Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Wednesday February 12, 2014
Crows are Highly Intelligent Birds
The mind of a corvid is remarkable, but I have never seen one of them solve an eight-step puzzle, especially in such a short period of time. Seeing is believing.
- This Crow Is The Smartest Bird You've Ever Seen
Multi-step puzzles can be difficult for humans, but what if I told you there was a bird that could solve them on its own? In this BBC special, Dr. Alex Taylor has set up an eight-step puzzle to try and stump one of the smartest crows he's seen in...
Elderly Laysan Albatross Has a Chick!
63-year-old Laysan Albatross has another chick this year. As the old adage proves, age really is a state of mind. Watch out lades, it COULD happen to you, too!
- At 63, The World's Oldest Wild Bird Just Had A Baby - Yahoo Finance Canada
From Yahoo Finance Canada : At 63 years young, the oldest wild bird that we...
Thamesmead Bird Terror!
Thamesmead Bird in the UK caused general panic and mayhem inside a Morrison’s Store. It wanted its cake AND eat it, too. How about that?
- Supermarket swoop: Customers duck for cover as cake-craving Thamesmead bird flies around inside Morr
A THAMESMEAD bird has been causing panic in the aisles of Morrisons by swooping around the store.
How Can You Tell the Wren Family Apart?
How can you distinguish some of those little brown birds, the wrens? For more on how to identify these difficult birds, read this, and your knowledge base will increase.
The Week in Review
This has been a very wintry week in Oklahoma, as well as many other parts of the country, but at least there will be a warming trend. Some days it has been so cold, I couldn’t handle the freezing wind chills for more than a half hour at a time. There were a couple of days where I was unable to go out for longer, so I had to cram everything in and hope for the best. Today, I was not disappointed, and I believe that I made up for the rest of the week today. All I can say is that I hope that you can stay warm, even though I was out between 19 and 21 degrees. There was very little wind, so it was much more bearable, if one can call those digits that.
Boomer Lake is almost completely ice covered, so there is very little open water for our ducks, geese and swans. Did I say SWAN? Yes! Today, I was able to get fairly decent shots of a single Trumpeter Swan, who has been in the area of Buffleheads and Canvasbacks. This is a very large bird, so it wasn’t hard to have my attention drawn to it. It rested on the ice and snow for a while and swam for me, as well, so I got a number of nice shots. I hope that you like them.
Surprisingly, a male Eastern Bluebird was out foraging in the cold, which seems odd to me. I consider these birds to look for more shelter in this weather, but there he was, in the same general area as the swan. Trumpeter Swan is to winter, as bluebird is to spring.
While getting a few winter shots the day before yesterday, I discovered that there was a male Green-winged teal in one of the photos with a Great Blue Heron, Mallards, and an American Coot. I have been looking for these beauties all winter, and got this duck purely by accident. A lot of great shots are usually obtained by accident, but I wish that I had noticed so that I might have tried to get closer. I looked for him today, but was unable to spy him. Tomorrow is another day.
Oklahoma is a Top Ten State for Viewing Bald Eagles in Winter!
Just in the event that you were curious, Oklahoma happens to be one of the top ten states for viewing winter Bald Eagle sightings. There are between 700 and 1,500 eagles available on our numerous lakes. More than 120 eagles live here year-round, yet many eagles will head south in order to find open fishing areas. Oddly, there were no known eagles in the state in 1990, so something appears to be going right with eagle recovery methods.
Whooping Cranes Confirmed in OK Last Fall
Whooping Cranes were also confirmed in Oklahoma City last fall for the first time since written records were kept.
Today, there are over 300 cranes in the wild, with the low point being in 1941 with only 15-20 birds. Conservation efforts are extremely successful, with many great hopes for the future of these beautiful birds. These birds generally come through Oklahoma from Canada on their way to Texas between mid-October and mid-November. They travel during daylight hours in small groups of two to eight, often seen around rivers, wetlands and shallow lakes. They are sometimes seen with Sandhill Cranes in grain fields.
Lesser Prairie Chickens Get Help
I have also heard that a number of gas and oil companies are voluntarily enrolling nearly 1.5 million acres of land to conserve Lesser Prairie Chicken ranges. This was developed by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife, as well as on the state level with Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, and Colorado. US Fish and Wildlife endorsed this program in October, and verified that companies who enroll would get legal assurances that they could continue business if the bird is listed under the Federal Endangered Species Act. Let’s hope that this bird will continue to thrive once again.
Where is Boomer Lake?
Keep your eyes to the ground and your head in the clouds. Happy birding until next time.
© 2014 Deb Hirt