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!

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!

Meet the Tanagers

Meet the Tanagers

Lately I’ve been hearing the Summer Tanager singing and singing all day long. They say the song sounds like that of a lazy robin…

I do know that they can be difficult to spot because they like to hang amongst the leaves in the treetops.

I was lucky with this one, he landed on a wire above my head.

The males are a bright rosy red all over their body, while the females are yellow. Below is a young male, he is a mix of yellow and red, but will eventually be all red.

The Summer Tanager and then Scarlet Tanager both will spend their winters in the tropics.

The male Scarlet Tanager is a deep red bird with black on its wings and tail. The female is a yellow-green.

I don’t see as many of the Scarlet as I do the Summer since there are far less of them in my area. The Scarlet also seems to sing less and stay higher up in the trees than the Summer.

Both of these Tanagers will eat mostly insects, including bees.

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Feeder Watch…

Feeder Watch…

We’ve had a few cooler days here lately, not really cold, but cold enough for the birds around here. The birds have been eating a lot maybe because they know that it is supposed to get even colder in a few more days???

Today was rainy and all the birds were at the feeders getting wet until a hawk came by, then they all flew away!

Here are a few birds that have been visiting my feeders lately…

Here is the Downy Woodpecker. I see a pair of them everyday, a male and a female. The male has a red patch on the back of his head. They really do love the suet.

This is the Carolina Wren. For such a little bird they certainly can be very loud! They will perch on my back deck and sing early in the mornings…

This is the White-throated Sparrow. They can be found mostly foraging on the ground. They like to stay under the feeders, eating the seeds that fall to the ground.

This is the hawk that keeps coming around my bird feeders when the birds are trying to eat! I’m not 100% sure which hawk it is, it’s either the Sharp-shinned Hawk or the Cooper’s Hawk. I haven’t gotten a great look at the tail yet, the Sharp-shinned is straight across, while the Cooper’s is rounded. They are close to the same size and look very similar, so I haven’t made the “call” yet, but it keeps zipping in and out of my backyard, so I’m sure one of these days I’ll catch a good look at it…

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!

2 More Makes 102…

2 More Makes 102…

Off to the Wildlife Refuge again, this time we decided to take a long walk instead of driving, stopping, birding, driving, stopping, birding…

While we were hiking the 2 mile loop around a large swamp I heard a flock of birds off in the wetlands across from the swamp.

At first I thought it was a flock of Red-winged Blackbirds, but after watching them for a while as they moved through the wet woods, I realized that there was no red on their wings…

I know it’s a tough photo, but that is a non breeding, adult male Rusty Blackbird. They breed throughout Canada up into Alaska.

They got their name for their fall coloring of rusty feathers and not from their calls which sound like a squeaky rusty gate…

The other bird I saw was a Northern Bobwhite. I had heard a rustling in the brush near me as I stood next to a cut down cornfield. I moved around trying to get a better look, only to sneak a peek or a female Bobwhite just before she flew off.

So now I am up to 102 species for the year and counting…

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!