Spring 2019: Backyard Wildlife in Northern Virginia

Spring is here and the backyard birds are out and about searching for materials for their nests.  It’s easiest to catch them now on camera before the trees are full of leaves.

Above is the elegant and sweet morning dove.  Last year, a cute pair made a nest in the cupola of our gazebo.  They were a joy to watch!

It turns out that the morning dove is one of the most common birds in  North America.  The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has great information on this interesting bird.  It comes under the Columbidae family along with pigeons.

Of course, a survey of backyard birds in the springtime wouldn’t be complete without including the ever dependable robin!  This one seems to be uncharacteristically oblivious to the camera staring at him.

Shifting gears and pointing the lens upward toward the sky, my investigative son spotted our resident hawk’s nest!  It’s way high up in the tallest of poplar trees in the woods behind our backyard.

This hawk is a beauty, especially the underside as you can see below.  I love how its legs are positioned while in flight.

Too bad the sky wasn’t blue for better contrast, but we’ll take what we can get.  These birds are just too beautiful to pass up such a photo opportunity.

Here is another family favorite, the Virginia vulture.  Here is one with a white face against another white sky.  🙁

Here is a vulture with a red face against a blue sky (finally!!).

Caught on film is another family favorite, the woodpecker.  Here is one of the smaller varieties of woodpeckers, wreaking havoc on a tree.

Turning to mammals, all we have captured so far this Spring is the humble squirrel.

And the squirrel running away on the fence which is always cool to see.

Unfortunately, it looks like our backyard foxes haven’t produced a new litter this year, though at least three adults took residence under our shed over the winter.  We still spot them out and about each day and hear their peculiar calls to each other at night, but they have been tough to catch on camera (in focus, anyway).

Below is a photo of two pups from last year.  What memories!

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