The Black-crowned Night-Heron

The Black-crowned Night-Heron

I recently saw this bird hanging around a small pond that I was birding at. I have already seen this bird this year and didn’t need to add it to my count, but I enjoy getting its photo. I think the reason I try to get photos of the Black-crowned Night-Heron is because they don’t move much, they don’t flutter around, they aren’t too skittish, they don’t fly off when I stop nearby, they just sit quietly letting me take my photo.

Have you ever seen the Black-crowned Night-Heron’s eyes? The dark red eyes, kinda looks like a shiny marble.

Sometimes they’ll walk slowly through the shallow water, but they’re often seen just standing still.

Most of the time they forage throughout the night. During the day you usually see them in groups just sitting in trees near water. They will mostly eat fish.

They are found throughout the US and are found nesting on every continent except Antarctica and Australia.

It is thought that they forage at night because during the day all the other herons and egrets forage, making it difficult for the Black-crowned Night-Heron to compete for food.

Bird Feeders…

Bird Feeders…

I enjoy feeding birds. I have my bird feeders filled in my backyard for most of the year. I keep the birdbath filled with fresh water. I put stickers on my windows so that the birds wouldn’t fly into them and I do get a lot of different birds coming to my backyard.

Often I’ll see the, Northern Cardinals, Carolina Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, Tufted Titmouse, Eastern Bluebird, Pine Siskin, Summer Tanager, American Goldfinch, Yellow-rumped Warbler, White-throated Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Purple Finch, House Finch, Brown-headed Cowbird, Red-winged Blackbird, Mourning Dove, Carolina Wren, Red-headed Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, and more…

Occasionally I’ll also see the, Yellow-throated Warbler, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Scarlet Tanager, American Crow, Fish Crow, Blue Jay, Pileated Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Reb-breasted Sapsucker, and others…

But unfortunately, what I have noticed is that I am feeding all of the predators in the area! They come by often. They’ll wait perched on branches in the woods around the feeders and swoop in on the poor unsuspecting birds eating my seeds!!!

I feel terrible when one of them doesn’t make it, but boy am I thrilled when they all manage to get away and the predators are left with nothing!

Here are a few of the bird hunters in my backyard…

Red-tailed Hawk

Barred Owl

Bald Eagle

Cooper’s Hawk

Sharp-shinned Hawk

I’ll also see the Red-shouldered Hawk and the Osprey (Luckily they are usually more interested in the fish), but the poor birds always have to keep watch whenever they are eating in my backyard.

What Else did I See…

What Else did I See…

Here are photos of other things I’ve seen when walking through the wildlife refugees…

I think this is a red-bellied snake, but I’m not 100% sure… the only thing I do know is that it isn’t poisonous. You can tell by the eye, that is why I take photos, just to make sure I’m safe to walk past the snake. If it has round dark eye pupils, then it’s okay, but if it has cat eyes, where the pupils are slits going up and down, then stay away!!!

I saw this dragonfly on the edge of a swamp, just continually defending this perch. It would land, look around, if another insect came by, it would fly off to move them along, then come back to this perch. Occasionally it would see mosquitoes and fly off to get them, an individual dragonfly can eat hundreds of mosquitoes each day!!!

Recent Birds…

Recent Birds…

Here are a few photos of some of the birds that I’ve seen lately. Not many new birds for me, but I keep looking anyway…

This is a male Prothonotary Warbler. He is such a beautiful bright golden yellow, you can really spot him when he is flying around the swamps and rivers.

I saw this Green Heron in the swamp foraging for fish. They’ll usually stand still or walk very slowly in the shallow water just waiting for small fish to come by. Occasionally they will drop a feather or twig on the top of the water, as “bait,” to lure fish closer to them.

This is a Killdeer. They are found throughout all of the US, Canada and South America. They can be found nesting in fields, lawns, river banks and even airports.

Usually they eat insects. They’ll run a few steps, pause, run again, looking for something to eat off of the ground.

Who’s Been Eating all my Bird Seeds?

Who’s Been Eating all my Bird Seeds?

In the past couple of months my bird seed has been disappearing faster than it should for the amount of birds that I’ve been seeing around.

I do have a lot of squirrels, but they aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed! They have yet to be able to get up to the bird feeders, so I know it’s not them…

Well the other night I saw this creature at the feeder, his glowing eyes peeking back at me when I turned on the flood lights.

Then today he decided to boldly come for a snack, well the jokes on him, I haven’t filled the feeder in a while, so there was nothing for him!

I do have to take the feeder down (double gloves), and give it a good wash before I put it away for a couple of months. Maybe during that time, this raccoon will find a different place to get its snacks!

Barred Owl Nap Time…

Barred Owl Nap Time…

A few days ago I saw this cutie sitting on a low branch in my backyard. This is the Barred Owl. Often heard at night with it’s loud rich baritone hoo, hoo, hoo-hoo call, other times they can be heard making barking and screaming calls…

This one was just trying to take a nap. No other bird was around, no one was bothering it (except this crazy human taking photos)…

Occasionally it would peek at me, just to make sure I was still social distancing.

They are permanent residents throughout Canada and down through the eastern half of the US.

They will eat mostly small mammals. Usually eating mice, but also eats other small rodents, squirrels and rabbits.

On a couple of occasions the owl has come zooming into the backyard so fast and so close to me that I thought it was going to crash into me! It came around the corner of the house and didn’t see me standing in the backyard, luckily for both of us it is really good at flying!!!

Cute Canada Geese Goslings

Cute Canada Geese Goslings

These cuties can be seen all over the place now, tis the season…

They are born with their eyes open and will leave the nest within 24 hours.

You can find them throughout all of the US and Canada. In the past most would migrate in the winter, but now many of the ones that live in urban areas will remain permanent residents.

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

I Found This Peregrine Falcon on the Cliffs in Rancho Palos Verdes, California

I Found This Peregrine Falcon on the Cliffs in Rancho Palos Verdes, California


Peregrine Falcon

If you’re looking for this falcon, just take a drive down to Rancho Palos Verdes in California. Go to the Point Vicente Interpreative Center and take a look down over the cliffs and you should see a pair of Peregrine Falcons flying around. The center is a great place for birding. Each time I go I see the Falcon as well as a few species of seabirds since I am right on the ocean. Here you will also see volunteers looking each day for whales, they’ll do a daily count of the whales that pass by. 

The Peregrine Falcon is a large and powerful bird that can reach speeds of well over 100 mph when its diving for it’s prey. They are one of the world’s fastest birds. It will often hunt by flying very high then diving down to strike their prey out of the air! Other birds especially pigeons are the favored prey for the city falcons, while ducks and shorebirds are what the coastal falcons favor.

This Falcon may mate for life. Usually they will nest on cliffs, but due to limited availability of nesting sites and prey they’ll often relocate into cities. Building ledges make for great nesting sites and there are plenty of pigeons around… The Peregrine Falcon can be found on all six continents, but not often seen. Due to the use of pesticides during the 1940s-1970s there was widespread failure to reproduce for this falcon. They all but disappeared from their former breeding range. Luckily,  due to conservationists helping to ban the use of bad pesticides in North America, the Peregrine Falcon has been reintroduced into many areas and their population has become stable or possibly increasing! This bird is considered one of the noblest and most spectacular of all the birds of prey!

Louisiana Waterthrush

Louisiana Waterthrush

This is the Louisiana Waterthrush. They are similar to a thrush because they can be found walking along the water’s edge foraging for food, but they are actually a warbler.

Often times you’ll see them walking with their backend bobbing up and down. They will turn over leaves on the ground near or in the water looking for insects or crustaceans.

I saw this one along a river, I think I spooked it, so up it flew to a branch above my head. Later it went back down along the edge of the water and started foraging for food. Both the male and females look identical, so I don’t know which this one was…

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!