Site Fidelity in October

Last year (2007) at Dyess AFB, TX, a beautiful white morph Red-tailed Hawk decided to overwinter on base:


Last Friday (October 17, 2008) I photo’d another white morph Red-tail. If it is the same hawk that hung out last year, it is showing site fidelity. With birds, site fidelity is when they complete their migration for hundreds or thousands of miles they not only return to the same area, but they will return to the same tree and branch, as if it were their home.

Another bird behavior I observed while on base happened with the Eastern Bluebirds. They were checking out nestboxes:


All the nestboxes on base have been relocated to telescoping eight-foot poles in an effort to thwart predation. Several bluebirds were already inspecting their potential new summer homes. One pair of bluebirds, however, was defending their previous nestbox! This is spring nesting behavior. Were some bluebirds just playing house? or actually getting a head start in the house hunting department?

And one last bird seen last week almost stumped me as to its identity. Do you know who this sleeping beauty is?


To find out the mystery bird’s ID and see the pictures of the white morph Red-tail and Eastern Bluebirds house hunting, check out the Site Fidelity Gallery. Feel free to tell me if I have mis-identified the sparrow!

One response to “Site Fidelity in October”

  1. Wow, the red-tail and your bluebird pics are stunning!

    Other supporting features for your sparrow ID are the lack of contrasting moustachial and submoustachial stripes and what appears to be a grayish rump, though the angle makes that hard to see for sure.