Birds From India

Birds From India

Several years back, I went on a trip to India. As with the Africa trip, I was not yet a “birder,” so looking at the native birds was not really something we were doing there.

I can remember though, being at the Taj Mahal and my husband telling me that I was nuts, because I was taking photos of owls in a tree for the longest time, instead of taking photos of the Taj Mahal!

I only got a few photos of birds while on the trip, I looked back at them years later to figure out what bird species I had seen.

Here are the photos that I took… try and guess what birds they are…

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These are the cute little Spotted Owlets that I found at the Taj Mahal. They can be found from India to Southeast Asia.

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This is the Rose-ringed Parakeet. Originally found only in Africa and South Asia, these birds have been released into the wild in many other parts of the world, where they have established themselves quite well.

This last one you should be able to guess or come very close to guessing it correctly. Take a good look at the bird, what would you name?

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It’s the Lesser golden-back woodpecker or Black-rumped flameback. These birds have adjusted to humans quite well and are often seen along small wooded avenues throughout India.

Hope you enjoyed these birds I found in India.

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

African Birds

African Birds

Over 10 years ago I took a fantastic trip to Africa. Lots of beautiful landscapes and animals, it was definitely a trip of a lifetime! There is only one thing that I wish I would have done differently on the trip, I wish I had been a birder (with a good camera) at the time I went on the trip!

We traveled around a lot and went on safaris, we saw lots of animals and birds and luckily I took a few photos of the unique birds that I saw. Years later I looked through my photos and figured out just which bird species I saw on the trip.

Here are a few photos of some of the birds that I saw, remember I was not a birder and I had a small little camera with me… You can try to make a guess, for those of you from Africa this should be easy, but for the rest of you it might be very difficult…

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This is a Saddle-billed stork. This bird is huge! It stands about 59 inches tall with a 8.9 foot wingspan. This very large colorful bird really surprised me when I first saw it, I told you Africa has unique birds!

This next one is a bit easier, you should at least be able to guess the family this bird is in…

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This is the African Fish Eagle. Obviously this bird eats mostly fish, catching them in its talons right out of the water.

These 2 were just walking around on the ground as we drove by looking for big game to photograph, any ideas what they are?

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These are Southern ground hornbills. They are the largest species of hornbills in the world! In the wild they live up to 60 years, and up to 70 years in captivity!

Hope you enjoyed looking at some very unique birds, maybe someday I’ll get back to Africa as a birder, with a good camera!

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

A Few More Birds…

A Few More Birds…

Welcome to summer…. this is the season when I get the least amount of new birds species each year. The birds have stopped signing to attract a mate, it’s gotten much hotter and leaves are everywhere, so it’s very difficult to spot birds fluttering around in the trees.

One way to get new birds would be to travel to different areas to see birds that aren’t around where you live. Unfortunately, in this year of the virus, traveling far has been difficult! 

I’ve been lucky enough to be able to go a little ways away from home to wildlife refuges and see birds there. 

Here are a few birds that I saw recently…

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Here are 2 Brown Thrasher fledglings, see there fluffy feathers. They leave the nest approximately 12 days after hatching, their parents now will have a 2nd brood.

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There were a pair of Cedar Waxwings flying around high above me in the trees. They have a very high pitched whistle. I love the bright yellow tip of their tail!

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This White-breasted Nuthatch was foraging all around the trees, this one ended up finding an insect.

I hope you’re able to get out and enjoy the summer. Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

I Found 1 New Bird For This Year…

I Found 1 New Bird For This Year…

It was a nice sunny (hot) day, but I got out early and went birding… 🙂

There were lots of birds out and about, since it was early in the morning, but I only found 1 species that I hadn’t seen yet this year.  While looking around in a wooded area near a small pond, something above me caught my eye… it was a Common Nighthawk. Unfortunately, it flew overhead too quickly for me to even try to get a photo, but I was thrilled to see it. I’m now up to 229 for 2020…

These birds are often seen flying overhead, they’ll forage for insects during the day, mostly dusk or dawn (not always night) and they are not hawks, they are in the nightjar family, so I’m not sure how they got their name…

I also saw this bird and its nest. Here is a hint, the nest is hanging…

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It’s the Orchard Oriole. I found his nest right above my head, I waited and waited for a photo of him going to the nest, but even when I moved further away, he refused to come back until I was out of sight…

Here is a photo of the nest.

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It’s actually hanging down, attached to the branches above, but it’s not as large as the Baltimore Oriole nests.

Happy Birding! Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Meet the Jays

Meet the Jays

Today is another bright sunny day… unfortunately, I’ve got things to do since I didn’t do any work yesterday… so I’m not going birding today. 😦

I did see a few birds in the yard, but nothing new… I did see a Blue Jay, that’s when I realized that I don’t have any photos of a Blue Jay! And even after seeing one today I still don’t have a photo… he flew away too quickly.

Originally this year I was going to try to find new lifers to add to my list, but since I’m not able to go birding too far away (still staying safe), I have a new mission. Now I am going to try to get a photo of a Blue Jay!

Here are some photos that I do have of other Jays…

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This is a Steller’s Jay, they are found on the west coast of Canada south into Central America.

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Here is the Green Jay, in the US they can only be found in the southernmost part of Texas! They are also in Mexico and in the tropics.

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This is the California Sccsrub-Jay, they can be found along the west coast of the US and south into Mexico.

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This is the Florida Scrub-Jay, they can only be found in Florida, USA. These birds are endangered! There are only about 4,000 pairs left, this is a 90% reduction from their original population! The main reason for the reduction is that they live in oak scrub which is naturally maintained by occasional fires, but since florida has fire prevention programs, there are less fires creating their habitat, thus less areas for them to live.

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And lastly, this is the Island Scrub-Jay, they live only on the Santa Cruz Island off the coast of Southern California. Since the island is sooooo small there are only 2,300 of these birds today! Notice the tags on its legs, they are keeping a close study on these birds to make sure that they continue to survive on the island!

Happy Birding… remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

A Few Birds I Saw…

A Few Birds I Saw…

At the wildlife refuge I found a few other birds happily singing their songs…

As I was walking near a small pond, I heard a bird mimicking other bird’s songs and singing over and over again. I thought that it was a Northern Mockingbird, so I really wasn’t too excited about spotting it. 

I continued to walk along the edge of the pond, getting closer and closer to the bird. Finally, I was at the end of the path, so I looked around for the singing bird and to my surprise it wasn’t a Mockingbird at all!

Can you guess what it was? I’ll give you a hint; it also mimics.

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It’s the Brown Thrasher! I’ve been fooled by them before, I always assume it’s a Mockingbird! They will forage mostly on the ground, they use their bill to flip over leaves to look for insects. Sometimes they will eat berries and nuts, they pound on acorns with their bill to open them up!

This next bird I hardly ever saw before this 2020 crap year… now I see it every time that I go to the wildlife refuge. Try and guess which bird species this is, I’ll give you a hint; they weren’t too imaginative when they named it…

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If you guessed the Black-and-white Warbler, you’re correct! Originally they called this bird the Black-and-white Creeper, because similar to the nuthatches and creepers, it will climb around tree trunks and limbs foraging for insects. Other warblers do not forage like this at all!

It never forages up very high in the trees and their nest are low too, often on the ground!

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Nice to Get Outside!

Nice to Get Outside!

Finally, today was a nice sunny day. No rain!!! And it wasn’t even that hot, so today was a great day to go birding…

We headed out early in the morning to the wildlife refuge. Of course, we were prepared to social distance, with our masks and gloves in the car. We only saw a couple of other cars and no one was anywhere near us…

I did manage to get 2 more bird species to add to my list for the year. 🙂

I didn’t get any photos of them, but I did manage to find a few other birds around.

Here is one that I found in the swamp. If you want to try to guess what it is, they are found from central US east to the coast and also along the west coast of the US, then south into Mexico and Central America. Have fun guessing…

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It’s the Green Heron. In the winter these birds can migrate as far south as South America. This bird forages along the water’s edge by standing very still looking for fish. They have been known to sometimes drop feathers or small twigs as “bait” into the water to attract fish.

This next one is a photo of one of my favorite birds. I love their song! They breed in eastern Canada south to northern Florida. Guess what it is…

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It’s the Wood Thrush! They will winter in the tropics. Unfortunately, their population has been declining due to the forests getting smaller and more easily penetrated by the cowbirds. They find the Wood Thrush nests and lay eggs in them. The Wood Thrush end up raising more cowbirds than their own young!

I hope that you are able to get out safely and enjoy the outdoors. Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Happy Saturday! Here Comes The Rain Again…

Happy Saturday! Here Comes The Rain Again…

Hurray it’s Saturday! Do you have any big plans? Stay healthy!

I don’t have any plans, just the same as every other day… today started out cloudy and humid, so of course it rained…(after I put grass seed down, which probably got washed away for the second time) 😦

I’m still waiting for the sun… someday soon I’ll be going off birding again 🙂

Until then, I watch live webcams around the world that show feeders or nests of different birds, this way I can still feel like I’m getting out there…

You can see Peregrine Falcons if you go to:

http://www.nhaudubon.org/conservation-2/peregrine-web-cam/

There you will see the Falcon’s nest high up in a ledge of a building, with 4 hatchlings in the nest…

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I found this Peregrine resting on a beach in Southern California. He didn’t seem too worried about me, he just kept an eye on me, but never bothered to fly off…

You can also go to: 

http://tucsonaudubon.org/go-birding/tucson-audubons-paton-center-for-hummingbirds/

This site has 3 webcams, one has a nesting box of a pair of Western Screech Owls. The Owls had laid a few eggs, but threw some out of the nest when they didn’t hatch. There are 2 eggs remaining, but too much time has gone by, so they won’t hatch either.

Another webcam is set up to watch the hummingbird feeder. Here is a Violet-crowned Hummingbird that I saw there a few years ago.

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They also have a camera in the yard that shows several feeders all together. I found these Lesser Goldfinches when I was there. Too bad I can’t count the species that I see live on the web, but that’s not how it works, but they’re still fun to watch…

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Those are the ones that I check out regularly, but there are many many more out there. Do you have a favorite? Let me know what bird cams you’ve seen and I’ll share with everyone so we can all enjoy them. Thanks!

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Still Raining…

Still Raining…

Today it was cloudy and humid with a chance of storms for the whole day, until late afternoon when the skies opened up and it just started raining heavily!

Cloudy days make birding difficult, since it’s hard to see the true bird colors, sometimes all you can make out is a silhouette of the bird!

So, again today I did not do any birding… actually I didn’t do much of anything. I had one of those quarantine funk days, where I have no energy or ambition… hopefully tomorrow will be a better day!

I thought I would show you a couple of birds from the past that you can try to guess what they are…

I’m going to show you two bird photos, you can try to guess what species each of them are. Also, try to guess what these two birds have in common… 

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The first photo is of the Greater Roadrunner. They can be found in the southwestern US and southward into Mexico.

The second photo is that of the Pileated Woodpecker. Did you guess them correctly? What do you think they have in common… well they are both very big birds, but that’s not it…

They both were inspiration for cartoon characters… the Roadrunner was the “Road Runner” character in the Looney Tunes cartoons with Wile E. Coyote.

The Pileated Woodpecker was the “Woody Woodpecker” character in the Walter Lantz Studio cartoons.

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!