The Black-crowned Night-Heron

The Black-crowned Night-Heron

I recently saw this bird hanging around a small pond that I was birding at. I have already seen this bird this year and didn’t need to add it to my count, but I enjoy getting its photo. I think the reason I try to get photos of the Black-crowned Night-Heron is because they don’t move much, they don’t flutter around, they aren’t too skittish, they don’t fly off when I stop nearby, they just sit quietly letting me take my photo.

Have you ever seen the Black-crowned Night-Heron’s eyes? The dark red eyes, kinda looks like a shiny marble.

Sometimes they’ll walk slowly through the shallow water, but they’re often seen just standing still.

Most of the time they forage throughout the night. During the day you usually see them in groups just sitting in trees near water. They will mostly eat fish.

They are found throughout the US and are found nesting on every continent except Antarctica and Australia.

It is thought that they forage at night because during the day all the other herons and egrets forage, making it difficult for the Black-crowned Night-Heron to compete for food.

Bird Feeders…

Bird Feeders…

I enjoy feeding birds. I have my bird feeders filled in my backyard for most of the year. I keep the birdbath filled with fresh water. I put stickers on my windows so that the birds wouldn’t fly into them and I do get a lot of different birds coming to my backyard.

Often I’ll see the, Northern Cardinals, Carolina Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, Tufted Titmouse, Eastern Bluebird, Pine Siskin, Summer Tanager, American Goldfinch, Yellow-rumped Warbler, White-throated Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Purple Finch, House Finch, Brown-headed Cowbird, Red-winged Blackbird, Mourning Dove, Carolina Wren, Red-headed Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, and more…

Occasionally I’ll also see the, Yellow-throated Warbler, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Scarlet Tanager, American Crow, Fish Crow, Blue Jay, Pileated Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Reb-breasted Sapsucker, and others…

But unfortunately, what I have noticed is that I am feeding all of the predators in the area! They come by often. They’ll wait perched on branches in the woods around the feeders and swoop in on the poor unsuspecting birds eating my seeds!!!

I feel terrible when one of them doesn’t make it, but boy am I thrilled when they all manage to get away and the predators are left with nothing!

Here are a few of the bird hunters in my backyard…

Red-tailed Hawk

Barred Owl

Bald Eagle

Cooper’s Hawk

Sharp-shinned Hawk

I’ll also see the Red-shouldered Hawk and the Osprey (Luckily they are usually more interested in the fish), but the poor birds always have to keep watch whenever they are eating in my backyard.

Recent Birds…

Recent Birds…

Here are a few photos of some of the birds that I’ve seen lately. Not many new birds for me, but I keep looking anyway…

This is a male Prothonotary Warbler. He is such a beautiful bright golden yellow, you can really spot him when he is flying around the swamps and rivers.

I saw this Green Heron in the swamp foraging for fish. They’ll usually stand still or walk very slowly in the shallow water just waiting for small fish to come by. Occasionally they will drop a feather or twig on the top of the water, as “bait,” to lure fish closer to them.

This is a Killdeer. They are found throughout all of the US, Canada and South America. They can be found nesting in fields, lawns, river banks and even airports.

Usually they eat insects. They’ll run a few steps, pause, run again, looking for something to eat off of the ground.

Who’s Been Eating all my Bird Seeds?

Who’s Been Eating all my Bird Seeds?

In the past couple of months my bird seed has been disappearing faster than it should for the amount of birds that I’ve been seeing around.

I do have a lot of squirrels, but they aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed! They have yet to be able to get up to the bird feeders, so I know it’s not them…

Well the other night I saw this creature at the feeder, his glowing eyes peeking back at me when I turned on the flood lights.

Then today he decided to boldly come for a snack, well the jokes on him, I haven’t filled the feeder in a while, so there was nothing for him!

I do have to take the feeder down (double gloves), and give it a good wash before I put it away for a couple of months. Maybe during that time, this raccoon will find a different place to get its snacks!

Barred Owl Nap Time…

Barred Owl Nap Time…

A few days ago I saw this cutie sitting on a low branch in my backyard. This is the Barred Owl. Often heard at night with it’s loud rich baritone hoo, hoo, hoo-hoo call, other times they can be heard making barking and screaming calls…

This one was just trying to take a nap. No other bird was around, no one was bothering it (except this crazy human taking photos)…

Occasionally it would peek at me, just to make sure I was still social distancing.

They are permanent residents throughout Canada and down through the eastern half of the US.

They will eat mostly small mammals. Usually eating mice, but also eats other small rodents, squirrels and rabbits.

On a couple of occasions the owl has come zooming into the backyard so fast and so close to me that I thought it was going to crash into me! It came around the corner of the house and didn’t see me standing in the backyard, luckily for both of us it is really good at flying!!!

I Found This Peregrine Falcon on the Cliffs in Rancho Palos Verdes, California

I Found This Peregrine Falcon on the Cliffs in Rancho Palos Verdes, California

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Peregrine Falcon

If you’re looking for this falcon, just take a drive down to Rancho Palos Verdes in California. Go to the Point Vicente Interpreative Center and take a look down over the cliffs and you should see a pair of Peregrine Falcons flying around. The center is a great place for birding. Each time I go I see the Falcon as well as a few species of seabirds since I am right on the ocean. Here you will also see volunteers looking each day for whales, they’ll do a daily count of the whales that pass by. 

The Peregrine Falcon is a large and powerful bird that can reach speeds of well over 100 mph when its diving for it’s prey. They are one of the world’s fastest birds. It will often hunt by flying very high then diving down to strike their prey out of the air! Other birds especially pigeons are the favored prey for the city falcons, while ducks and shorebirds are what the coastal falcons favor.

This Falcon may mate for life. Usually they will nest on cliffs, but due to limited availability of nesting sites and prey they’ll often relocate into cities. Building ledges make for great nesting sites and there are plenty of pigeons around… The Peregrine Falcon can be found on all six continents, but not often seen. Due to the use of pesticides during the 1940s-1970s there was widespread failure to reproduce for this falcon. They all but disappeared from their former breeding range. Luckily,  due to conservationists helping to ban the use of bad pesticides in North America, the Peregrine Falcon has been reintroduced into many areas and their population has become stable or possibly increasing! This bird is considered one of the noblest and most spectacular of all the birds of prey!

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!

A Few More Birds…

A Few More Birds…

Here are some of the birds that I’ve been seeing lately. Springtime is great, because the birds are singing so much, but sooooo many leaves make it hard to get good photos…

Here’s the Blue Grosbeak. They will spend the winter in the tropics. Insects and seeds make up their diet, which they get mostly while walking along the ground.

The Eastern Towhee will breed up into New England and down into all of the East Coast. Most of the southern birds don’t migrate at all and you can spot them all year long, while the ones in the North will migrate south for the winter.

This Ovenbird has a very loud song that sounds like it’s singing “teacher, teacher”. Usually they are hard to spot, but you know that they are there because you hear them! They forage for insects as they walk along the leaf littered ground.

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

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!