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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday January 19, 2014
King Bird of Paradise
The astonishing mating dance of the King Bird of Paradise will leave you speechless and in awe. This is very rare material.
- Dancers on Fire - King Bird-of-Paradise - YouTube
Puffing itself up and twirling its tail feathers, a male King Bird-of-paradise performs its unique dance for an interested female.
Merlin Birder's ID via eBird
eBird now has come up with the Merlin Birder’s ID, which is fabulous for new birders. It is free, and all you have to do is make sure that you have access to a WiFi connection for your iPhone, iPad, and iPod with iOS7. You can even download it on the article.
There is a Reason for Flying in V-Formations
Birders have known this, but birds that fly in V-formations are doing this for aerodynamics, as a ballet dancer uses precision for remarkable moves. What, you say? Here’s the full story.
- Flap artists: Birds sync wing beats in V formation - CBS News
Researchers tracked 14 juvenile ibises as they migrated between Austria and Italy
How to Protect Wildlife
There are many simple ways to protect birds and other wildlife before more species are eradicated. How can we all learn this? Simply by educating each other. Make it a topic of conversations, give talks at the local library or be a guest speaker at schools. There are so many ways to get the word out, and this will help:
- Protecting Wildlife - Things You Can Do To Protect Wildlife
A list of simple things you can do to help protect animals and wildlife.
Young Black-crowned Night-Heron
The Black-crowned Night-Heron juvenile is still on the lake. Nothing matters to this bird, as long as it is able to fish in the Southern Cove. If luck is with me, I can photograph this bird to adulthood, but there is no guarantee for that. In the meantime, I’ll just do what I can to keep my readers apprised on how this bird is doing. It never is far from Great Blue Heron, even as far as being on the same side of the cove.
There are plenty of Carolina Chickadees and their food sources on the east side of the lake where I haunt. Most of the birds have come closer to neighborhood areas where they can also add to their natural feeding.
Bewick’s Wren is not common right now, but if you hear its call, it is never far off. This bird has a rather long tail for its size, which it tends to flick around rather conspiculously. Wrens are very energetic brown birds, with a thin and slightly curved bill.
Singing Bewick's Wren
- Singing Bewick's Wren - YouTube
Bewick's wren singing from my backyard in southern California
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron is still providing much entertainment in this area, and is better able to obtain fish, since it has warmed considerably. They will eat mice if they cannot catch fish, but I haven’t seen it happen a great deal. They find it necessary to kill a mouse before they swallow it, too, by shaking it.
Here’s a good photo of Canvasbacks when the sun isn’t washing them out too much. Notice the red eyes? That is the best way to tell a Canvasback from a Redhead, as well as the bill is lighter and shorter, and the male is gray.
The Cedar Waxwing paid a short visit to my immediate area, too. These are very regal looking birds that enjoy berries and apples during the winter. When I was in Maine, I actually witnessed them getting intoxicated on fermented apples. They fell out of the tree, nearly at my feet.
The Songbird Clan
There were also American Robins, Northern Cardinals, and a Northern Mockingbird or two. The House Finches were in full force, and it appeared that they felt that it was actually nest building time, for they were in the same trees that they frequented last year during spring.
Birds vs. Weather
With the irruptive winter that we have been experiencing this year, I suspect that some of the birds will begin nests a little too early, and we might lose the first broods, but many of them tend to have more than one brood. This should not put a serious damper on the population, as it is a common occurrence, especially with the first year birds.
A fairly good number of Buffleheads were out, enjoying the warmer weather. Sadly, they don’t breed in this area, so I’ll have to go to Canada for hopes of seeing any ducklings. In the meantime, we can enjoy their antics. They are diving ducks, and in order to become airborne, they run and patter across the water before they can take flight.
Reminders About Wildlife Safety
This is just a reminder to everyone that if you see litter in your parks, please pick it up and dispose of it properly. It creates such a mess and is a hazard for birds, fish, and other animals once it makes it to the water. Plastic rings from soda bottles can choke and kill animals, and plastic bags have no nutritional value, so it is a slow death if ingested. If we all do our part in protecting the wildlife that we have, they will provide us with so much joy in the interim.
Keep your eyes on the ground, and your head in the clouds. Happy birding until next time!
Where is Boomer Lake?
© 2014 Deb Hirt