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!

Meet the Wood Duck

Meet the Wood Duck

The Male is very colorful and well actually, pretty! Though the female isn’t quite as colorful, she is still beautiful…

They will make a loud wooo-eeek call when startled into flight…

This is a photo of the male Wood Duck, see his dark green head and bright red eye!

Here is the female, her head is gray and she has a white eye-patch as well as a beautiful patch of blue on her wings.

They breed mostly in the east, but also can be permanent residents on the west coast. They will pair off in the winter, then the males will follow the females to the nesting range. Some years a male might end up migrating close by, while the next year he may go farther up north (they get a new mate each year)…

They nest in tree cavities near water which can be up to 65 feet above the ground! Often females will lay their eggs in others’ nests, leaving that female to incubate the eggs.

Young ducklings jump to the ground the day after they hatch!!!

Mom will take care of them for about 6 weeks.

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

New Bird Book

New Bird Book

I wanted to let you all know that I just finished another book!

This one is about a Bohemian Waxwing that I saw in an apple orchard a few years ago. It was a lifer for me and the only time that I have ever seen the Bohemian Waxwings.

If you get a chance, check it out on Amazon. I created it as an ebook and a paperback. I give out a lot of the paperbacks to the kids I know, I find that it helps to get them interested in birds and nature.

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Lucky Find…

Lucky Find…

During the bird migration, sometimes you’ll find birds that appear in your area that will stay and breed there. Other times birds will be just passing through on their way further north.

Here is a Solitary Sandpiper that I recently spotted…

They breed up in Canada and winter mostly in South America and unlike most all other sandpipers that migrate in flocks, the Solitary will usually be alone.

Also, most other sandpipers will nest on the ground, but not the Solitary, it will use old songbird nests that are high up in trees…

The Solitary was definitely a lucky find…

Can you tell which bird this is? Take a good look at its eye. It’s the White-eyed Vireo! You can just make out its white eye peaking around the branch at me.

They seem to have exploded into the woods, swamps and fields recently! I’ve been hearing them everywhere. They are very loud and aren’t afraid to let you know that they are around!

These birds will stay and breed here, so I’m sure to be hearing them for months to come…

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Birds Out My Window…

Birds Out My Window…

Since I’ve been staying home far more than normal over the past year, I’ve been seeing a lot of birds in my backyard while I look through my window…

I thought I would share them with you.

Here are a couple of Bald Eagles that I see hunting in the lake almost everyday. They have a nest further down the lake, but I haven’t found it yet…

This Bald Eagle actually caught a turtle! They will eat turtles, birds and other small mammals when there is a shortage of fish.

I didn’t know that there was a shortage of fish in the lake, but in the past I have seen groups of 100+ Double Crested Cormorants having a feeding frenzy, so the lake is possibly over fished…

This Wood Duck got spooked out of the water, so he flew up to the safety of the trees.

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Greater vs Lesser Scaup

Greater vs Lesser Scaup

Many birders find it difficult to identify which Scaup they see. You really do have to get a good look at the bird before you can say for sure just which one it is!

The other day while I was at the wildlife refugee, my husband spotted a flock of Scaups in a small pond. I got out of the car some distance away as to not scare them off.

I walked a few steps and took some photos, then a few steps more, then more photos…

There was one group of about 20 and then a separate group of 4. I made sure to get photos of both groups.

Here is what I saw.

These are Greater Scaups. They were in the smaller group, swimming off to the side of the bigger group. Luckily I was able to get these photos, so that I could do my “homework” and study them on my computer when I got home.

Take a good look at their heads, that is where you’ll find the best way to identify the Scaups. The Greater Scaup has a more rounded head with the higher point in the front. The Lesser Scaup’s highest point of its head is toward the back.

Here are a few Lesser Scaups.

Do you see the difference? Sometimes its hard to get a good look at them when you’re out walking, that’s why I take the photos.

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!