by Marilyn and Keith Davis


Flammulated Owl

        Have you ever been soooo tired that you were only willing to use half your brain? Soooo sleepy, and yet afraid to go to sleep? Soooo worn out from the activity you are involved in, which you must continue, that you just cannot sleep? Have you ever been soooo cold that you couldn’t get warm enough to drop off to sleep? What do you do? Take a look at some feathered professionals that deal with these problems every day.

flammulated owl       The professionals are birds, of course. When they pack up to go on a long trip they have no suitcase, no hands to carry one either. When they are hungry, there are no Albertsons, Smiths, or Harmons to stop at for groceries. When they are out of gas.... they are really out of gas, and have to get some kind of nourishment and rest before proceeding. When they are cold, they have no warm jackets, hoods, or mittens to keep them warm. Birds do it all with only the feathers on their back and good survival practices. They are survivors and have been gifted with survival skills from the beginning of time.

       Cool Stuff: Hummingbirds respond to cold weather by entering torpor (short-term hibernation) which requires one-fiftieth of its waking energy level. Winter Wrens usually sleep alone, but on cold wintery nights they will call others to gather for the night, to snuggle, fluff, and mingle their feathers so the group can share body heat. How much sleep do birds need? Sleep varies with the season and the task at hand. Studies have documented that birds possess the ability to sleep in a way that allows half of their brain to rest while the other half remains conscious. White-crowned Sparrows who migrate 2,600 miles restrict their sleep by two-thirds during migration. Sooty Terns sleep on the wing while migrating, taking repeated naps lasting only a second or two. Marine birds doze as they bob on the waves. Other birds float the night away on lakes and coastal waters. Heavy birds like Wild Turkeys fly into a forest canopy to be above any predator that would come their way during the night. All these special skills, and more, makes it possible for birds to get the sleep they need.

       Feathers are one of the birds survival secrets. Old feathers are replaced before winter sets in. Avid preening spreads the needed oil over the surface of the feathers to make them waterproof. With sleek oiled outer feathers to repel rain; trimmed and smoothed feathers to rebuff the wind; with downy feathers to insulate from cold.... birds are ready.... they will survive!

       The Flammulated Owl is one of the most migratory owls in North America. It completely leaves the western United States for Central Mexico and on to Guatemala each year. Traveling this far requires a lot of survival skills. Each year the Flammulated Owls return to the same nest. If a mate is lost, the remaining Owl will form new bonds with another mature mate to take its place. The Flammulated Owl has a life span of more than 8 years, longer than most. It is a survivor.  This Owl is a great example of using learned skills to keep its numbers up.  You may never see this Owl because they are nocturnal. But, if you hear a call in the night... "boot", "boot"... you may be able to find one sleeping in the daytime with one eye open, and one eye closed.

        Mary Feezer is the artist for this small, Flammulated Owl. Like the Owl, Mary is into migration, for she spends her summers in the cool reaches of Wyoming and her winters in balmy St. George. Thank you Mary for sharing your work with us.  -- Marilyn Davis 

        Past "Artists & Birds" articles are listed in the table below. 

Past Articles
"Cold Days and Good Memories"  (White Pelican) 
"Where's Sherlock Holmes When You Need Him?" (YB Cuckoo)
"Tale of Four Birders"  (Western Scrub Jay)
"East Zion Continued" (Golden-crowned Kinglet),
  Vermilion Flycatcher
"Aerial Wolves" (Sharp-shinned Hawk)
"From Clown School to Pond" (Ruddy Duck)
"Shades of Red" Red-tailed Hawk
"Predatory Songbird" (Northern Shrike)

The Cagey Killdeer"
"A True Bird Story" (Willet)
"A Song to Remember" (Hermit Thrush)
"To Catch a Fish..." (Green Heron aka Green-backed Heron)
"No Spring Cleaning" (Brown-headed Cowbird)
"Look-alikes Galore" (Sage Sparrow)
"A Jazzy Singer" (Cassin's Finch)
"Salute the Coot" (American Coot)
"Put a Smile on Your Face" (Greater Roadrunner)
"The Tale of Fred and Ethel" (Mallard)
"A Flutter of Sparrows" (Clay-colored Sparrow)
"A Sight to Remember" (Blue-gray Gnatcatcher)
"About Night Life" (Northern Saw-whet Owl)
"Black and White and Smart All Over" (BB Magpie)
"Dressed for Dinner... of Fine Wines and Bugs" (RN Sapsucker)
"A Life List" (Painted Redstart)
"Bird-Brained" (Flammulated Owl)
"Needle in a Haystack" (White-throated Sparrow)
"Booby Trap Nest" (Red-breasted Nuthatch)
"The Crowd Pleaser" (Western Tanager)
"Seeds and Civilization" (American Tree Sparrow)
"A Childhood Treasure" (Black-headed Grosbeak)
"Those Itchy Red Bumps" (Cliff Swallow)
"Is There a Bee in Your Bonnet" (Utah bees)
"Where's My Winter Coat" (Great-tailed Grackle)
"Ice Age Tree Planter" (Blue Jay)
"An Uncommon Beauty" (Black-and-white Warbler)
"What's In a Name" (American Redstart)
"When the Cold Winds Blow" (Western Grebe)
"A National Beauty" (Bald Eagle)

"Feathered Tiger" (Cooper's Hawk)
"The Accomplished Carpenter" (Acorn Woodpecker)
"Jewels" (Evening Grosbeak)
"Observations on the Road" (Rock Pigeon)
"A Leftover Memory" (California Gull)
"Lifelong Dreams" (Greater Roadrunner)
"Who's in Your Yard"  Wren)
"A Touch of Blue" (Mountain Bluebirds)
"Fur and Feathers" (Spotted Owl)
"Chick-a-dee-dee-dee" (Mountain Chickadee)
"In Search of" (Red-breasted Nuthatch)
"Wanderlust" (Canada Goose)
"Einstein Birds" (American Crow)
"What Spring Brings" (American Wigeon)
"Magnificent and Adaptable" (Golden Eagle)
"The Loneliest Sound" (Common Loon)
"When a Rare One Shows" (Thayer's Gull)
"Bird of the Ocean Shores" (Brown Pelican)
"A Mature Forest" (Northern Goshawk)
"When Black Eyes are Cool" (Short-eared Owl)
"Spring Is Busting Out All Over" (American Robin)
"Acrobatic Survivor" (Common Raven)
"Are You Ready For Hummers?" (Calliope HBird)
"Poppies, Rock Wren, and a Trip in Time" (Rock Wren)

"What’s On Tonaquint Pond?" (Baby Mallard Ducks)
"Definitely Not High-Uintah Parrots" (Pine Grosbeak)
"Before Radio, Records, and Hi-Fi" (N. Mockingbird)
"Bloomington Hills Drive Pond" (Birds of Southern Utah)
"Marks of Identification" (Northern Harrier)
"Nature’s Fighter Plane" (Common Nighthawk)
"King of the Western Skies" (California Condor)
"Are Bugs On Your Diet?" Ash-throated Flycatcher
"Warblers with Cavities" Lucy's Warbler
"Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner" Steller's Jay
"Life Bird List" Indigo Bunting
"Valley of Ghosts" Burned habitat
"One Raven is a Good Omen" Raven
"Way-Cool Bird" Cassin's Kingbird
"What a Song Will Do" Virginia Rail
"Surprise at Kolob"  Chestnut-backed Chickadee
"Hatches and Hatches" Mourning Dove babies
"Power Lines and Fence Posts" American Kestrel
"Pump-er-Lunk, Pump-er-Lunk" American Bittern
"What's a Chukar" Chukar
"A Jacket in The Morning" Oregon Junco
 "Silhouettes in the Sky" Turkey Vulture

"The Sound of Fall" White-crowned Sparrow
"Where Birds Hang Out" Ruby-crowned Kinglet
"Just Desserts" Canvasback Duck
"Reasons to Visit Zion" Wild Turkey

" Disappearing Act" Sage Sparrow
"A Favorite Bird of the UK" English Robin
"The Christmas Card Bird" Black-capped Chickadee
"Warm Slippers" Rough-legged Hawk

"Beautiful, But Strange" Northern Shoveler
"Live Christmas Tree Ornaments" Scrub Jay
"Red and Black and ..." Vermilion Flycatcher
"Bird Songs" Birds at the feeder

"Teacher! Teacher! Teacher!" Ovenbird
"Raptors and Bird Feeders"
"Who’s Who in Winter" Abert's Towhee "
"The Original Centerfold Model" Eastern bluebird

"What This ‘Look-Alike’ Looks Like" Pine Siskin
"To Shine a Light on a Name" Cedar Waxwing
"Find a Ladder-backed WP" Ladder-backed WP
"The Price of Bird Seed" Lesser Goldfinch
"Our Juniper Trees" Townsend's Solitaire
"Bird Friendly Backyard" Lazuli Bunting 
"What’s in a Lek?" Sage Grouse
"The Dueling Doves"
M. Dove - Collared-Dove
"Frozen Dinners" Turkey Vulture
"Stop, Sit, Listen & Watch" Common Yellowthroat
"The Night Hunter" Black-crowned Night-Heron

"Window Peekers" Hummingbirds
"When Food’s Free" Bullock's Oriole 
 "Here To Stay!" House Sparrow
"Wild Places" Black-throated Sparrow
"Weird Spring - Many Birds" Western Tanager
"A Little Bird Watching" baby bird watching
"Stripes, Streaks, Bills, Crowns, and Colors"  Lark Sparrow
"Hoping for Perfect"
Gray Catbird
"Home Sweet Home???" Horned Lark
"Ah, the Western Bluebird!"
"The 'Under Cover" Bird" Green-tailed Towhee
"A Shady Patio"Juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk
"Quail Talk" Gambel's Quail 
"Flight of Dragonflies" 
  Ruffed Grouse/Rattlesnake
"Bird Feathers"
"Protective Coloration" Pigeons 
"The Agile Scavenger" Common Raven 
"Where Have All The Pheasants Gone?"
"Black is Beautiful!" Common Black Hawk
"A Best Friend" Barn owl 
"The Ugly Duckling" Mute Swan 
"What Birders Do" Magnificent Hummingbird 
"The Magic of October" Double-crested Cormorant 
"A Gibberish Conversation" Great-tailed Grackle 
"Black Things - Flying" American Coot 
"Flying Fortress White Pelican 
"What is a CBC?" Golden-crowned Sparrow
"Is That a Wild Canary?" Yellow Warbler 
"A Tale of a Great Blue Heron
" Great Blue Heron
 "Better To Wait For Breakfast..." Merlin
"This Was The Place" Red-winged Blackbirds 
"Just To Be Noticed" Pied-billed Grebe 
"Crash Landing" Eared Grebe 
"Where’s It Gonna Show Next?" Anna's Hummingbird

"Become a Junior Birder"
"Seen Any UFOs???"
"Feathered Treasures"
"The Long Way Home" Northern Harrier
"Mr. Lonesome" Greater Roadrunner 
"Four of a Kind" Black-crowned Night Heron
"Winter Colors" American Goldfinch
"Black Snow" European Starling 
"Looking Way Good" Belted Kingfisher 
"To Fill A Niche" Black-billed Magpie 
"Worth Every Cent" Backyard Chickens

"Wet and Bedraggled Pigeon..." Cooper's Hawk
"Why Don't We?" Northern Cardinal
"Rarely, but Possible" Harris's Sparrow
"A Lucky Fluke" Yellow-headed Blackbird
"What Spring Will Bring" Willow Flycatcher
"To Venture Outdoors"  Sharp-shinned Hawk
"St. George at its Finest!" Canyon Wren
"A Suitable Nest" Vermilion Flycatcher
"Stuck in Dixie"  Tree Swallow

"Time to Visit Zion" Blue Grosbeak
"Call From the Wild" Bullock's Oriole nest
"Apple Valley Babies"Western Scrub Jays
"The Fading Song Act" Cactus Wren
"To Win the Ladies"
Northern Mockingbird
"Color is Significant to a Flicker" Northern Flicker 

"King of Bunker Hill"Gambel's Quail
"The Dinner Table"Ferruginous Hawk 
"A Water Tank" Mourning Dove
"Faraway Places
"  Black-throated Blue Warbler 
"Faraway Places - Part 2" Franklin's Gull
"Brenda Rusnell - Artist "
"Hit Or Miss" Sharp-shinned Hawk 
"The Flashy Singer/Babysitter" Prothonotary Warbler 
"A Sighting To Remember" Canada Warbler
"Super Size this Meal but Skip the French Fries" BG Heron 
"The Last Days of Summer" Red-eyed Vireo 
"More Than Just Spectators" Great-tailed Grackles 
"A Song to Love" Western Meadowlark 
"The Amazing Migrant" Bobolink 
"A Thistle Sock" Lesser Goldfinch
"From a Bird’s Point of View" Chipping Sparrow 
"At Just the Right Time" Cedar Waxwing 
"A Chicken in Every Pot " Chicken
"A Perfect Flight" Feathers 
"An Atmosphere of Comfort " Burrowing Owl
"Goose Girl" Domesticated Goose 
"Looking For A Super Sleuth" Vermilion Flycatcher 
"Birds and Bugs" Black Swift 
"Why Not Make a Memory?" Spotted Towhee 
"Curious About Birds? " Bewick's Wren
"Ow-Wow, Ow-Wow, Ow-Wow" Hooded Merganser 
"A Snipe Hunt"  Wilson's Snipe
"The Butcher Bird" Loggerhead Shrike 
"Just Happens Event" Killdeer
"A Spring Show" Cattle Egret 
"Are You Nuts" Double-breasted Nutcracker 
"If You Build It, They Will Come" American Robin 
"Passing Through Southern Utah" Black-necked Stilt 
"Listen Inside and Outside" Say's Phoebe
"Frozen Dinners" Paper Wasps vs Woodpeckers 
"Weather or Not" Golden Eagle 
"Troubadours From Mexico" Great-tailed Grackle 
"Sticks, Straw, and Bricks "
"Front Door Nursery
"Eggs And Ravens" Common Raven
"Field Trips are to Die For" Phainopepla
"A Successful Introduction" Wild Turkey 
"Follow The Leader" Turkey Vulture 
"When There’s Fire" 
"A New Kind of Sport "
"What to Do With Flying Pests "
"Oak Grove and Hummers" Broad-tailed Hummingbirds
"Being Fed" Feeding baby birds

"Crash Day"Learning to Fly 
"Thunderstorms and Scrambled Eggs" 
"Hold the Mud . . ."  Blue Grosbeak
"A Feathery Mystery"
"Magnetic Yards" 
"Rainbows and Gambel’s Quail"
"Not an Ordinary Bird" Phainopepla
"Sunflowers - Free Lunch" Lesser Goldfinch
"Passing Through" Townsend's Warbler
"How High Can You Count?" Blackbirds
"Belly Flops and Kingfishers" Belted Kingfisher
"Listen and Learn" Northern Mockingbird
"Food, Safety and Welcome" Red-winged Blackbird 

"Whooo, Whooo, Whooo, Whoooo?" Long-eared Owl
"Have Breakfast with a Bird" Baltimore Oriole
"Tongue Lashing from a Bird" House Wren
"Food and Easy Takings" Mourning Dove

"When It's Snow Time in the Rockies" Snow Birds
"Clothes Make the Man . . But *" Indigo Bunting

"The Call of Roosters" Chickens
"Find The Vermilion Flycatcher"
"A Snowy Zion" Dark-eyed Junco
"A Day Well Spent" Bald Eagle
"Easy Pickings" Eurasian Collared-Dove
"The Christmas Bird" Northern Cardinal
"Feathers in the Air" American Kestrel
"Is the Festival Over?" California Gull
"A Song of the Outdoors" Hermit Thrush
"What's on Your Pond?" Bufflehead
"A Must See" Ring-necked Duck
"Bird with the Most Smarts" American Crow
"Free Symphonies This Spring" Young artists birds
"Own a Chunk of Gold" Sandhill Crane
"Feathers on the Ground" Peregrine Falcon
"A Bill for What?" Northern Shoveler
"He's Back" Say's Phoebe
"Opportunistic Feeders" Cattle Egret
"When Habitat Disappears" Long-billed Curlew
"Bug Spray or Flycatchers???" Vermilion Flycatcher
"Talk to a Bird" Yellow Warbler
"Bathing Beauties"
"Who's Who...Parent or Baby"
"Did You Know..." California Quail
"Surprise Sighting" Solitary Vireo
"Bringing Home the Bacon (Bugs)"Western Kingbird
"Are the Grapes Ripe Yet?"House Sparrows
"Following Mom"
"When Grapes Are Ripe" Northern Mockingbird
"Dangers All Around"  Gambel's Quail
"Unexpected Visitor" Hummingbird
"Don't Miss What's Happening in Your Yard" Sharp-shinned Hawk
"Common, but Not So Common" Greater Roadrunner
"The Bird That Digs and Runs" Crissal Thrasher
"Birds and Temperature" American Wigeon
"A Picnic for Travelers" Lesser Goldfinch
"UFO's - Unexpected Flying Objects" Turkey Vulture
"Golden Eagles vs Cheatgrass"
"A Roller Coaster Ride"
"Hawks and Doves"
"When Leaves Fall from Trees"
"One Small Superhero" Northern Saw-whet Owl
"Snow in Dixie" Western Scrub Jay
"A Sunday Buffet?" American Kestrel
"Unexpected Surprises"
"Almost Never" Streak-backed Oriole
"Bird-friendly Plants" House Sparrow
"The Fly Over" Mute Swan
"Help...Help...Help" Peacock
"Picnic on the Beach" California Gull
"Hotel Accommodations" Say's Phoebe
"Weather Sense" White-crowned Sparrow/Dark-eyed Junco
"Looking for Quality Males" Sage Grouse
"A Keynote Bird" Vermilion Flycatcher
"A New Comer" White-winged Dove
"Fascination" Western Kingbird
"Migration Stopover" Glossy Ibis

"Sweet Sweet Sweet - I’m So Sweet" Yellow Warbler
"With a Black Spot" Song Sparrow
"The Most Wanted List" Brown-headed Cowbird
"Strange Looking Birds" Say's Phoebes
"The Everywhere Bird" Horned Lark
"Hollyhocks and Hummers" Black-chinned Hummingbird
"Habitats Make a Difference" Hooded Oriole vs Social Weaver Bird
"!!*&#!!@%*$#!!" Northern Mockingbird
"A Turkey in the Sky" Turkey Vulture
"A Bird with Many Names" Black-billed Magpie
"Desert Hummers" Costa's Hummingbird
"People Matter"
"Bedraggled" Great-tailed Grackle
"A Formidable Predator" Cooper's Hawk
"A Feeding Frenzy" American Robin
"It Looks Like Spring"
"Sounds of the Night" Great Horned Owl
"Delayed Takeoff" Turkey Vulture
"Eighty Percent Correct" Red-tailed Hawk
"A Most Important Bird" Red Jungle Fowl
"Alive and Thriving" Common Raven
"All Dressed Up in Black & White" Black-billed Magpie
"A Barren Habitat" Horned Lark
"The Good Samaritan" Mute Swan
"Road Kill Special" Golden Eagle
"A Nifty Surprise" Red-shouldered Hawk

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