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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Friday April 4, 2014
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:
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.
- Crows Understand Water Displacement Better Than Your Kid | Smart News | Smithsonian
Even Aesop knew that crows were so smart they understood how to get water to their beaks.
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.
- Ducklings Leaping From Nest Very High Up! - YouTube
stunning piece of film from the BBC show,
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
- CBBC Newsround - Thrigby Hall nesting storks may end 600-year wait
A pair of white storks nesting in Norfolk could be the first in the UK to breed from a traditional nest for nearly 600 years.
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
© 2014 Deb Hirt