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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday, August 4, 2013

Updated on July 2, 2014
Berylline Hummingbird
Berylline Hummingbird | Source

National Birding News Brought to You by the American Birding Association

The Berylline Hummingbird is a Honduran and Mexican native. In Mexico, it favors the oak-laden hill country, but it is also found in temperate forests in part. In the U.S., it has been located in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, where it prefers mountain canyons. This hummingbird breeds in Arizona, and will hybridize with other species.

It did not make an appearance in 2012, which is not unusual for an irruptive species, but returned in 2013, a joyous occasion.

Read more here:

Sage Sparrow
Sage Sparrow | Source

Changes that Affect Canada and the U.S.

The biggest news is that Sage Sparrow has been split into the Sagebrush Sparrow and Bell's Sparrow. This information has been published by the American Ornithologist's Union. What's the difference? Contact the American Birder's Association at for further information. Mr. Jeffrey Gordon, birder extrordinaire, would be more than pleased to entertain any questions that you might have on this exciting topic.

Crested Auklet
Crested Auklet | Source
Male Mottled Duck
Male Mottled Duck | Source

Rare Birds

In British Columbia, a Crested Auklet was seen offshore near Tofino and the Mottled Duck was photographed in Morgan, CO.

Mottled Duck plumage is darker than a female Mallard, and the bill is yellower. The lack of the broad white border to the speculum is the key to differentiating the Mallard and the Mottled Duck in flight.

Cicada | Source


Boomer Lake has seen more activity with the cicada, and here is an actual live one instead of just a shell. Thousands of them are hanging in trees and shrubs, and their sound is soothing to some and deafening to others. As you can see, this one blends perfectly on this oak tree.

Gulf Fritillary
Gulf Fritillary | Source
Viceroy | Source
Silvery Checkerspot
Silvery Checkerspot | Source


No Monarchs have been seen, but there have been viceroy, the silvery checkerspot, and the beautiful Gulf Fritillary. Several others have also been spotted, but conditions weren't good enough to be able to obtain those photos. Sadly, I don't yet have a macro lens for my camera, but I am thinking of getting one, so I can bring you much better pictures of butterflies, dragonflies, damselflies, and other pertinent insect life.


Is it or is it not in effect? I will stick my neck out in front of birders that are more experienced than I am, and give you a resounding “Yes!” And why is that? The Scissor-tailed Flycatcher population is on its way out without a question, and today I saw a group of Forster’s Terns. From what I have been hearing around other parts of the country, people are seeing birds that just don’t belong, as well as others that haven’t been seen since mid-spring. Forster's Tern visited Boomer Lake for a short time in the spring before it was northbound. Next!

Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret | Source
Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret | Source

Cattle Egrets

Previously, I had only seen one to three of these birds in one general space, but a few days ago, I was lucky enough to see eight of them. Imagine that, when a Great Egret, who was minding its own business was nearly assaulted by some of them fluttering around it. There was no question that they were highly disturbed when they spotted me, but they did circle the area, and return to their original spot for a short time where I was able to obtain a couple of these so-so photos.

Dickcissel | Source


These wonderful songbirds are still within their fields on Boomer Lake, belted out glorious calls. There is no indication that they have any moving planned any time soon. I consider them a welcome diversion to my usual hunts when I hear them in the background, which is how I know that all is well in the neighborhood.

Red Fox
Red Fox | Source

Red Foxes

Yours truly was stopped by an area resident, who happened to mention that red foxes were brought to Stillwater by a gentleman several years ago from Ponca City. They are holding fast in the area, and the originals have left their legacy here to stay. For those Stillwater residents that frequent the west side of the lake, keep these beautiful foxes in mind. They are not indigenous to the area. This might just give me a reason to get to the west side of the lake upon occasion.

This wraps up our report on Boomer Lake this week. Keep your head in the clouds and your eyes to the ground until next week. Happy birding, especially for the migrations in your area

Dickcissel | Source
Great Egret in Tree
Great Egret in Tree | Source
Mallards in Evening Sun
Mallards in Evening Sun | Source
Canada Goose and Two Cattle Egrets
Canada Goose and Two Cattle Egrets | Source
Spotted Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpiper | Source


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    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Ayan, I wouldn't mind sitting in there, too.

    • profile image

      Ayan 3 years ago

      Such a handsome guy; I'm sure there coduln't be a bad photo. But these are fabulous all the same! I love the photo of Ben in the Porsche but I think his dad should be sitting in there, too ;-DKaren

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 4 years ago


      Was the Red Fox walking on water when it crossed the lake?

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, moonlake. There are supposed to be red fox around here that were introduced a while ago, but are not indigenous to the area. The fox with its quarry must have been an exciting find. Thanks for the vote.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Enjoyed your hub and your beautiful photos. I saw a red fox one year crossing our lake with a rabbit in his mouth.

      We have gray fox that come in on our land the field camera has caught pictures of them. Voted up.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, sallybea! Good to see you at the lake. Thanks for the kudos, and I sure hope that you'll want to visit again.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

      Congratulations on your Hubber Award. Felt I had stop by to see your lovely images and I was not disappointed.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I heard that they're pretty darn fast and you're lucky if you can get a picture of one.

    • profile image

      The Examiner-1 4 years ago


      I saw a Roadrunner when I was living in AZ. I was a passenger and I watched it run across the road and behind a building!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      There are such amazing birds in OK. I'm still hoping to see a roadrunner, and have only seen deceased armadillos. I do hope that next year will bring those two hopes.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 4 years ago

      I liked the photos of the hummingbird, Dickcissel and the sandpiper. Plus the view of those two mallards almost looked like they wanted to kiss!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Nell! Believe me, I know how busy things are for you. Between handling my photographs and one column, I find it very difficult to do much more than work full time and try to keep myself in groceries and clean clothes. Glad that you were able to get to the weekly, and I am enjoying your material, as well.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi Deb, sorry I missed this one before, once again your information is fascinating, especially about the change in name of the Sage Sparrow, I love the photos, and the mallards amused me, looks like they are looking in a mirror! Have a great weekend, nell

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Eddy, and there will be new word on how to better protect birds this week coming.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      A wonderful read as always Deb and voting up plus wishing you a great day to come.


    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Jaye, I wish I could claim the hummingbird and the auklet, but those are not my pics. Sadly, those birds are not anywhere near me. I would like to see if I can get to South Padre Island in the spring, though, for the birds coming up from South America.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Connie, if it's a pretty call, could it be a Wood Thrush? Listen to that call on the Cornell site, and see if it is anything like what you're hearing. They should be breeding in your area, I believe. Glad that you had fun at Boomer Lake, and you know that I will see you again.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      The cicada was fairly interesting, I thought, but perhaps one had to be there. Like Gilda Radner used to say, "It's always something."

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Hi, Deb - Another great report (and you seem to have showcased all the wildlife except frogs) plus beautiful photos. That hummingbird is beautiful--delicate in proportion and coloring. I do enjoy your hubs so much! Vicariously experiencing nature, birds and other wildlife through your words and pictures is the next best thing to being there.

      Voted Up++++


    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Deb, I love the cattle egret pictures. It's always fun to see different birds. I have been hearing the prettiest call, but can't seem to zero in on where this bird may be in the woods. I'll keep trying, though!

      Thanks for sharing your wonderful images ;) Connie

      Voted Up++

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      Crested Auklet, you say? he and that humming bird are just stunning! the cicada thing kinda creeps me out, tho..


      lol..sharing on, Deb..

      have a great week. Till next sunday, my friend!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      As you know, Alicia, the birds will always come first, and the column is evolving a little, to make it more tailor-fit to all. Every other piece of nature completes the puzzle, too. Wish I could fit a few frogs that are willing to have aphoto shoot, though.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I enjoyed the photos and the Boomer Lake report very much, as I always do. It's interesting to hear about bird news, too!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Deergha! I will be leaving in about an hour, and might have to miss Boomer lake tonight. Hope that all is going well for you.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Why don't you do a blog like I did. I'd love to look at your old pics.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Billy! It was a long shift at work, then a quick run to the lake, then naturally, I had to download the pics. Then of course, came the story, so I finally got to bed at 10:15 last night. Bit tonight, i get to go to an Audubon shindig near the house, and it is only 106 degrees right now...

    • dghbrh profile image

      deergha 4 years ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

      Hope you enjoy your Audubon Society meeting today evening. I will follow your advice and you are very much rite. To give the best gift to our children ...if only we can encourage them to love this wonderful feathery friends. ....Thank you once again and take care, my friend:-)

      My day came to and end and within one hour i will be off to bed. Good night and wish a bright day ahead.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Another great report Deb!

      Your reports remind me how I was into bird photography in 1980s with my Pentax Super Program SLR and Pentax 70-210 mm zoom (Of course, no auto focusing back then). I posted one of those pictures in a facebook site and visitors liked it immensely. It was a Pond Heron by a pond with a historical building in the background reflected in the water.

      I have many pictures of various sub-species of herons, egrets, bee eaters, etc. from the 80s.

      Your photography always sends me back to the 'my decade' of 80s.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      There was a backup on the freeway so it took me longer than usual to join you at the lake, but the wait was worth it. Lovely pictures and message, Deb....your own little piece of heaven.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Deergha, thanks for coming, as always. This evening, I plan to attend my first Audubon Society meeting, which isn't far from me this time. That's why I will be able to do it. Let's see what I can learn, and always remember to look around you, so you don't miss anything. And share it with as many children as you can, for the more that we have to protect these things, the longer they will last.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Martin, I come from the world of a different drummer...I know, and as long as you are happy, I am happy.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Faith Reaper, my world is now your world. You'll see how infectious this gets, especially when you make some interesting discoveries on your own. I will promise you this: it only gets better.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Jackie, there is a bit of a trick to this. DON't get too close to your subject or they will blur. If you have a DSLR, the ideal lens is a macro and they are not at all expensive. It's a bt late for baby foxes, but I will see what I can learn from area residents. With any luck, I can find out where I need to be, and as you know that is half the battle.

    • dghbrh profile image

      deergha 4 years ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

      Oh my my.............this one with the wonderful glimpse of life at Boomer Lake is very awesome as always, but mainly i loved the colorful butterfly pics very much. The information you share are very useful . Thanks and shared across, votes up interesting and useful.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Amazing! If you only knew... Well may you be blessed. thank you

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Well, life at Boomer Lake is certainly beautiful! Thank you for taking us along to the lake. The photography is amazing. I appreciate you sharing this beauty here.

      Very interesting and beautiful hub.

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Wow, the butterflies, they are so thick right now or maybe for the first time ppl are planting butterfly flowers. I saw a bush called September something and I bet there were 30 or more butterflies. I am going to try to get some shots of them tomorrow but they won't pose for me like yours do...I will probably get home with a dozen blurs. Now you have foxes too to look for, maybe even a baby have a gift! Or an angel.


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