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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Monday March 17, 2014

Updated on March 17, 2014
Clouds of Snow Geese
Clouds of Snow Geese | Source

Field Notes

The Wonder of the Snow Geese

Clouds of Snow Geese, numbering in the tens of thousands, is a sight that will take your breath away. They have been known to stay on ponds and marshes for a few days in order to recuperate. Then like an unspoken flash, they are on the wing once again. Join me in the beauty of the numbers, and one day, may you be so lucky to witness this yourself:

Whooping Cranes
Whooping Cranes | Source

Whooping Cranes Shot

Two Whooping Cranes were shot in Louisiana last month. These are protected birds and this is a heinous crime. There is a $20,000 reward for information leading to arrests, which I sincerely hope will bring convictions. If you do not wish to go to court, I will speak on your behalf. Contact me and I will get the necessary information, as well as any proof that you might have. Also, please consider donating the reward back to wildlife. They will thank you many times over with their presence.

Flocking Black Birds
Flocking Black Birds | Source

Why Do Black Birds Gather?

Have you ever wondered why huge flocks of the black birds always seem to gather? It doesn’t matter if it is starlings, blackbirds, or what have you, but I think we have all seen it. Curious?

What's in a Little Weather(Or Not)

Weather is weather, and to be honest, we have had more than enough of it this winter. Let’s face it, folks, the world has had its share of the old man, and the sooner that it blows out of here, the better. Ask anybody that you know, and they’ll tell you the same.

American Robin "A Song in My Heart"
American Robin "A Song in My Heart" | Source

American Robins Have Landed

In the meantime, this has been a relatively good run of luck. The American Robin has been visiting regularly, and has even been taunting me from the back door, asking for nesting material and seeds. They even follow me to the lake, in hopes that I will speed things up for nesting. Seriously? Yes!

Northern Flickert
Northern Flickert | Source

Northern Flicker

The Northern Flickers have been back as well, seeking ants. They have had to dig quite deep, but they have found them. Take a look at this portrait, and tell me if we have a happy camper here in our midst?

Male Northern Cardinal in Flight
Male Northern Cardinal in Flight | Source

Northern Cardinal

The Northern Cardinals are also doing their part. This beauty has been around for a few days, and has been sharing a number of beautiful poses. Unfortunately, even with a little snow in Oklahoma(yes, we DO get snow here!), I have still been unable to get a white backdrop for this gorgeous bird. Will next year be my lucky year? We’ll just have to see how that plays out.

Female Red-winged Blackbird
Female Red-winged Blackbird | Source

Red-winged Blackbirds

Our wonderful Red-winged Blackbirds have been giving up an inordinate amount of striking poses. The female looks nothing like the male. Here is a classic shot of Her Ladyship. Now you can recognize her anywhere.

Ring-billed Gull(left) frightens American Coot(right)
Ring-billed Gull(left) frightens American Coot(right) | Source

American Coots

The American Coots have been back and forth, but I have managed to be in luck to capture a couple of good shots. This is a nice action click with a Ring-billed Gull, who actually scared the stuffing out of this coot. Gulls can be trouble to some degree, and since I saw this in person, I know that this was done deliberately.


Squirrels Gotta Have Fun!

Even the squirrels have been romping, and to me, this was a picture-perfect photo opportunity. Even those of you that think of these characters as tree rats have to admit that this is a cute pose.

Northern Mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird | Source

Northern Mockingbird

The Northern Mockingbirds have been with us the entire winter. They are gearing up for nesting now, and I have heard via excellent sources that we will be inundated with them this year. I have personally seen them communicating to the rest of their neighborhood that there are yarn pieces as well as fallen nests at my place. There are two pair getting ready for spring right in the general area, and with any luck, I’ll be able to let you see a baby mocker or two this year.

Canada Goose
Canada Goose | Source

Canada Geese at Large

Take a gander at this shot. Yes, I know that it’s a bad pun, but I’m doing my best to prepare you for what lies ahead. This was a perfect photo opportunity, and a one-shot wonder, if you want to know the truth. The Canada Geese are readying themselves for nesting, and the population has been increasing. I’m really looking forward to this year’s crop of young ones, and I know that many of you join me in those future plans.

It looks like we just might be enjoying some warmer weather and with that should be some upcoming exciting photographs for your viewing pleasure next week. So in the meantime, keep your eyes on the ground and your head in the clouds. Happy birding, and be gosh and begorrah, Happy St. Patrick’s Day to ye!

Boomer Lake Is Where?

Northern Cardinal Breakfasting
Northern Cardinal Breakfasting | Source
Canada Goose in Flight
Canada Goose in Flight | Source
American Coot
American Coot | Source

© 2014 Deb Hirt


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    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Meldz! Glad that you like the column.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Beautiful pictures and great information about this lovely birds.

      Have a wonderful day Deb. :-)

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Dave. Last year it cost someone $85,000 for killing one whooper, but by the same token, it cost someone else $1. It all depends on the judge. Glad that you liked this week's column.

    • D.A.L. profile image


      5 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Hi Deb, as regards the sad demise of the whooping cranes, what is the likely punishment over there?. Here in the UK prosecutions for similar crimes tend to be punished in the courts by the equivalent of a slap on the wrist. Until the punishment fits the crime there is no desire from these criminals to stop. On a happier note the photograph of the Canada goose you captured on the water is brilliantly focused a credit to your skills. Another enjoyable and awaited visit to your part of the world.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      It's just a matter of time, Barbara. This has ben a tough winter for all.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 

      5 years ago from USA

      It must be a little warmer in your part of the country. I haven't seen any robins yet. I've always wondered about the huge flocks of blackbirds. They aren't here yet either.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Eddy. You're a good friend.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      5 years ago from Wales

      Another brilliant hub Deb and here's to a wonderful day for you again.

      Voted up and thoroughly enjoyed.


    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Alicia. Wait until you hear about the mockingbird...

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I very much hope that the person or people who shot the whooping cranes are caught and punished. What a horrible crime. On a happier note, I love the story of the robins following you and looking for nesting material! Thanks once again for sharing the news and the lovely photos.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I can't wait to see crane in real life. Things are starting to pick up at the lake, teaches!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      5 years ago

      I hope they find who shot the cranes. We saw one a month ago near our pond. It was so beautiful. My sister was so excited when she spotted her first robin last week in Ohio. Thanks for the lovely time here.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      rdsparrowriter, I am so glad to hear that! I'll bet that you might just have a birding club in the area. You'll have to give me your recipe for nasi goring, as I know that it is different than mine.

    • rdsparrowriter profile image

      Rochelle Ann De Zoysa 

      5 years ago from Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

      Hi I really enjoy reading and the lovely pictures of the birds. In fact after seeing your hubs I'm more into birds and nature :)

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Kevin! It's hard telling why those poor birds were shot, totally inexcusable. Thanks for your great input, as always!

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 

      5 years ago

      Very enjoyable read Deb. I feel terribly sorry for those 2 Whooping Cranes - do you think it was for fun, money or being drunk? I read the article about the blackbirds. I believe that it is simply because they are in the same family and they each leave the flock as they get to their migration point. About the Northern Flicker. I think that it was kind of perturbed for being disturbed while searching for food on the ground.

      As usual you wrote a wonderful Hub full of good information. Thumbs up!

      Kevin - Let the birds fly free!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Nell. I hope that justice will be served for those poor whoopers. There are so few of them now.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Mel. Maybe you could provide a good nesting area for them near the street, so if people walk by they can get bombed. ust a thought, you know.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      5 years ago from England

      I can't believe that anybody would want to shoot those Whooping Cranes! What is the world coming too? I am glad there is a reward out I just hope someone comes forward and tells who did it. on your photos, I can't believe how you manage to take such wonderful pictures! they are amazing! great hub as always Deb, nell

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      5 years ago from San Diego California

      Gorgeous pics as usual. I hope the mocker inundation occurs in my neighborhood as well, because they have been missing from my block for about ten years. I have heard them singing already in other parts of the county already, although not frequently. Great hub!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Faith Reaper! I pan to go early to the lake for the next couple of days. Hope I can get some great pics.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      5 years ago from southern USA

      I would love to see the clouds of Snow Geese one day! Now, that is heartbreaking about the Whooping Cranes! My goodness, what can be going through a person's mind to even think of such?

      Awesome photos as always up on Boomer Lake!

      Up and more and tweeting.


      Faith Reaper

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      that's right, Jackie. Thank you!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      So horrible, I hope they do catch them and punish them to the full extent! What possible joy could they get from that? Well beautiful shots you got, the painless kind!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Billy. Sadly, there are idiots like this all over the world. They call it a 'sport.'

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm trying to figure out the kind of stupidity it takes to shoot a beautiful creature like that....when I have that answer I'll get back to you. Wonderful photos as always, Deb.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, Kim, there is no excuse. Thanks for your input.

    • klidstone1970 profile image

      இڿڰۣ-- кιмвєяℓєу 

      5 years ago from Niagara Region, Canada

      Oh no, Deb! What a tragedy for the Whooping Cranes. And to be the only birds that had formed a mating bond last year makes it doubly horrific. Fingers crossed that the perpetrator(s) are caught. We need to take care of our wildlife!


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