Birds of Wyoming
It was stormy waters for these two on Flat Creek! Spring is coming and mating season is on.
The red-tailed hawk is considered a power animal in Native American culture, and its feathers are believed to be sacred. Red-tailed hawk feathers adorn Native American headdresses and are often used as a symbol in religious ceremonies and sacred rituals. Red-tailed hawk feathers were often rewarded to ancient warriors as a symbol of bravery. The red hawk is considered a messenger and symbolizes strength and guardianship. A common belief in many cultures is that when a single feather appears in an unusual place, it is a message from a spirit guide or angel.
The barn swallow is the most widespread species of swallow in the world. It is a distinctive passerine bird with blue upperparts and a long, deeply forked tail. It is found in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. In Anglophone Europe it is just called the swallow; in Northern Europe, it is the only common species called a swallow.
Mountain Bluebirds are common in the West’s wide-open spaces, particularly at middle and higher elevations. They breed in native habitats such as prairie, sagebrush steppe, and even alpine tundra; anywhere with open country with at least a few trees that can provide nest cavities. They also readily take to human-altered habitats, often nesting in bluebird boxes and foraging in pastures.
The Nutcracker often live in places remote from human contact, near treeline on windy western peaks. Where it does encounter people, however, it seems fearless, striding about in picnic grounds and scenic-view parking lots, looking for handouts. Nutcrackers are champions at burying pine seeds (sometimes tens of thousands) in hidden caches in fall, then re-finding them during winter; these seed stores allow them to nest in late winter when the […]
Common Mergansers are numerous in summer along rivers in northern North America, and many a canoe trip will turn them up without much trouble. Look for them sitting on rocks in midstream, disappearing around the next bend, or flying along the river, when their white wing patches and heavy bodies make them easy to identify. In winter, seek Common Mergansers on large rivers and lakes; look for them in large flocks mixed with other ducks such as Common Goldeneye and Bufflehead. Look for the sharp dark-and-white contrast of the snazzy males and the crisply defined, rusty heads of females.
(Cornell Labs, All about birds)