Folks were very generous with their feedback when this was originally posted. I have gone through and made corrections. Thank you everyone!
This bird was knocking on my house, loudly. It was also having a very energetic conversation with this other bird (female woodpecker?). Now, until we got chickens, I didn’t really pay attention to birds, so I have a huge learning curve here. Feel free to jump in with info on what this spotted, red-headed feathered beast is. I believe this is a local New Mexico woodpecker. I don’t know if the bird in the tree is the female of the species, or another bird just cheering on the pecker for sport. Maybe the second bird wasn’t cheering at all, but rather razzing the pecker’s ability to penetrate the edge of the roof. Looking on El Internet, I think it might be a red-naped sapsucker. (Edit: Most likely a Flicker, which is a much cooler name).
We’ve also got robins – which occasionally fly in and perch themselves in the living room. This drives the dogs nuts. This particular bird was on the ceiling fan, far outside of reach of our industriously jumping dogs. (Edit: these are swallows).
Ring-necked doves, and white wedding doves, and their resultant cross-breeds are easy for me to identify. They are also the bird most often caught and devoured by my outdoor cats. They tend to eat the left over chicken feed and are rather plump here.
This is a little black bird with red at the shoulder of each wing. They are prolific down at the pond and can be quite noisy. I don’t know what they are called. (Edit: Red-winged Blackbird).
I recognize hummingbirds, but don’t know much about individual species. I believe the red here is a male Rufous. I am not sure about the green-backed ones.
As true with most of the animal kingdom, the larger the bird, the easier for me to identify it. The Great Blue Herons of the valley like to go fishing at our pond. Our new waterfowl respect those long sharp beaks and keep their distance. These large birds also like to perch atop the largest cottonwoods. Sometimes they pick poorly, and go flopping around in the tree until they find a branch that can support their weight.
Great Horned Owls also have a colony in the area. I believe it is across the river, up the mountain side in some natural caves. This guy was caught eating our neighbor’s white doves 2 years ago. He held it over night and then released it in the morning after I got some photos. You can tell by the size that this is a young one. The first time I ever saw a Great Horned Owl, I was on a small tour of the Very Large Array in southern New Mexico. There is nothing like staring a 3.5 foot predatory bird in the eye and wondering if you are on the ‘Potential Next Meal’ list. OK, Everyone, STAY with the group!