No Birds in November…

No Birds in November…

So, November has come and gone and I managed not to see a single new species of bird… I was hoping to at least see a few migrating birds, but I was just not able to.

Winter birds have been coming back to my lake. I watch as around 300 Double-crested Cormorants fly up and down the lake looking for schools of fish to hunt.

The lake is rather small, but there are a few other lakes around, so I think they just keep flying back and forth between the lakes and find enough fish that way.

This morning I looked out and saw the Hooded Merganser had come back.

There were 4 of them, 1 male and 3 females. I should also start to see the Pied-bill Grebes and a couple of different duck species.

The American Eagles have returned from their nesting sites, I’ve seen a couple of adults and at least one first year swooping down on the lake trying to catch fish.

I’ve put the feeders back up and have seen the usual Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, House Finch, Carolina Wren, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Cardinal, American Goldfinch, Pine Siskin and Chipping Sparrow…

There are a few other birds feeding mostly underneath the feeders, such as the Mourning Dove, White-throated Sparrow and Dark-eyed Junco.

I know I’m lucky to see so many birds each day, and I am not complaining, just happy to see 2020 (the fastest slow motion year) come to an end…

Stay healthy and stay safe!

More Birds

More Birds

Here are a few more birds that I’ve seen lately…

This one may not be the loveliest of birds, but I’m grateful for the way it cleans up roadkill…

The Black Vulture. I actually like the look of them more than the Turkey Vulture. They may look like they are smaller than the Turkey Vulture, but they are actually about the same size and more aggressive. The Black Vulture will often drive the Turkey Vultures away from food.

This next one was on my back fence post, keeping all the birds away!

The Red-shouldered Hawk. You can see the red on the back of its shoulders. I have a pair of them that live in my neighborhood, so I see or hear them everyday.

They will hunt by watching from a perch, then swoop down on their prey. I do enjoy my feeders, but I’m just waiting for the day I see one of these hawks catch a bird eating the seeds…

I saw this little cutie the other day.

The Pied-billed Grebe is sooooo cute! This is the most widespread Grebe in the New World. They aren’t social and almost never seen in flocks.

Sometimes when its suspicious or nervous they may sink slowly down into the water until only its head is above water.

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Recently Seen Birds…

Recently Seen Birds…

Due to the virus… I’ve been pretty much sticking to the same wildlife refuge and parks, but I try to look for birds each time I get out…

Here are a couple of the birds that I’ve seen lately…

This is the Yellow-billed Cuckoo. I’ve seen him a few times this fall. They will winter in South America, so I guess they will be leaving soon…

This one is often stays out of sight…

This is the Swamp Sparrow. They tend to hide away in the marshes or thickets, but you can often hear them. They will sometimes come out to investigate a birder who makes squeaking sounds, so if you think one is around and you want to see it, give a little squeak and see what happens. (Just make sure that there are only other birders around you, otherwise people might think you are a bit “off”), lol.

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

October = 3 Bird Species…

October = 3 Bird Species…

So, the birds have been migrating through my area, but I haven’t seen too many of them…

Each season has its challenges when it comes to birding, the fall is full of birds heading south, but the trees are still full of leaves and the birds are quiet, they aren’t singing to attract a mate…

That being said, it is still great to get outside and enjoy walking through the woods even if you don’t find any new species!

So far for the month of October I did manage to find 3 new species that I hadn’t seen yet this year…

Here is the first one. Not the greatest photo, due to the leaves and the fact that it is a Warbler (most of them enjoy being high up in the trees)…

It’s the Black-throated Blue Warbler. I know the photo is crappy, but you can see the very bold white wing patch and white belly.

They will move about the leaves, hopping around in one area for minutes at a time, foraging for insects, instead of zipping through the trees like a lot of warblers do. This makes it easier to find them, if you bend your neck back (the warbler neck) and wait to see one up in the trees.

The next bird I saw in October happened to be in the same tree as the Black-throated Blue Warbler, so my neck was killing me by the time I was done watching them!

It was the Red-breasted Nuthatch. I used to see them up in New England all of the time, the are common up there for all seasons. Now down in the Southeast, I only see them every few years if I’m lucky.

They will winter down in the Southeast. Often seen foraging for insects or seeds by going up and down tree trunks and branches.

Here is the latest bird that I saw in October. This one decided to come to my feeder to make it easy on me. 🙂

This is the Pine Siskin. There were 3 of them eating the seeds at my feeder the other day.

They breed up in Alaska and Canada, then winter throughout the US. Their migration is very erratic, some years they come southward in huge numbers, while other years they can be very scarce!

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Birds…

Birds…

Here are the latest visitors to my feeder.

The Carolina Chickadee and the Northern Cardinal.

The Northern Cardinal is the only red bird with a crest in North America. The female is a lot duller almost tan compared to the male. They don’t migrate, so if you see them in the spring they should be around your area in the winter too.

The Carolina Chickadee is also a permanent resident and will not migrate. They look almost identical to the Black-capped Chickadee and the only true way to properly identify them is by the location of where you see them.

Their range goes up to central New Jersey across the US to Texas and south through the southeast states.

The Black-capped Chickadee’s range is from northern New Jersey across the US to Oregon and north up into most of Canada.

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

More Birds…

More Birds…

Here are a few more birds that I’ve seen at my feeders in my backyard.

Try to guess what species these birds are… let me know how you did.

Here’s the American Goldfinch. This is the male, they have very bright bold colors. In the winter their colors will vary from a yellowish brown to a gray. I’ve seen some that look greenish, the first time I saw that I thought I found a new bird species!

The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are still around. I’ve had a couple of females all summer long, then a couple of weeks ago I saw a male, but I haven’t seen him in a while.

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Birds Outside my Window…

Birds Outside my Window…

I decided to put up my bird feeder a bit early this year, since I can’t do as much birding as I would normally be doing, I thought that I’d see if the birds would start to come back if I offered them some food…

Well I guess “if you build it they will come“ is happening…

I’ve started seeing a few more birds than I had been seeing this past summer. Like the Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Chickadee, Northern Cardinal, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Carolina Wren and Eastern Bluebird. Some are just more of the same, probably the adults with their 1st years that they are still teaching.

I have also seen a few birds that weren’t in my yard at all this summer. Like the American Goldfinch, Summer Tanager, House Finch and Chipping Sparrow.

I am keeping my eye out for migrating birds. Most of the Warblers should be passing through soon and I would really like to see some of them.

Here are some photos of the birds that I have been seeing. Try to guess what they are…

This is the Tufted Titmouse. See how it has a sunflower seed, those are their favorites. They will take one seed at a time and go off and break it open with their bill, then come back for another.

Next…

Here is a House Finch. A couple of weeks ago I saw one with a growth on its bill, but this one looked okay. I haven’t seen any in my yard for a few months, but now they’ve shown up again.

The Carolina Chickadee has been around this summer, but now they are more visible since I’ve put the feeder out.

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Birds in the Swamp…

Birds in the Swamp…

I went back to the wildlife refuge again this past week… it was a dark cloudy misty day and we saw absolutely no one!

Since we’ve been in the house basically since March (other than our birding expeditions), we’ve now started looking to find other parks to go to. We haven’t tried any new ones yet, but soon we will go to a new one and hopefully there will be different birds there that I can photograph and show you. 🙂

Here is one of the birds I saw in the swamp.

This is an juvenile White Ibis. They start out brown and will become patchy as it matures and finally becomes white.

At one point we were looking out over the large swamp and in the thick woods behind us we heard a low howl! At first I thought it must be some kid pretending to be “Bigfoot.” Then came several other crazy loud howling/screaming sounds. (I slowly moved closer to the car)…

After listening to my bird app (I was assuming it was a bird), we decided that it was probably the Barred Owl. Let me know if you’ve ever heard them calling with those howls and screens. I’ve heard a pair of them making calls sort of like it at my house, but this was only one and it sounded a bit different…

This bird we found in another smaller swamp further into the refuge.

It’s an immature Little Blue Heron. At first glance you may think it’s a Snowy Egret or a Great Egret, but when you look closely at this bird you’ll see the identifiers. The legs are greenish, not yellow with yellow feet or black. The bill is bluish with a black tip.

The 1st year they are white, then in the 2nd year they will go into the “calico” phase, where they are a patchy white and blue. Finally when they are adults they will be a solid dark blue-gray.

It’s funny how the Little Blue Heron starts out white then turns dark and the White Ibis starts out dark then turns white…

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe.