Ruby-throated Hummingbirds

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds

All summer long I’ve had 1, maybe 2 female Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. I would see them very seldom until lately. Over the past couple of weeks they have been coming to the feeder quite often, probably trying to fatten up for their long migration south. 

This week I’ve started seeing the male, he has the iridescent ruby throat. I’m not sure if he’s been around here and just decided to eat at the feeder or if he is one from further up North starting his migration South…

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Most of the time I see the 3 birds chasing each other away from the feeder, but once I  did manage to see a female start to come close while the male was feeding…

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After a bit, she sat down and took a drink and they both managed to get along!

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Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

3 Species of Birds and a Starfish…

3 Species of Birds and a Starfish…

Here are a few more photos from my visit to the state park near the ocean. 🙂

I was really happy to get to the ocean, I enjoy walking along the water’s edge and seeing what birds are around.

This bird was in the inlet pond…

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The Great Egret. This is a large bird, about 40 inches tall with over a 4 foot wing span!

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These are White Ibises. They’re easily identified, big white birds with large reddish curved bill.

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This is the Belted Kingfisher. It can be found throughout all of Canada and the US. I often hear them first when they are flying around over the lake giving their loud rattling call. 

They will forage by sitting along the water’s edge on a branch, rock, post or sometimes even hovering just above the water and then plunging headfirst into the water for a fish.

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As I walked along the shore I saw sooooo many starfish! They had all washed up on the beach. We threw some back into the waves in hopes of saving them, but they were just too many of them.

The reason they all washed up on shore is believed to do with their feeding patterns, they probably followed their prey to close to the shore and got washed up or another theory is that a recent storm may have caused the masses of starfish washing ashore.

I did read that even though they may appear to be stranded, they are able to return to the water after being exposed for a long period of time, so they don’t recommend touching them (oops)…

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Sandwich Terns

Sandwich Terns

At the beach I came across an adult Sandwich Tern with its young. The young bird was trying very hard to get some food from their parent…

The young may remain with their parents for about 5 months after hatching. They can fly after about 1 month.

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The Sandwich Tern will eat mostly fish which they get by plunging headfirst into the water from flight.

Most often they are found with Royal Terns nearby, sometimes even nesting in mixed colonies with them.

They were named after the town Sandwich in England where they were first discovered. 

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I watched this pair for a bit, but I never did see the parent give the young tern any food. I think the parent was just trying to take a break on shore…

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

More Birds…

More Birds…

So far this year I’ve seen 243 species of birds. I saw a few birds recently and wanted to share them with you. 

I was over at a state park by the ocean on the southeast coast of the US. I tried to get a few photos of the birds that were there. 

Here are a few of them…

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This is the Anhinga sunning its wings. This one is a female since she has the buff head and neck, while the male is mostly black.

Here’s another bird I saw…

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This is a young Green Heron. The young are browner and duller with a striped neck and the adults are have a deeper chestnut coloring on their necks.

Try to guess this next one. I have a lot of trouble with shorebirds, so all I can say is “good luck”!

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I’m pretty sure it’s a Sanderling. They have a straight black bill and black legs. These two were resting up on shore near a group of terns. Usually I see them running along the waters edge, chasing the waves looking for sand crabs that are easiest to spot just after the wave goes out.

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Other Birds I Saw At The State Park…

Other Birds I Saw At The State Park…

I tried to get a few photos of the different birds that I saw while I was at the State Park along the ocean.

Try to guess what birds these are, they are all found along the southeast coast of the US.

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It’s the Common Gallinule.  Very common in the marshes of both North and South America. 

What do you think this next bird is?

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It’s the Little Blue Heron. This one is an adult, with its dark blue-gray coloring and reddish neck. The juveniles are all white to start then they go through a calico phase where they will be patchy white and blue and finally become the colors of the adult.

Last one, what is it???

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This is the Tricolored Heron. They have been seen as far north as Maine, they live along the East Coast of the US, into the Gulf Coast and into Mexico. The will migrate south from the Northern locations, but will remain all year long in Florida and the Gulf.

Remember to. Stay healthy and stay safe!

I Ended August With 3 Birds…

I Ended August With 3 Birds…

Yesterday I managed to drive over to a state park located on the ocean… it is still hot, but there weren’t too many people around, so I could social distance.

There were a few birds that people have seen there recently that I hadn’t seen yet this year, so I was looking for them, but mostly I just enjoyed getting out and seeing birds.

Here are the photos of the birds that I did see yesterday for the first time this year. Try to guess what they are, I will tell you that they are found on the southeast coast of the US…

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This is the Seaside Sparrow. They can be found in the salt marshes along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Their diet consists of mostly insects, other invertebrates and seeds.

I was happy to find this sparrow since I haven’t seen it too many times in my life. Though by the end of the day I think I must have seen over a dozen of them. 🙂

Here is the other bird that I saw…

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It is the Caspian Tern. The one in the center with the thick red bill. In the photo there are also Royal Terns (with the orange bills) and a Common Tern (the smaller tern with the black crown and reddish thin bill) and a Laughing Gull (the dark gray bird with the black head with its back to the camera)…

It was nice to get out, but so hot and unfortunately the water wasn’t refreshing, so by the time we walked for 2 hours on the beach to get the terns we were too hot to bother getting our chairs to sit on the beach! Sitting in the air conditioned car was sooooo much better…

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Backyard Birds

Backyard Birds

Well I’m still doing most of my birding in my own backyard. I am very lucky that I have a lot of trees and a lake in my backyard, so I am able to see a few birds everyday.

The other day I watched as a Great Blue Heron had caught a fish and was trying to eat it…

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It was a pretty big fish, but he managed to swallow it without too much difficulty.

Later that day I was watching a Great Egret standing on a branch in the lake hunting for fish.

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He wasn’t having much success though. After a few minutes a Great Blue Heron decided that the branch looked like a good place and chased the Great Egret away.

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The Great Blue Herons have been here most of the year, but the Great Egrets just showed up a couple of months ago (I think, time is passing differently in this crap year from h*ll)… 

They are both big birds, but I’ve noticed that the Great Blue Heron is definitely a more aggressive bird and doesn’t like the Great Egret hunting too close by. They will always chase the egrets away whenever they land too close!

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk

In my neighborhood I have a pair of Red-shouldered Hawks. They are often in my yard sitting watching the smaller birds.

Most birds are smart enough and know when the hawk is close by, they’ll stay quiet and hide in the leafy branches.

This is one of the birds that I have to make sure I see to count it each year, because the Blue Jays can give an almost perfect imitation of the hawk’s call.

I’m not sure just why the Blue Jays do this, but my brother heard them sing the hawk call once, scaring all the other birds in the area just before they settled onto his feeder to have it all to themselves.

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Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Guess Who’s Back…

Guess Who’s Back…

A couple of nights ago we heard the Barred Owl calling on the side of our house, then we heard another one answer the call on the other side of our house!

So here I am, camera around my neck, binoculars in my hand listening to them call back and forth. 

My husband played their call on his phone and then all of the sudden one comes flying right over his head! It landed on a branch in the backyard.

That was when I was able to get some photos…

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After I got a few photos the owl got tired of watching me and began calling the other owl again. Now both owls were close by on the same side of the house. I was never able to see the other owl.

They called back and forth for a while, but then they started with a different call, kinda like noisy  squawking, hooting and crow like noises thrown in. I had never heard anything like that before! If you get a chance you can listen to the sounds I heard by going to a bird app or finding it online, it’s the Barred Owl “pair hootin-it-up” calls…

The Barred Owl doesn’t migrate, they usually will stay in the same area all year long, so hopefully I will be hearing and seeing them for a long time. 🙂

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Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!