Tag Archives: Birds

Eye of the grackle

Common grackle, perched on a tree branch

Grackles have interesting color attributes. See them in bright sunlight and they appear almost totally black (except for that iridescent head). See them in diffused light, and in addition to blue, you see brown, purple, and even a little green. But what I like the most about grackles is that piercing yellow eye.

Winter robins

Up until last week, I assumed that robins did not spend winter in Wisconsin. Last Saturday I was walking through the outdoor space at Olbrich Botanical Gardens when I saw a flock of about 15-20 birds hanging around a large tree.

robins perched on a tree in winter

I first noticed them in the upper branches, backlit by the bright sky. From that vantage point, they looked like starlings. However, as I got closer I discovered they were actually robins.

Continue reading Winter robins

Living below zero

Madison is in the middle of at least a two day stretch of below zero temperatures. Last night the low was -18 (fahrenheit), and the high today was -11. One of the things I find amazing during brutally cold stretches like this, is the ability of small creatures to survive.

American Tree Sparrow

It’s incredible to me that a small bird, like this American Tree Sparrow, manages to stay warm enough to get through these bitter cold days and nights. Another one of nature’s miracles.