Discovering Nature

Category: Birds (page 1 of 15)

Bob-o-link field

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This field invited us to stop the car and try to capture the scene. The field was filled with bob-o-links making their strange, R2D2 racket.IMG_3034sm

Interior decoration

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She was gathering bark for the nest but dropped it to scream. Yes, I felt badly… even though we were actually passing by at a good clip and did not stop to stare or harrass her.

Bright Back Yard

The male goldfinches are glorious when they brighten up after their winter drabness.

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I fear my camera was damaged when it tipped over and hit the ground at a polo match over the winter. It doesn’t focus sharply when I try to zoom in on the beautiful spring birds. I’m not sure where to take it for repair.

Here are a few more bright fellows back in time for our chilly spring:

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Indigo buntings come through this time of year, but they have never stayed before. Who knows? Maybe this year they will.

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The rose-breasted grosbeak is always a favorite. We have three pairs of them battling over the feeder.

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Orioles are beautiful, conversational singers. I’ve read that grape jelly in a hummingbird feeder will bring them in. We’re using our feeder for the hummers, as we have three ruby throats — a male and two females — depending on it. But maybe I can find a way to rig up a feeder for orioles, too.

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Tree Swallows

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If only I could capture these amazing fliers in action… They are too quick for me, so I settle for shots of them looking pensive.

Protective mother

This leucistic redtail has been sitting on her nest for some weeks, and now she appears to be feeding young.

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Instead of being nestled down into the nest, we see her sitting more erect, as she is in this picture. Often she’s on the edge of the nest, peering down, probably giving tiny bites to tiny beaks.

It’s interesting to see the fresh greens she has apparently added to the nest. I know Big Red did the same thing in the Cornell hawk nest we observed a few years ago too, though I’m not sure what the purpose is.

It’s been awhile since I’ve seen the male, so I hope he’s all right. At this stage, there’s plenty for both parents to do.

Mrs. Junco

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The light was poor, but I couldn’t help trying to get a photo of this junco nesting in the artificial wreath at church. She must handle stress well, as her home is right at the main entrance…

and she is perpetually watched by a fake bird almost exactly her size.

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Ghost Story

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We’ve been keeping an eye out for the leucistic redtail in our neck of the woods. Our sightings are fleeting, but we’ve accumulated enough of them to construct a narrative at this point.

Usually the hawk is far away, and she has a knack for choosing unphotographable areas. We call her Marley, after the ghost in A Christmas Carol, because of her whiteness. We think of her as female because she is larger than the more typically colored redtail we see her with.

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See what I mean about unphotographable areas? Cropped in, though, you can see that this is a pair of hawks.

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Lately, we’ve been seeing Marley near, and sometimes perched on, a nest.

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So it looks like her story goes something like this so far: Marley has paired up with a male, and she is getting ready for nesting season. We’re not positive yet that she’s actively using it, but if so this is by far the most unusual nest we know of. We look forward to observing whatever we’re able to see over the next few months without scaring her away from her maternal duties.

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Random spring beauties

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This flower is actually called “spring beauty.” Everything else in this post gets informally classed under the same heading… We’re drinking in the sights of the world waking up around here.

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