Exploring Nature: Birdbath Visitors

The American goldfinch is a small North American that migrates from just south of the Canada–United States border to Mexico during the winter. FREE USE PHOTO

I am a little disappointed in recent visitors to my birdbath.

The bath is a heavy concrete model and I recently spotted a large black vulture standing in it, evidently enjoying a dip even though it is mid-winter.

Previously, I had looked out and seen a well-groomed gray fox standing in the shallow bowl. He lapped up a quick drink and jumped down to lope leisurely away.

Foxes and vultures are not what I had in mind, but I suppose one takes what one can get. Perhaps someday I will have a nice goldfinch splashing away.

And, that reminds me, I have not seen either an American goldfinch or a lesser goldfinch this winter. Usually by this time, I have several taking the thistle seeds from my back deck feeder.

The American goldfinch, a plump five-inch “wild canary,” often shows up in flocks and flies in an undulating, up-and-down fashion. The lesser goldfinch we have is the eastern form and the male has a glossy black back and bright yellow bottom, while the female is an overall greenish yellow. I think both species are running late this year and hope they get here soon.

San Marcos Daily Record

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