As I walked along a road this morning I heard the loud cry of a Red-tailed Hawk, so loud that I knew it must be close; but look as I would I couldn’t locate the caller. Then I caught sight of a bird about 30 feet away that I had been searching for earlier, one rarely seen in this area and when I focused on him I could see that it was he who was making the call.
Cornell’s website All About Birds enabled me to identify the caller as a Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri), a bird found only west of the Rocky Mountains and in the section of “sounds” on the site there was a call they noted as “mimicking Red-tailed Hawk”.
This morning when I first caught a glimpse of this little one through the fog I thought I was just seeing a leaf in the top of a bare chokecherry. He is about the size of a sparrow and weighs only two ounces.
(If you are interested, you can find more information about him here .)
This little fellow is just the size of a baseball at present, but he will weigh about two pounds when fully grown. Blue grouse, AKA Dusky grouse, are still plentiful in western Montana where they prefer to live at elevations around 6,000 feet or higher. (Photographed in the Reservation Divide roadless area).