No Longer in a Cage!!!

No Longer in a Cage!!!

This is the Northern Mockingbird. Did you know that from the late 1700s to the early 1900s they were captured and sold as pets!

Now they are free and have begun to spread out again throughout all of the US. You can often see them running along the ground looking for insects.

The Northern Mockingbird has 250 to 350 songs in its repertoire! Sometimes it seems like they can go on for hours…

Make sure to watch out going near one of their nests, they are very bold when defending their nests and will attack cats and even humans if you get too close!!!

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe.

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year!!!

Let the games begin… a new year, a new bird count. I do get very excited at the beginning of each year… This year my brother and I decided to count how many species we could find on January 1st, then when we saw the weather wasn’t going to be so good, we said that it could be the whole weekend…

Anyway, on the 1st he said that he found 45 species. I had a lot of rain, so I really don’t want to make excuses, so I won’t… I only ended up with 43 on the 1st. But remember we still have the whole weekend…

I found a few more today, so I am now up to 48, but my brother is not to be trusted, he occasionally says he has a number only to hear what I have, then he tells me that he really has a much higher amount! That being said, I really don’t know how this weekend is going to end…

Here are a few photos of a couple of birds I did manage to see these past couple of days.

This is the Yellow-throated Warbler. He isn’t supposed to be around my area in the winter, yet here it is… he likes the fruit suet, so I’m going to have to keep an eye out to see if he continues to visit everyday…

This is the Pine Siskin with a House Finch up above it. I must have around 10 House Finches coming to the feeder and the Siskin looks similar to the female House Finch, so I really have to keep my eyes open to find it.

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe.

Latest Visitors…

Latest Visitors…

The weather is finally getting a bit colder, so the birds have been visiting my bird feeders more often.

Luckily, so far the few squirrels that I have in my yard this year are pretty darn stupid! They will eat some seed off of the ground, but have never even tried to get up to any of the feeders yet… let’s hope they never learn just how easy it is to get to them…

Here are a couple of birds that came by the feeder yesterday…

This is the Pine Warbler. Usually you don’t see these birds far away from pine trees, but in the winter unlike most other warblers, they will come to bird feeders for suet.

This next one I often hear, but hardly ever see. They also don’t stray too far from the pine trees…

It’s the Brown-headed Nuthatch. They say that they are almost identical to the Pygmy Nuthatch from the west, but I think that the Brown-headed Nuthatch has more brown on its head. Their calls are very different too, the Brown-headed’s calls are like a squeaky toy being squeezed over and over again…just too cute!

Stay healthy and stay safe.

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!