Sunday, June 16, 2019

No Bird No Body No Focus No Eyes No Tail

I haven't posted for a couple of weeks. If I don't have anything interesting to say, I count on an interesting photo to help me tell a story. If a photo is good enough then I don't have to say anything. As they say, a picture tells a thousand words. It seems that recently the photos fell short of inspiring me to write a post.

This bridge photo was taken in the wee hours of the morning.I wanted to write about how it was a beautiful area that didn't have a big variety of birds but was a great place to find Acadian Flycatchers. I heard them and got a glimpse of one but no photo and no post.
I took a couple of head shots of a Great Egret and............
a Great Blue Heron but they didn't come out as I hoped so that was the end of that post.
 I heard a Bobwhite calling and was excited about it since Bobwhites no longer exist in the wild in Connecticut.This one was out free standing on a fence post singing.It was probably raised by someone but still cool to hear and see.That is if you could see it.
Boat-tailed Grackle singing in the rain. Can you see him? That's great but I don't know if he can see you without any eyes!
Not a bad Red-winged Blackbird photo except for one minor details.For 5 points can you tell what part of the bird got cut off in this picture?
I found a pink lady slipper! If only it were a bird! Maybe it will give me good luck for next weekend!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Just Another Big Black Bird From A Distance.

 Birding is a great hobby but one of the drawbacks is you are constantly scanning the area looking for birds even when you're driving. I was passing by a city pond when a black bird caught my eye (note the arrow). Of course I had to turn my car around so that I could go back and take a closer look.
Double-crested Cormorants look like just some big black bird from the distance but they have some interesting features when you get a closer look. I think the spiky tail, aqua-colored eyes and distinct hooked bill are some of my favorite features of this prehistoric-looking bird.  They are related to the frigatebirds and boobies. Not everyone is fond of them, especially around fishing areas because they consume a lot of fish but I find them to be interesting.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Can Birds Ruin Our Connection With Nature?

 You might wonder how birds could possibly ruin our connection to nature? Birds should help to enhance our connection with nature. Unless, we become too obsessed with birding.
 If my only goal was to find the most bird species, I would probably pass over the chance to go hiking at a little known mountain laurel preserve. Instead, I would opt for a sure thing, where I knew there would be lots of birds.
 Finding a hidden towhee or two wouldn't be enough to satisfy my birding appetite. Then I remembered the thrill of seeing a towhee for the first time. It amazed me that these birds had always been around, yet I'd never seen one! I was probably hiking in a place just to enjoy the beauty of the landscape at the time.
 There was a time that being deep in the forest enjoying the sound of a brook spilling down the steep, wooded hillside would be enough to give me that thrill of nature. 
The sound of a Yellow-throated Vireo singing in the background would only enhance that experience.

 If we become focused only on tallying birds we may forget to appreciate the beauty of the habitat that surrounds us. Without it, there would be no birds, and their would be no us.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Two Warbling Migrants That Won't Keep Quiet!

Two of the more common spring migrants in our are the Yellow Warbler (above) and the Warbling Vireo (below).Yellow Warblers operate mostly near ground level. I saw 4 males in one location this weekend chasing each other around and trying to out-sing each other in an effort to see who claims rights to which real estate.

 They are frequent victims of Brown-headed Cowbirds who lay their eggs in the Yellow-Warblers nests in order to pass off the parenting responsibilities to the poor Yellow-Warbler. However, the warblers have figured out a way to outsmart the cowbirds by building another nest over the top of the cowbirds eggs!
Most new birders are haunted by the sound of the singing Warbling Vireo. They have a song that repeats the same pattern over and over all summer long but they aren't always the easiest birds to see. When you do find one it can be a little disappointing to find out that the source of all this singing is just a plain, drab grayish bird!