More birds visiting – and rat problem solved !

I have heard them for a couple of weeks, thought it was Eourasian Doves, because I have seen some in Sechelt, but this morning 3 Band-Tailed Pidgeons was on the large feeder. More images.

Band-Tailed Pidgeon visiting

Band-Tailed feeding on the ground

The Band-tailed Pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata)[2] is a medium-sized bird of the Americas. Its closest relatives are the Chilean Pigeon and the Ring-tailed Pigeon, which form a clade of Patagioenas with a terminal tail band and iridescent plumage on their necks.[3]

It ranges from British ColumbiaUtah, and Colorado south in higher elevations through Mexico and Central America to northern Argentina. In autumn itmigrates out of the part of its range north of CaliforniaNew Mexico, and west Texas. Populations from Costa Rica south are sometimes considered a separate species, the White-naped Pigeon, P. albilinea. It is found at altitudes from 900 to 3,600 m (3,000 to 12,000 ft), generally in oakpine-oak, andconiferous forests. It feeds on seeds, notably acorns.

Band-Tailed in treetop

and then I spotted the other one

And, feeding on the ground, a single Mourning Dove, much smaller, and very pretty.

More images.

Mourning Dove

The Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) is a member of the dove family (Columbidae). The bird is also called the Turtle Dove or the American Mourning Dove or Rain Dove, and formerly was known as the Carolina Pigeon or Carolina Turtledove.[2]

Also feeding on the ground, a few Gold Finches, Black Headed Grosbeak, a single male  House Finch, a few White and some Golden-Crowned Sparrows.

here a White-Crowned Sparrow, a Gold Finch and a Black Hooded Grosbeak, feeding together

And I always have the Hummingbirds, can not get tired of watching them.

here a Rufus coming in for landing

two young feeding

inflight

another inflight

resting and feeding

I have seen two rats, and ready to take them out with a 22. But, they never shoved up again. With all the squerrels and birds around I can not have any poison or traps. Last evening, just as dark came, I was enjoying a glass of wine on the porch, and this huge moth looking owl came sliding silently just a few feet past me and landed in a low branch.

Rat problem solved, she will keep the place clean of rodents.

Looking up in my bird books, it was a Short Eared Owl. Described to have a Moth-like flight. A very welcome visitor, hopefully full time resident. Images.   

Asio flammeus, the Short-eared Owl, is a medium-sized owl measuring 34–43 cm (13–17 in) in length and weighing 206–475 g (7.3–16.8 oz).[4] It has large eyes, big head, short neck, and broad wings. Its bill is short, strong, hooked and black. Its plumage is mottled tawny to brown with a barred tail and wings. The upper breast is significantly streaked (Alsop 2001). Its flight is characteristically floppy due to its irregular wingbeats. The Short-eared Owl may also be described as “moth or bat-like” in flight.[5] Wingspans range from 85 to 110 cm (33 to 43 in).[6] Females are slightly larger than males. The yellow-orange eyes of A. flammeus are exaggerated by black rings encircling each eye, giving the appearance of them wearing Mascara, and large, whitish disks of plumage surrounding the eyes like a mask.

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