Saturday, March 22, 2014

Outside My Classroom Window

A clearly proud Blue Jay. (3/21/14)
Two days ago during class, I received a tweet from a former student (sitting in another class elsewhere in the building) that "@Mister_Scott !!!! I see Bluejays in the court yard". Though spring has just sprung, winter seems to be hanging on, and despite frequent glances out the second story classroom window, I had not observed much activity in the courtyard. The tweet gave me hope that things might be picking up....

With the potential for a Blue Jay sighting in mind, and my camera packed stuffed into my backpack for the school day, I set off this morning to work hopeful of a view myself. Halfway through third block, I heard the unmistakable sound of Blue Jays vocalizing outside the closed window.

Fortunately this was (in part) my lunch period, so I could turn out the lights, open the window wide (despite the 32° temp), and let the time unfold int he courtyard. What followed was nearly 30 minutes during which I caught four Blue Jays, a Red-Bellied Woodpecker (which I had initially misidentified as a Downy Woodpecker) and what I believe to be an American Tree Sparrow at play in the courtyard.

Between trips to the higher branches, a Blue Jay at rest. (3/21/14)
My desk at work with the courtyard visible outside the window. (3/21/14)
Blue Jay strikes a pose with acorn in beak. (3/21/14)
Red-bellied Woodpecker. (3/21/14)
First spotted camouflaged against the tree but given away by his flashing red cap. (3/21/14)
Red-bellied Woodpecker. (3/21/14)
Standoff? Blue Jay mid-picture to left with Red-bellied Woodpecker
about 15 feet directly to the right. (3/21/14)
Best as a I figure, an American Tree Sparrow. (3/21/14)
American Tree Sparrow with fluffed out feathers--for
an even chubbier effect naturally. (3/21/14)
In the five years I've been in this classroom, this was diverse and interesting extended observation period I have had the pleasure to watch. Blue Jays and Tree Sparrows are fairly common visitors (as are American Robins which I did see briefly but failed to capture with my camera), but the introduction of the Red-Bellied Woodpecker is new. It will be interesting to see the season unfold and to track just what types of birds drop into the enclosed courtyard for a visit.

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