prefer open, grassy sites. Sandhill Cranes winter in the southern U.S. and northern Mexico, roosting on shallow lakes or rivers at night and spending the day in irrigated croplands, pastures, grasslands, or wetlands.
Learn more about this bird: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
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