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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Friday April 4, 2014

Updated on April 4, 2014
Australian Magpie with Dog Friend
Australian Magpie with Dog Friend | Source

Field Notes

Interspecies Relationships DO Exist!

Here is a wonderful video of an Australian Magpie playing with a dog friend. Interspecies relationships like these are actually quite common. Sit back, enjoy, and perhaps one day, you’ll see something as priceless as this:

Crow practicing water displacement
Crow practicing water displacement | Source

The Brain of a Corvid

Corvids are amazingly bright, and many of you know that I really enjoy their mental process, as I have written several pieces about them. Here’s something else to try on for size.

Wood Ducklings Leaving Nest
Wood Ducklings Leaving Nest | Source

How Wood Ducklings Leave Home

This is about how Wood Ducklings leave their nest. Wood Ducks nest in trees, not very conventional at all. But when the young ones leave home, it is for good, because they can’t get back up there for bed again. Watch the daring feat.

Wood Stork Nest
Wood Stork Nest | Source

After 600 Years, White Storks Nest In England!

Norfolk, England is the nesting place for a pair of White Storks, the traditional baby deliverers. Here’s the news story for your perusal direct from Thrigby Hall, after 6 centuries. Keep your fingers crossed

Male Red-winged Blackbird
Male Red-winged Blackbird | Source

Deb's Weather Prediction

Many of you are going to find the need to hold onto your hats with the wind that we are experiencing. If you haven’t had it yet, I suspect that you will soon enough. The colder weather in the north really will disappear, but don’t expect it too fast, as it just is not going to happen. And you Snow States? Don’t put the shovels away my friends, you are not done yet. And what do I know about birds? Well, some of you have noticed some birds earlier than normal, and some of you will see things a couple of weeks later. Does that mean a greater weather flux than we had last year? You bet it does. Keep your binoculars and a camera at the ready, as you could very well see things that have never appeared before. Just ask my friends in Great Britain!

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle | Source

Inbound Spring Birds

I am pleased to announce that my birds are trickling in here. Well, not so much trickling, as the bird population is on its way to a healthy increase over last year. Surprisingly, the Bald Eagles are still visiting Boomer Lake. Last year, they were prevalent in January, and would you like to hear the good news? We have a resident pair, but I am not telling you where…

Great Blue Heron with Breeding Plumage
Great Blue Heron with Breeding Plumage | Source

Great Blue Heron Company

The Great Blue Herons are in breeding plumage, which is a bit earlier than I have seen, but that’s all right. If they have the extended courtship that I think they will, the youngsters might actually be a week or two ahead of schedule, but not much more. That should actually work out well.

Common Loon
Common Loon | Source

The Common Loon

Now, here’s some REAL news for you in the Oklahoma area. I was told on March 28 that there was a Common Loon on Boomer Lake. When I got out of work that afternoon, I hurried over to see if I would have any luck, and I did. I also witnessed a single Common Loon north of the Lakeview Rd. bridge, right in the middle of the lake. I was unable to get a good shot, but these things happen. However, this is what one looks like.

Beaver Remains
Beaver Remains | Source

Beaver Skeleton

While I was out in the vicinity, I spotted a beaver carcass. See those teeth? This was an elderly specimen that hadn’t been using those teeth very much. It most likely passed on due to starvation. However, there is still a much younger one at the lake, and I can tell you that he has been whittling away on a number of trees. Great Blue Heron is used to him, as he lives at the Southern Cove and passes by daily.

Least Sandpipers
Least Sandpipers | Source

Least Sandpipers

There were half a dozen Least Sandpipers on the southernmost part of the lake, also on March 28. These little shorebirds are commonly known as “peeps.” They breed in the Arctic and winter as far away as Chile and Argentina, so they are northward bound right now. These are rather common birds.

Male Blue-winged Teal
Male Blue-winged Teal | Source

Blue-winged Teals

Several Blue-winged Teal pairs were on the lake today and gave a number of good photographic opportunities. I got out a little later than what I should have, so some of these shots are very sundrenched, but they are passable. They are on their way up from South America, and are one of the first birds heading northbound.

Male Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Male Scissor-tailed Flycatcher | Source

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Our beloved state bird, the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, is also home. The males are first to arrive, and choose their territories before the females get here. They have been here for close to a week, and this beautiful little male was a wonderful model for me this morning. We will definitely be getting many more shots of this bird as time progresses, as well as the beautiful little youngsters.

Male Purple Martin
Male Purple Martin | Source

Purple Martins

Purple Martins are back in town, too. They are paired, and the City of Stillwater has put up two additional houses on the east side of the lake for your viewing pleasure. Not only are these entertaining and beautiful birds, they are worth their weight in gold for keeping the mosquito population at bay.

Today, I actually have to force myself to end this column. There is so much more to tell, but I’ll save it for next week. Keep your eyes to the ground and your head in the clouds. Happy birding until next time, and may you add more birds to your Life Lists this year and always.

Male Northern Cardinal
Male Northern Cardinal | Source
Blue-winged Teals(Top) with Mallard Pair(Bottom)
Blue-winged Teals(Top) with Mallard Pair(Bottom) | Source
Blue-winged Teal Pair
Blue-winged Teal Pair | Source

© 2014 Deb Hirt


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    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, teaches! Thanks so much. I will have something of quite a different nature for you next time. Stay tuned.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      5 years ago

      I love the photo of the little wood duck leaving home. It is adorable! I always enjoy your posts, Deb.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Kevin. The magpie and dog are great, I hope you can see it.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 

      5 years ago

      I tried to view the Magpie playing with its four-legged friend but YouTube was being stubborn tonight. Very informative Deb. I thought it was interesting to read. As usual, the Red-winged Blackbird was my favorite photo but they were all beautiful.


    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, Suhail, it IS the circle of life. I'm glad that you'l be out and about there once more thinking about things that you probably haven't for quite some time. I need help to help our friends, and you will do your part, I know.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 

      5 years ago from Mississauga, ON


      Thanks to you, I am back with my love for wildlife observing after a hiatus of about 20 years.

      Wood ducks are my most favorite species of ducks especially because of their daring duckling beginnings. That piece on a beaver skeleton and a young one has a great message - the Circle of Life.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Johan, and you know that I will.

    • Johan Smulders profile image

      Johan Smulders 

      5 years ago from East London, South Africa

      great photos and interesting material- keep it up

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Ravens are even smarter than crows, if you can imagine that, Alicia. I have worked with them. They tried to take care of me, and I had to prove to them that I ate, because they never saw me out hunting.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very interesting hub, as always, Deb. I was happy to see you mention the latest discovery about crows. Their intelligence fascinates me.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Nell, I'm so glad that you liked it. Went looking for Wood Ducks today, but didn't find any, but I did find some Red-breasted Mergansers…I put a number of them on blogspot.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      5 years ago from England

      Lol! love the ducklings video! I couldn't get the first video which was a shame, but as always you never disappoint! what a lovely hub, and the photos are beautiful as always!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      It was a surprise to see the loon here. They were all over the place in Maine when I was there. It was nice to be near the water to hear that ethereal call of the wild...

    • CrisSp profile image


      5 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Love, love, love everything in here specially the loon. We have them here and I can't wait for the warmer weather to get by the lake and see them again. :)

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Perspy, there is always more where that came from. I spent my childhood in Washington County, which is really God's country...

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your love of so much of God's creations (even though any one Hub cannot can only present so few.) The bird feeder in the dining room window of our Maine home offers a view of our seasonal companions, while summer serenades will soon enough grace our listening ears with their joyous soundings. God bless.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Faith Reaper! Getting ready to head to the lake to see what is in store for us today. Hope that all is well with you.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      5 years ago from southern USA

      Fascinating stories here, Deb! Truly enjoyed each one. You did have much to share here this week, and I look forward to reading what you have for us next week.

      Excellent hub and photos, as always!

      Up and more.

      Enjoy your weekend and I know you will get plenty of great shots to share with us next time,

      Faith Reaper

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Jackie. Let me know what your new bird is. Martins prefer bugs.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Great little stories, thank you! We have been seeing a bird at our feeder we don't recognize. Not crow or raven and I am wondering if it might be the Purple Martin as you have up there. I may look one up for a closer look.

      Keep up the good work! ^+

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Billy. Something always seems to turn up for me!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great information at the beginning about inter-species relationships. You never disappoint, Deb.


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