Water Birds…

Water Birds…

Here are a few water birds that I’ve seen lately. I’m very lucky to live on a lake, so that I can see these birds!

This is the male Hooded Merganser. Mergansers are the only US ducks that specialize in eating fish. They forage by diving and swimming underwater. Fish is found by sight, their eyes are adapted for good underwater vision.

This Great Blue Heron is also looking for fish. They usually forage by standing still or walking slowly in the shallow water, when a fish swims near, they strike them with their bill. I’ve seen them eat some very big fish and it amazes me how they manage to swallow them without choking!

The Canada Goose can be found throughout all of the US and Canada. Years ago they used to migrate, but now many geese remain as permanent residents to their area.

Their diet consists almost entirely on plant material. They “honk” or talk to each other in their flocks. I usually hear them honking when they are about to fly off to another area, sometimes I hear them honking in the middle of the night (for no good reason at all except to wake me up)…

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Birds in my Backyard…

Birds in my Backyard…

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

This is the Red-bellied Woodpecker. Even though most of the time it is difficult to see the red on their bellies and they clearly have a red on their heads (my guess is that the Red-headed Woodpecker was named first, so that when this one was found they had to come up with something else…)

This one eats the seeds most of the time, but occasionally the suet too.

This male Pine Warbler loves the suet and shows up almost everyday!

The male Eastern Bluebird loves the suet too! He comes almost everyday too, with a female and a juvenile (probably one from its last brood). They usually have 2 broods a year, but sometimes 3, I’m pretty sure the ones that nested in my yard had 3 broods this year.

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!

Meet the Hermit Thrush…

Meet the Hermit Thrush…

This is a Hermit Thrush. They can be seen throughout the entire US, breeding up in the Northeast and Midwest continuing up into Canada, then migrating through central US and then wintering in the southern states into Mexico.

They are similar to other brown thrushes, but with its rusty colored tail you can easily identify it. Often seen foraging on the ground looking for insects.

I have startled many of these birds over the years and they always make me laugh. They were foraging on the ground and then they’ll fly up to a low branch when they hear me and just stay there and stare me down! Too funny!!!

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!

Squirrel Shaming…

Squirrel Shaming…

Now I have to admit that I still have dumb squirrels in my yard, they still haven’t figured out how to get up to the feeders…

But, for Christmas my husband bought me this crazy squirrel feeder, he thought it was the perfect gift!!!

He has decided that the easiest way to get rid of our squirrels is to start humiliating them….

Crazy squirrel!

Remember to 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!