Birds get their names for sooooo many different reasons. Some of their names are so obvious, while others make you grab your computer and look up just how the name came to be!
Here are a couple of Vireos that I caught peeking at me the other day, can you guess what their names are?
Zoom in and take a good look at its eye. Yup, this is the White-eyed Vireo. This bird is very bold, it will actually come out of the dense cover to check you out if you are birding near it. They are very vocal and common in the Southeast. In Bermuda they are know as the “chick-of-the-village” because that is what it sounds like when it sings.
Now zoom in and take a good look at this one’s eye… It’s the Red-eyed Vireo! They are one of the most numerous birds in the eastern woods during the summer. Not as bold as the White-eyed Vireo, it will usually stay out of sight, but you will hear it singing over and over again.
Here are some of the birds that I’ve been seeing lately. Springtime is great, because the birds are singing so much, but sooooo many leaves make it hard to get good photos…
Here’s the Blue Grosbeak. They will spend the winter in the tropics. Insects and seeds make up their diet, which they get mostly while walking along the ground.
The Eastern Towhee will breed up into New England and down into all of the East Coast. Most of the southern birds don’t migrate at all and you can spot them all year long, while the ones in the North will migrate south for the winter.
This Ovenbird has a very loud song that sounds like it’s singing “teacher, teacher”. Usually they are hard to spot, but you know that they are there because you hear them! They forage for insects as they walk along the leaf littered ground.
Lately life has been pretty much of the same thing… we keep going to the same birding locations, so I feel like I’m in a bit of a rut…
Fortunately it’s the springtime and with that we’ve have the bird migration. That has helped a lot! I’ve been able to spot a few different birds migrating through lately and many others have returned to my area from their winter homes.
Here are a few birds that I have spotted lately…
Eastern Kingbird. They will winter in South America, living in flocks and foraging for berries. In the spring and summer they will eat mostly insects.
Yellow-breasted Chat. Mostly they will spend the winter in the tropics. It’s the largest warbler we have in the US. They will forage in the dense low tangles, eating insects.
Eastern Wood-Pewee. They will winter in the tropics. They don’t arrive back in North America until May and will be gone again come October. Its diet consists almost entirely on insects, very seldom will they eat berries.
The Male is very colorful and well actually, pretty! Though the female isn’t quite as colorful, she is still beautiful…
They will make a loud wooo-eeek call when startled into flight…
This is a photo of the male Wood Duck, see his dark green head and bright red eye!
They breed mostly in the east, but also can be permanent residents on the west coast. They will pair off in the winter, then the males will follow the females to the nesting range. Some years a male might end up migrating close by, while the next year he may go farther up north (they get a new mate each year)…
They nest in tree cavities near water which can be up to 65 feet above the ground! Often females will lay their eggs in others’ nests, leaving that female to incubate the eggs.
Young ducklings jump to the ground the day after they hatch!!!
I wanted to let you all know that I just finished another book!
This one is about a Bohemian Waxwing that I saw in an apple orchard a few years ago. It was a lifer for me and the only time that I have ever seen the Bohemian Waxwings.
If you get a chance, check it out on Amazon. I created it as an ebook and a paperback. I give out a lot of the paperbacks to the kids I know, I find that it helps to get them interested in birds and nature.
The bird migration is on! Birds have started to be on the move to their breeding grounds and luckily I’ve been able to find a few of them…
This is the Prothonotary Warbler. This male is a beautiful bright yellow with blue-gray wings and tail.
I heard him singing first, then I began to look around to find out just what bird it was. This one was checking out the dead tree behind him possibly for a nest. As he was checking it out a pair of Carolina Chickadees were letting him know that they were also interested in that real estate!
I went back a few days later and no one has claimed the prime location, maybe next time someone would have moved in and called it home…
I noticed this Eastern Kingbird by its “dazee, dzeet” calls. I found them in two different wildlife refuges recently, they all seem to come back at the same time… they do migrate in flocks, so that might explain it.
This beautiful Palm Warbler is just passing through, so I feel very lucky to have seen it!
They will breed up in Canada and winter in Florida.
Many birders find it difficult to identify which Scaup they see. You really do have to get a good look at the bird before you can say for sure just which one it is!
The other day while I was at the wildlife refugee, my husband spotted a flock of Scaups in a small pond. I got out of the car some distance away as to not scare them off.
I walked a few steps and took some photos, then a few steps more, then more photos…
There was one group of about 20 and then a separate group of 4. I made sure to get photos of both groups.
Here is what I saw.
These are Greater Scaups. They were in the smaller group, swimming off to the side of the bigger group. Luckily I was able to get these photos, so that I could do my “homework” and study them on my computer when I got home.
Take a good look at their heads, that is where you’ll find the best way to identify the Scaups. The Greater Scaup has a more rounded head with the higher point in the front. The Lesser Scaup’s highest point of its head is toward the back.
Here are a few Lesser Scaups.
Do you see the difference? Sometimes its hard to get a good look at them when you’re out walking, that’s why I take the photos.