The Piano Guys – Christmas Songs Linked to Holiday Light Display (Video)

In these videos, The Piano Guys instruments are linked to 500,000 Christmas lights through 4,900 digital channels.

The Light Show was created by:
Production/Controls: Jason Ellsworth and Kyle Ottman, AlpenglowAnimated
Electrical and Lighting: Drew Buck, NightVisioninc
Additional Programming: Tom BetGeorge, MagicalLightShows

Western Meadowlark

The Feather Files
Name: Western Meadowlark
Species: Sturnella neglecta
Native to and Migration: Birds can be found in South Central and Western Canada; central and Western United States; North and Central Mexico. Resident to medium distance migrants.
Date Seen: May 2018
Location: Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Utah
Notes: Open grassland birds, their song is familiar to many of us here on the prairies, but we seldom if ever see them!

American Avocet

The Feather Files
Name: American Avocet
Species: Recurvirostra americana
Native to and Migration: South Central Canada; Central and Western United States; Mexico. Migrate from northern and central areas to south or coastal areas.
Date Seen: May 2018
Location: Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Utah
Notes: A long-legged wader walks through shallow waters using its slender, upturned bill to catch aquatic invertebrates. Females may lay eggs in nests of other females, or even other birds. Several other species of birds do the same thing to the avocets.

Mountain Bluebird – Attracting Bluebirds (Video)

Male Mountain Bluebird, Arches National Park
Female Mountain Bluebird, Alberta
Male Mountain Bluebird, Alberta
Male Mountain Bluebird, Alberta

The Feather Files
Name: Mountain Bluebird
Species: Sialia currucoides
Native to and Migration: Mountain Bluebirds breed in western North America as far north as Alaska. They winter as far south as central Mexico
Date Seen:  May 2016;  May 2017
Location: Arches National Park, Utah, USA;  North of Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Notes:  Mountain Bluebirds will use man made birdhouses if the location is to their liking.

American White Pelican

Bear River Utah
American White Pelican breeding adult

Bear River Utah

The Feather Files
Name: American White Pelican
Alias: Pelecanus erythrorhynchos
Native to and Migration: Northern breeding populations (Alberta and Saskatchewan) migrate to southern California, the Gulf States, Mexico, and Central America. Populations breeding in Texas and Mexico are resident.
Date Seen: May 2018
Location: Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Utah
Notes: Snowy white with black flight feathers visible only when the wings are spread. A small patch of ornamental feathers on the chest can become yellow in spring. The bill and legs are yellow-orange. A yellow plate forms on the upper bill of breeding adults.

These birds feed from the water’s surface, dipping their beaks into the water to catch fish and other aquatic organisms. They often upend, like a very large dabbling duck. They do not plunge-dive the way Brown Pelicans do.

Red-winged Blackbird

Arizona
Female Red-winged Blackbird
Utah
Male Red-winged Blackbird

The Feather Files
Name: Red-winged Blackbird
Species: Agelaius phoeniceus
Native to and Migration: Red-winged Blackbirds that breed through most of Canada spend the winter in the southern United States. The birds that breed in the United States and Mexico don’t migrate at all.
Date Seen: May 2018, February 2019
Location: Utah and Arizona

Notes: These birds spend the breeding season in wet places like fresh or saltwater marshes. Male Red-winged Blackbirds will sit on a high perch over their territories, which they defend vigorously. Females slink through reeds and grasses collecting food or nest material. This explains why I didn’t recognize the female until I saw a flock of them feeding beside a lake during non-breeding season.

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Bear River Bird Refuge Utah

Bear River Bird Refuge

The Feather Files
Name: Yellow-headed Blackbird
Species: Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus
Native to and Migration: Populations that breed in the Canadian prairies migrate southeast and then due south across the United States to wintering grounds in the Southwest and throughout Mexico. They form large flocks of thousands of birds that forage in crop fields, ranchlands, and farmyards from Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas through much of Mexico.
Date Seen: May 3, 2018
Location: Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Utah

Notes: The female chooses a nest site within a male’s territory. The nest always overhangs shallow water in wetlands, marshes, ponds and rivers.

Mountain Bluebirds in Utah

Utah

Bluebirds have taught me a few things. First, the more you think you know, the more you have to learn. Second, never say never because they will fool you every time! Third, they have taught me to stop sweating details in my life and learn to enjoy the simple things. There are things far greater than ourselves out there, going on unnoticed right before our eyes.
– Malinda Matsuko, Bluebirder, 2005 –

Utah

The Feather Files
Name: Mountain Bluebird
Species: Sialia currucoides
Native to and Migration: They spend winters as far south as central Mexico. During the breeding season they can be found across western North America as far north as Alaska.
Date Seen: May, 2016
Location: Sand Dune Arch, Arches National Park, north of Moab, Utah