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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Monday September 8, 2014

Updated on September 8, 2014
Feral Cat
Feral Cat | Source

Field Notes

Outdoor Cats Vs. Wild Birds

Sorry, cat lovers. Both ferals and cats allowed to roam outdoors DO kill birds, voles, mice, and anything that moves slowly won’t last long. From an unbiased viewpoint, cats have a strong hunting instinct, and every time they show you their prize, they are trying to educate you to do the same. Is there a happy medium?

Immature Brown Thrasher
Immature Brown Thrasher | Source

Birds and Drought

The lives of birds are threatened by severe droughts, like what is going on in some parts of the country this year. These birds have been crowding around small water holes due to the lack of ample water supplies, which increases the threat of avian botulism and cholera. Please do your best to keep your birdbaths filled and clean in order to help.


The Gulf Oil Spill of 2010 Still Lives On

The Gulf oil spill of 2010 has far reaching impact. Not only are birds affected, but all the sea creatures that we eat(and still do) from there are and were affected, as well as coral colonies, which have their own problems.

Do It For the Birds

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron | Source

The Critical Times of Summer

The week has cooled down a little and we received some much-needed rain on Saturday. This brought the water table up about two feet, so once again, we shall avoid the ill effects of bacteria like botulism. Summer is such a critical time, especially in those areas that receive a lot of heat. It also allows plants and grass to thrive to control the effects of erosion. Needless to say, we must be good stewards for our earth, to allow it to proliferate, which in turn, will help our animals and us even more.

Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret | Source

Movement of Birds

This morning as I stood over the Southern Cove, I heard and saw the Canada Geese coming in from the south, watched the others coming from the opposite direction, and considered the movement quite amazing as they crossed. To have aerodynamic animals such as these that can stop on a dime, battle fierce winds, and travel thousands of miles in one flight without stopping is remarkable. Then I watched numerous American Goldfinches still in breeding plumage gamboling among sunflowers that other birds had planted. Their bright yellow bodies shone in the sun, and made me thankful for another day to watch this priceless event. I also heard the Northern Cardinal chipping, the Yellow Warblers readying for their day, and saw the European Starlings settling on the power lines. The birds have internal body clocks and are telling us that it is nearly time for them to move on in this part of the country.

Immature Blue Jay
Immature Blue Jay | Source

Scissor-tailed Flycatchers and Blue Jays

The Scissor-tailed Flycatchers are also biding their time, as they will be heading for southern points in the next week or two. Two young ones in particular were playing together and displaying for each other, not even realizing that they will be doing just that in the spring. Our days are getting shorter, and the birds are feeling that magnetic tug to tell them that they will be on an adventure soon enough.

In the meantime, I finally got my picture of an immature Blue Jay at the lakefront. It took three years! Now there are several of them at the lake, which makes it so much easier to catch one that actually stops for more than the customary second or two. This one has filled out rather nicely, and you’ll notice the lack of the jay crest, and see the gray area that is growing in on the face. It wasn’t that long ago that it was bare.

Green Heron
Green Heron | Source
Double-crested Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant | Source

The Heron Clan and Double-crested Cormorant

All the adult Green Herons are still around, and one flew overhead in a greeting yesterday morning, calling as it went by.

There are still plenty of our wonderful Great Egrets, who fly up and down the lake, monitoring the fish and their favorite quiet spots for preening activities. The occasional Double-crested Cormorant makes the occasional appearance and before long, there will be plenty more to enjoy the cooler weather that will be here soon enough.

Many Great Blue Herons are still making appearances in numerous places all over the lake proper, as well as an extensive supply in The Northern Reaches

"The Rest Will Be Up Later"
"The Rest Will Be Up Later" | Source

Nature's Biological Clock

The biological clock of nature is always right on target, just as it was intended. It has shifted a little as mean temperatures have required in order for the birds and animals to be able to eat, rear their young, and properly feed them, too. It will still be changing as necessary in order to accommodate what it must. As we see these changes, we must realize why it is happening, for it is affecting us, as well. Our summers will be hotter and our winters will be cooler, as these new trends take effect.

At any given time, enjoy the birds and animals that you are privy to see, and record in your mind’s eye those moments that mean the most to you. My memories include a number of these unforgettable times in different parts of the country, and I will certainly have more of them in the future.

The Birds Asked Me to Remind You

As I leave you until next week, please remember to clean and fill your feeders and birdbaths for this strenuous time of fall migration. Fall and spring are the most taxing times of year for the birds, as they travel such great distances to continue their lives for those changing seasons. It takes a great deal of effort for the birds to maintain adequate sources of energy, and they will thank you next year by returning once again.

Keep your eyes on the ground and your head in the clouds. Happy birding until next time!

Where Is Boomer Lake in Stillwater, Oklahoma?

Great Egret
Great Egret | Source
Green Heron
Green Heron | Source
Double-crested Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant | Source

© 2014 Deb Hirt


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    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Nell! Sounds like you are the center hub of activity for the birds. I love it. Yes, they probably are getting together for migration.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      4 years ago from England

      Hi Deb, the geese around my village are making a real noise! lol! every night at half past seven they fly one way over the house, then at 9.30 on the dot the fly back! I have no idea what they are doing, I say they are rounding up all the geese to migrate, not sure if this is right! but the noise is amazing, and I dive outside to watch them. I could set my watch by them! The seagulls use my front garden as an airport, when they come inland in spring thousands of them swirl like a great big tornado round and round and then fly off, leaving one bird behind or maybe a few, and its the same in winter, I am waiting for them to do it again soon, round about mid October, great hub and love the photos too!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Dave, another fine mess we have gotten ourselves into. It is one of the harmful effects of technology.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Sanjay, the oil spills are the most devastating things, in my opinion. Glad you like the series.

    • D.A.L. profile image


      4 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      hi Deb, Global warming ,as you predicted, will change the habits of many birds {and other animals} some species will benefit and others will lose out unfortunately that is the way of things. Even if we cut out the gasses now it will be,in my opinion ,many many years before we can reverse or even stop the trend. We can only hope it will not be as long as we think!

    • SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile image

      Sanjay Sharma 

      4 years ago from Mandi (HP) India

      Thanks for sharing a part of wildlife in this beautifully worded hub. Your conversational style is marvelous and keeps the reader hooked from beginning to end.

      Personally, I don't like the cats, but I love the birds. The oil spills make their life pathetic.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You're so welcome, DealForALiving…that's what I'm hear for, to oversee my birds.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Dave! There's always something going on with wildlife. The big hoo-ha now is global warming and wildlife. I predicted that a year ago with my "Global Warming: Is There Any Hope?"

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, midget. Nature is my life, really.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      ChitrangadaSharan, thanks for your continued support. I appreciate it.

    • DealForALiving profile image

      Sam Deal 

      4 years ago from Earth

      Thank you for the reminder to fill the bird feeders! Will take care of that this weekend.

    • D.A.L. profile image


      4 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Hi Deb,

      cats are a major problem over here where they kill hundreds and thousands of birds annually. There are more cats than dogs now in the UK. It is a worrying trend. They actually kill more birds than all the natural predators put together. Glad you have had some life giving rain and I hope things pick up for you. I read somewhere this week that many birds are currently under threat in the USA with one thing and another. Love your Green heron photo . Another enjoyable visit.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      4 years ago from Singapore

      I'm with Bill on this one. That oil spill sucks, BIG TIME. I think it's going to take forever to let the responsibility sink in.

      And your affinity with nature is FASCINATING.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Congratulations on your Hubbie award and thanks for sharing another wonderful hub and lovely pictures!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Alicia! Couldn't have won the award without everyone's support, so thank YOU! I thought that was a pretty decent pic, too. I get pretty fortunate with the birds' movement sometimes.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Congratulations on your Hubbie award, Deb, and thanks for another enjoyable report. My favorite photo this time is the last one. I love the cormorant's pose. You took the photo at just the right time!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      boutiqueshops--BP cannot be permitted to get away with the harm that they have caused. If we lean on them hard enough, like buy more electrically enabled cars(like the Toyota Prius, etc.), they will know that we are serious about alternative energy sources. If I decide to get a car, that will be the only one that I would ever consider, as I don't want to leave any more of a carbon footprint than I have to do. Thanks for keeping a watch on your animals and protecting the birds!

    • boutiqueshops profile image


      4 years ago from Corpus Christi, Texas

      I live right on the South Texas gulf coast and there are constantly tar balls washing up on shore that have to be cleaned up. Upsetting! Our Texas A & M Corpus Christi is still studying the gulf water to watch the effects from the BP oil spill. Beautiful hub - as always. My dogs are just as bad as cats about catching/killing birds. They were awful with the fledgling grackles this year. I have to keep a constant eye on them!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Suhail, the birds won't be able to stop themselves when the time is right. That sounds like a great book that I will put on my list after I get this ornithology degree. Mice are funny little things. They can squeeze into a space that is remarkably tiny. The only thing that will attract them is the warmth in your house, and a hole that they can get within.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 

      4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Early this morning, I saw this cat in a characteristic ambush position among the golden rods. Initially I thought it was a weasel. Then I realized what it was and I started missing K2 for I would have turn him loose on this cat just to reach her a lesson.

      Btw, I read a very good recently published book on conservation - 'The Carnivore Way' by Cristina Eisenberg. It is a great read on our NA top predators.

      Now I have to put the bird suets back on the trees. I am wary of that attracting the mice into my home, but hopefully K2 will take care of them LOL.

      Finally, I am still seeing all the birds here feeding and hunting. It has been pleasantly warm and the birds may have postponed their migration. Is that even possible?

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Cris! Thanks for the congrats, I am in awe! I am here to educate and take care of the birds...

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Sha, the heron clan have always been my favorites. Thanks for watching out for the cats AND the birds

    • CrisSp profile image


      4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      This time's favorite is the Immature Blue Jay...such a cutie!

      Thank you for reminding us to clean and fill the feeders and birdbaths. It saddens me to think that my friends from the sky are soon migrating. I'll miss the chirping specially in the morning but I'll patiently wait for their return. Meanwhile, let's all enjoy the color of fall.

      Great hub as always and congratulations on the well deserved Hubbie Award. No one can catch it better than Deb! :)

      Love from the sky~

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      Deb, I have cats, but they live indoors. I don't have to worry about them attacking the variety of birds we have here.

      There's a pair of Great Blue Herons that hang out near the grocery store I use. I see them every time I go to the store. They're amazing creatures and aren't afraid of humans. I'm in awe every time I see them.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Correct, truthfornow. I have seen folks out there walking cats on a leash, which works, as long as they have their shots. All animals need to be properly protected. No cat should be to be homeless.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks for your support, Faith Reaper, and I appreciate your vote, too. Now I have a nice mug coming. I'm putting my nickname, Birdie, on it.

    • truthfornow profile image


      4 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      I am a cat person, but I believe that they should be taken care of by their owners and are not meant to just roam free because it is not safe for the cat and the other animals out there. Cats act wild but are also domesticated animals. And if you choose to have a pet, you should take care of it for its entire life. My cat is not allowed to go outside, which might be extreme but I don't have a yard and so she has never been an outside cat. The one time a rat came inside the house she didn't really know how to catch it, but she did attempt. A cat outside will hunt and kill and bring back to you all kinds of critters. Many outside cats aren't taken care of very well and are just really hungry. People should take better care of their pets so they don't kill the birds and other animals.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      4 years ago from southern USA

      Another great hub full of important information for all. Our cat is an indoors cat. In the past, we have had indoor/outdoor cats and they do love to show you their prize! That is the one thing that always bothered me that they kill birds. However, my Jack Russell killed birds too, as she could jump so high!

      Congrats on the Best Photographer!!! I voted for you in that category.

      Your photography is always stunningly beautiful.


    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Doing my best to get the word out, Billy. Congrats, by the way. I knew that you'd do it!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Every single time I read something about that oil spill I get angry.

      As for cats, I'm not surprised by the statistics you mentioned. They are hunters for sure; even as kittens they stalk anything that strikes their fancy. Cat owners should be aware. :)


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