Rain, Rain, go Away…

Rain, Rain, go Away…

Let me tell you, it’s not easy birding when it is raining all the time! I’ve had a lot of rain over the last few days and it looks like it will continue for forever! Actually, it will probably end in about 4 more days!!!

I know that the rain is good for the plants and my green beans are thrilled, but enough is enough…I’m beginning to wonder if I should be building an ark!

Needless to say, I haven’t been out birding in a few days, so I thought I would just show you some of the photos that I’ve taken in the past…

If you want to guess the birds, just wait to scroll down past the photo to find out what it is. This bird can be found in the US from Colorado south into Texas.

39FC8D58-5834-40D3-8D42-7A9A0BAE05F2

Did you guess the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher? It looks like a slim delicate bird, but don’t let it fool you, they will attack larger birds without hesitation if they come near their nest!

So how did you do? Here is another bird to try your luck at… This bird is found from southern Canada south into Mexico and can also be found in the Galapagos in the winter.

CIMG3749

It’s the Great Blue Heron. This one was sunning himself along with some turtles on a log. They are the largest heron in North America. You usually can find them standing very still along the water’s edge hunting for fish. 

They do eat mostly fish, but I’ve seen them eat a snake! See the photo below (if you want to see it eating a snake, but if you don’t like snakes, you may want to skip it)…

429455EC-7420-43DF-865B-09030EDBD604

I did warn you…

Hope its sunny where you are! Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!!!

226 And Still Birding…

226 And Still Birding…

I was able to get out and bird this week! I ended up back at the same wildlife refuge that we’ve been to a few times this spring. This time though, we had had a lot of rain and so there were several areas that we couldn’t get to, because the streams had overflowed…

I made sure to wear long pants, even though it was in the 80s (I didn’t want to end up with another tick)…

I found 2 new bird species that I hadn’t gotten yet this year. One was the Swainson’s Warbler, they breed mostly in the southeastern US.

The other bird I saw was the cutie in the photo below. You can try to guess what bird it is… 

DA58916B-DD16-48B4-871A-90D64E190D4E

It’s the Kentucky Warbler. They are found in the eastern US. This Warbler actually spends most of its time on the ground, foraging by flipping over dead leaves looking for insects.

Hope you’re all staying healthy and safe!

Who Might This Be???

Who Might This Be???

It’s that time again… are you ready to try to guess which bird species I will be showing you???

I’ll try to find a difficult one for you, but this time I’ll give you a couple of hints…

This bird usually doesn’t get any higher up in the US beyond Southern Texas and Southern California. It can be found throughout Mexico and Central and South America.

Try to guess just which bird this is… remember don’t scroll down past the photo until you make a guess…

cropped-3fac1974-30a1-48d6-b269-3d0448bf9c68.jpeg

Did you guess the Vermilion Flycatcher? This beautiful flycatcher is so colorful, quiet different from most other Flycatchers, which are pretty dull.

Have you been guessing the birds, have you guessed correctly? I hope you are enjoying the photos…

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Watch Out For Ticks!

Watch Out For Ticks!

As I was hiking around in the wildlife refuge the other day, I thought about ticks as I went through some areas of tall grass. I usually stay away from the grassy areas, because I know that is where the ticks like to stay and get onto people.

I made sure to do my tick check when I got back to the car, but I was wearing shorts since it was hot and I obviously didn’t do a good enough check! I found a tick about 24 hours later…

It was a small deer tick (the kind that carries Lyme Disease)… We got the tick off/out of me, did a better tick check, then started to worry about what to do next…

Being proactive, one would go to the doctors and see what they think, but there is NOOOO way I want to go to the doctor’s office or clinic during this crazy virus! Luckily, I have teledoc, I am able to call a doctor and get their opinion of the situation…

The doctor suggested one dose of antibiotics and to watch for the red target ring, hopefully that won’t show up.

Unfortunately, I did have to go to the drive through window at the pharmacy to pick up the medicine. I had my mask on with my gloves (inside my car). I get to the pharmacy and they open up this big window, they have no mask or gloves on!!! Am I living in a different world than them? Do they know something different than I do? Are we not in the middle of a pandemic???

I just called the store manager and found out that they believe that wearing gloves could cross contaminate the different orders, but they were all supposed to be wearing masks! She said that she would check into it, but no on in the pharmacy was wearing a mask!!!!

Needless to say, I was a bit nervous taking the pills that they had given me, on the one hand I can stop Lyme Disease, but on the other hand I could potentially catch the virus! I closed my eyes and swallowed the pills…

So, the moral of the story is if you are able to go birding, stay away from the tall grasses! Also, during this crazy time, we should all try extra hard to stay safe so we don’t have to go places where we potentially could get exposed…

I would show you a photo of a tick so you know what to keep a look out for, but I’m really not a fan, so instead I’ll show a photo of a bird…

If you want you can try to guess what this bird species is, take a guess then scroll past the photo to find out what it is…

3B2C92A0-6E2E-4128-8CF8-DA9CD704D788

Did you guess the Gray Catbird? They are pretty plain, with a rust area on his backside. This bird is very vocal, with lots of sounds, often meowing like a cat. Sometimes they will even mimic other birds. They will spend most of the time down in the shrubs foraging for insects by flipping leaves over with its bill.

Remember to stay healthy and safe!

Guess Who?

Guess Who?

Here we go again… time to try to guess what bird species this is. This time I am going to show you 2 photos of the bird before telling you what it is…

I saw this bird in the wildlife refuge taking a bath in a small stream that crossed a dirt road. It can be found in eastern US…

096990B8-3097-435C-9860-5F425326DA3A

Take a good look. This next photo really shows off the reason he got his name… remember don’t scroll past the photo until you make a guess…

73D6CDDE-0E68-4FAC-A914-929304A751D3

Did you guess the Yellow-throated Warbler? Guess why they named him that… Found mostly in the south-east US. They like to build their nests in Spanish moss, but if there is none around they will build it very high up in the trees.

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

I Hear Birds, But See Leaves!

I Hear Birds, But See Leaves!

I went to the wildlife refuge again this week and actually heard lots of birds, but there are soooooo many leaves, that I had a lot of trouble seeing the birds!

I did manage to hear the Blue-headed Vireo, which is one bird that I hadn’t heard or seen yet this year. I got a glimpse of him, but wasn’t able to get a photo.

I did see a few other birds, but most were hard to see through the leaves..

Here is a bird species that I’ve seen a few times so far this year. Try to guess what bird it is… Remember to make a guess before you scroll past the photo…

84F84397-5F44-4897-A6F2-42AED6A37D76

Did you make a guess? Did you guess the Red-eyed Vireo? Zoom into his eye, it’s a good identifier.

B5CDA567-B239-477E-9285-D1FF302E9127

Often not seen, this bird tends to hide in the leafy trees. You will usually hear them though because they sing constantly throughout the spring and summer. They winter in the tropics and will breed up through the US into Canada.

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Who am I?

Who am I?

Okay, so here we go again… you’ve asked for another photo to try to guess what the bird is!

I’m going to look back into one that I took a couple of years ago and maybe haven’t posted about lately, so that it will be a bit harder for you to guess…

Now guess which bird species this is (remember don’t scroll down past the photo until you’ve made a guess)

DP1040517

Did you guess? Do you see all of the bands on its legs, that’s because there are only about 2,300 of this species left in the world, so ornithologist are keeping an eye on them.

It is the Island Scrub-Jay. Was your guess correct? It was a hard one, since this bird looks very similar to the California Scrub-Jay. The Island Scrub-Jay does have a heavier bill and is a bit larger.

This bird is only found on the Santa Cruz Island off the coast of southern California. They are considered a vulnerable species since the island is so small, only 20 miles long and 5 miles across at the widest point. Not a lot of space for their population to get much larger.

Hope you had fun guessing, remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Mother Bluebird With her Babies…

Mother Bluebird With her Babies…

They other day in my backyard, I was seeing some activity in an old Purple Martin house that was in the yard when I moved in… I had never seen any birds nesting in the house, so I was surprised to see birds flying in and out.

15BF531D-2F9A-49B5-92CF-7865E862855A

It was an Easter Bluebird family. They adult female is the one with the rusty red breast. She has one juvenile down below her and the other one on the side…

The adult Bluebirds will have 2, sometimes 3 broods, per year. Both parents will feed the young and even the juveniles from the previous brood may help to feed the new nestlings.

Here is a closer look at a juvenile, note the spots, those will go away when they become an adult.

C8A39F97-C3A3-4C04-98FC-886EAC5AB2B4

I’m really not sure if these birds actually hatched inside the Purple Martin house or if the next brood will, but I’ll keep my eye on the house to see what’s happening…

Stay healthy and safe!

I Saw a Couple of Birds While Kayaking…

I Saw a Couple of Birds While Kayaking…

A couple of days ago we had a nice, warm, sunny day, so instead of doing yard work all day we decided to go kayaking in the lake behind my house.

The wind was calm, so it was a nice easy paddle. We went in the direction that goes under a bridge. I wanted to go that way, because anytime I drive over that bridge lately, I’ve seen birds flying out from underneath. I thought that there would be barn swallows, but I was hoping for other swallow species nesting under the bridge too.

When we got close to the bridge we started to see the swallow. I saw the Barn Swallow, you can identify them from their long fork tails.

With the Barn Swallows I spotted other Swallows that did not have fork tails. After paddling directly under the bridge I was able to see the Cliff Swallows. They had built nests under the bridge but in a different area away from the Barn Swallows’ nests.

Here is a photo of the Cliff Swallows’ nests, there is a bird inside the nest on the right, but unfortunately the photo was taken with my phone from down below in the water…

F1E9E4EC-5CE9-40C4-A23C-1A3BA7610512

I continued up the lake until it became too rocky to continue on. At the end, I heard several different birds singing in the trees on the both sides of the water. I was able to spot the Acadian Flycatcher flying out over the water, catching insects and flying back to low branches on the shore.

It ended up being a nice escape from the madness of 2020… 

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!