Birds, Birds, Birds…

Birds, Birds, Birds…

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.

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Ring-necked Duck = 103

Ring-necked Duck = 103

The other day while I was looking out back at my feeders, I saw a duck landing in the water nearby. It was only there for a couple of minutes before it got spooked by a couple of Double-crested Cormorants.

It was the Ring-necked Duck. I hadn’t seen one yet for the year. I took a couple of photos of it before it took off. (Luckily I had my camera nearby).

They breed up in Canada and will winter in Southern US and into Mexico. Their diet consists mostly of aquatic plants and insects.

Usually they will forage by diving around in the shallow water.

Though they are named the Ring-necked Duck, the ring on their neck is hardly ever visible.

A couple of days after I saw this one show up, a flock of about 50+ appeared and have been foraging in the shallow water across the lake every morning since.

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

The male Eastern Bluebird is really a beautiful bird… I’ve been seeing a few of them at my feeders this winter.

They don’t seem to eat any of the seeds, but they love the suet. During breeding season they can be seen throughout the east coast over to central US. In the winter they usually migrate to the southern states.

This year though my brother has seen them up in New England. Not sure if the Bluebird knows that maybe it is going to be a mild winter up north and that is why some of them didn’t migrate south???

This one was waiting his turn for the suet…

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

A Heron and a Plover…

A Heron and a Plover…

At the State Park I saw a few birds and very few people. I kept my mask on, I’ve been staying away from people, stores, restaurants, etc…. since March and I’m not going to let my guard down and catch the virus now!!!

That being said, getting outside in nature and breathing the fresh air is something I need for my mental health, so I try to make safe birding a priority…

Here are a couple of birds that I saw…

This is the Tricolored Heron. You usually only see one foraging alone in coastal lagoons, but when they nest, they are often in very large colonies with various other herons and egrets.

Try to guess this next photo, which Plover do you think this one is?

It’s the Semipalmated Plover. Semipalmated means to have toes that are joined only part way down with a web.

In the photo above, I tried to show its foot, but it’s a bit muddy so it’s hard to see that it is partially webbed.

They breed mostly on gravel bars along rivers or ponds instead of the tundra habitat that most other shorebirds choose.

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

A Couple More Birds…

A Couple More Birds…

Here are some Ruddy Ducks. They are a diving duck. They will dive and swim underwater, using their feet to propel them. Then they use their bill to strain roots and insects from the mud.

These are females and non-breeding males. A breeding male will have a bright blue bill like the one in the photo below.

It really does have such a beautiful blue bill!

Below is one of the several loons that I saw at the ocean. I saw a few Common Loons and one Red-throated Loon.

This is a Common Loon in winter plumage. They are darker than the Red-throated Loon and they have a thicker, straighter bill.

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

January Birds…

January Birds…

I managed to drive over to the ocean the other day… 🙂 It was a long ride, but well worth it!!!

There is a state park there that has ponds, swamps, marsh, forest and the ocean, to look for birds. There were a lot of birds that I hadn’t seen yet for the year, so I was really excited to go there and see all of the birds.

Last year for January I ended up seeing 167 species, well so far for this year I’ve only seen 98. Now last year I had been on both the East Coast and the West Coast in January, so there were a lot more species of birds to see. I have to say, with this virus around, I am 99.9% sure that I will not be going to the West Coast this month!

So, still trying to make the best of it, I ended up with 33 birds the day I got over to the ocean, so I was pretty happy…

Here are a couple of photos of some of the birds I saw…

This is the Saltmarsh Sparrow. They can only be found in the coastal marshes along the East Coast of the US. Only the male sings and instead of defending a nesting site, they just rove about looking for females…

This is the Horned Grebe. They breed in Canada and Alaska. In the winter they can be found along the East and West Coast of the US. They are also in Eurasia, where they are called the Slavonian Grebe.

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

Well, this year was a pretty crappy year for soooooo many reasons! The virus has really made this year hard for so many people and I truly am grateful to have stayed healthy and safe.

As for my birding, this year has been my worst year for total species since I started counting 8 years ago… I ended up with 251 species of birds that I saw. I only found 2 new lifers this year.

But I say, goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021! I plan to have a much better year. I’m so looking forward to the day that I can eat out again, go birding for the day and use a public toilet…

So cheers to a new year, a new vaccine and happy days ahead! Hope you all stay optimistic, happy, healthy and safe!

Happy New Year!!!

Birds, Birds, Birds…

Birds, Birds, Birds…

Here are a few more birds that I’ve seen recently while I’ve been walking through the woods…

These are pretty easy if you want to try to guess what they are.

This is the lovely, lol, Turkey Vulture. They can be found throughout all of the US and Mexico.

Next…

Here’s the Northern Flicker. This one is the Eastern “Yellow-shafted” form. It has bright yellow under its wings and tail. The Western “Red-shafted” form has salmon-pink under its wings and tail.

Here’s the last one…

The Eastern Phoebe. This one was eating berries on the edge of a swamp.

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Blue Jay

Blue Jay

Hurray! I finally managed to get a photo of a Blue Jay!!!!

Years ago I used to get lots and lots of Blue Jays eating the seeds on the ground below my bird feeders. Unfortunately, I was not a big birder at that time, so I never took any photos of them…

Lately I realized that I never had many photos of the common birds that I see or hear and the Blue Jay was one of those.

I’ve been trying to get a photo this whole year, I’ve noticed that the Blue Jay seems to stay pretty high up in the trees.

They often have a loud harsh cry, but they also have many other calls, one of them is almost identical to the scream of the Red-shouldered Hawk.

They can be found throughout all of eastern US west to the Central US.

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!