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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday January 19, 2014

Updated on January 19, 2014
King Bird of Paradise
King Bird of Paradise | Source

Field Notes

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.

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.

Source

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.

Source

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:

Immature Black-crowned Night-Heron
Immature Black-crowned Night-Heron | Source

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.

Carolina Chickadee
Carolina Chickadee | Source

Carolina Chickadees

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
Bewick's Wren | Source

Bewick's Wren

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.

Great Blue Heron with Crappie
Great Blue Heron with Crappie | Source

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.

Canvasbacks(female on left)
Canvasbacks(female on left) | Source

Canvasbacks

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.

Cedar Waxwing
Cedar Waxwing | Source

Cedar Waxwing

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.

American Robin
American Robin | Source
Female Northern Cardinal
Female Northern Cardinal | Source
Northern Mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird | Source

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.

Male Bufflehead on the wing
Male Bufflehead on the wing | Source

Buffleheads

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?

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron | Source
Dark-eyed Junco
Dark-eyed Junco | Source
Male House Finch
Male House Finch | Source

© 2014 Deb Hirt

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    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Marta, we must always seek solutions to problems, and be proactive, more than reactive to allow a better flow.

    • profile image

      Marta 2 years ago

      Getting back to the topic, how about "a KDE app/tool for _____" or "a KDE -insert function here-"?Like "KFileReplace is a KDE tool for batch serach and replace" or "Amarok is a versatile and easy to use KDE audio player?"To be honest, I don't really think that the problem is in the description/naming. Whether it's "for KDE" or "a KDE app" or "powered by KDE" or "made with KDE", users will always just understand it for what it is: a KDE app. That people make the presumption that KDE/GNOME apps will not run or not run properly in GNOME/KDE is the real problem. Dropping the KDE brand in favor of a more general, "cross-desktop", description seems to be the only logical conclusion to what you say is the problem. But that's hardly a solution, is it?So "how do we keep branding positive and visible while not giving false impressions that end up limiting our user base"? By dispelling that false impression by proper information. Distros can help do that, by installing a mixed set of programs. Some already do that. But ultimately, I don't think branding is the issue. Information dissemination is probably more important.- Jucato (not a plumber)

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thank you so much, Julia.

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      Julia 2 years ago

      I had the honor of getting to witesns this beautiful little girl endure the inevitable. Needles, tubes, hoses, machines, organic compounds and chemical's that I could not believe a 2 pound baby would ever have to be put through. Little Titus, You are one tough Gal!!!! Excellent story telling and pics

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      tazzaytamar, the wildlife here is remarkable. I've been very fortunate to always see something new, so it really pays to keep one's eyes open. A friend recently got a canoe, so I'm hoping for the chance to see young Great Blue Herons this spring on the nest. Wish me luck.

    • tazzytamar profile image

      Anna 2 years ago from chichester

      These birds are all just so amazing! Reading your hubs really make me want to visit boomer lake - what incredible wildlife :)

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Peg. I never know what I am going to find when I go out to the lake, so I always have to see what there is by taking a chance.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      These pictures are stunning. I loved the ones of the Great Blue Heron. Actually, all of them are great.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Nell. We are having a strange winter, pretty much all over the country. Yesterday was 65 here, and it is in the 20's today with 20-25 mph wind gusts now.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      That first bird is amazing! and your photos are gorgeous as always, I did wonder about the birds over here too having young to early, as we have had a mild winter so far, so hopefully it will stay that way and they won't lose any, lovely hub as always, nell

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      This morning was horrible. 18 degrees with a windchill of 0 20 mph wind. Got a few pics, then ran home!

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      My fingers and hands get cold too Deb. I have not figured out what to do to warm them up. I think whistling/singing warms the body, if only the fingers and hands could do that!

      Kevin

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      There are MANY birds of paradise, Chris!

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      Chris Mills 3 years ago from Colorado Springs, CO until the end of March

      I'm looking forward to following the Immature Black-crowned Night-Heron around the lake. I hope he sticks around into adulthood. Thanks for the great article. The king bird of paradise was awesome.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      We certainly have. Just be careful, keep black oil sunflower seeds out for the kids, and see if you can keep water for them, too.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      Tell me about it. They keep mentioning on the weather down here that we are being hit by an 'Arctic Blast'.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      We're going to be in for it for the next few days. The Northeast is getting nailed with snow and cold, but at least we won't get the snow here. It hs been such an irruptive year for snows, they have been as far south as FL!

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      Oh, then it is not dry here Deb. I think that it was dry when I lived in NJ. At least part of the time.

      Kevin

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Kevin, it will be easy for you to tell if it is a dry cold. When it was bad, one would breathe, and the nostrils would stick together!

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      I do not know whether we have a dry cold or not here Deb. I never thought about that. All that I know about wet/dry temperature has to do with heat. In the summer I prefer the humid - to a point, and at night in the winter my electric heater drys it up so that my mouth dries out.

      Kevin

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Anna, I am so pleased that you like it. The young Black-crowned Night-Heron is a beautiful bird. He is the same size as an adult. I would imagine that he'll begin looking more like an adult closer to spring, and I really hope that I can see the transition. I try to photograph him every time that I see him.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Kevin, it's my fingers that have the problem. It isn't a dry cold here, like it was in Maine.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Great pictures, my favourite was the immature black crowned night heron.

      The poor birds who had the fermented apples must have got a shock. Thank you for sharing your beautiful lake.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      Just hold your breath or cover your mouth with a scarf when you breathe in.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Kevin, tomorrow is supposed to be bitterly cold, but I am going out there. I'm going to be keeping my eyes peeled for the Hooded Meranser, which I hope comes soon.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      Hi Deb,

      You were mentioning the "irruptive winter that the birds have been having". Right now we are going through days and nights of mid-teens to mid-30's, with winds making it feel colder. I saw one sparrow land on my deck railing the other day for a few minutes.

      I started my comment 5-10 minutes ago and got sidetracked by the 'King Bird of Paradise'. I was really interested by that and I plan to study it more. Here is a +1 for the bit on the chickadee! :) Have a nice day and keep warm. Bring a jug of coffee with you.

      Kevin

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Dave, these are two entirely different birds in the US. Even though they are common,I still adore them both.

    • D.A.L. profile image

      Dave 3 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      The King bird of paradise has sure caught the imagination of your readers, and I am another that enjoyed it so much. Is the House finch the bird we refer to as the House sparrow ? Another enjoyable visit. Thank you for sharing.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Alicia! Glad you like what there was to offer at the lake today. It all depends on the weather, it seems.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Your photos are always lovely, Deb, but they are especially nice this week. They are so clear and detailed. The blue sky in the background of many of the photos is beautiful, too.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      CC, it is always a great day at Boomer Lake. I might not always be there at the right moment, but I sure am at a number of times.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Right, Bill! BUT there are many, many birds just as interesting in their own rights. Stay tuned...

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Wayne! I'm still working on making the column better, and I think that I am achieving it.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks for sharing, Leslie, as there are so many important ways to care for all wildlife and ensure that it continues to thrive.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 3 years ago from Western NC

      I'm always impressed by your avian-knowledge. And your photos! They always blow me away. Looks like it was a great day at Boomer Lake. :)

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great job Deb. Loved the video of the King Bird of Paradise, never seen anything quite like it.

    • wayne barrett profile image

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Wonderful, wonderful work Deb. Very refreshing.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 3 years ago

      Birds are SUCH showoffs eh? LOVE the videos, my amazing non-feathered friend!

      You're gonna have to outdo yourself to beat the guy who imitated humans tho!

      btw..i KNEW why they flew in v's..lol

      As amazing as the pictures are - the live footage is just jaw-dropping!

      HUGS

      sharingxx

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      All little herons seem to say that. Once I was stalking a bird, Green Heron came within two feet of me, and said the same thing so I would pay attention to him!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Johan! The world has many wonderful birds and animals. What a great gift!

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Deb, loved seeing the Great Blue Heron doing its balletic dance! And that night heron reminded me of my first encounter with one. We had just moved into this place here in the woods about 25 years ago. It was a warm evening and very dark, but I had my bedroom window open for the breeze. All of a sudden I heard this strange call--I wasn't sure what animal or bird would say 'QUARK!' I did my homework the next day, and sure enough, it was a night heron. I have not heard it since, but I'll never forget it! Lots of great information and good reminders my friend ;)Connie

    • Johan Smulders profile image

      Johan Smulders 3 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Another great visit and such good additional info. Thanks.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks for sharing, Faith. It is so important to protect our animals, and the more people that know, the better for them.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, whonu. Looks like I'll be getting to hang out more with the kids in the 'hood again.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Wow, that King Bird of Paradise is truly amazing. Look at that tail. I have never seen anything like it before! Really great hub once again full of useful information and safety for birds. We should be very careful about all the plastics and such we throw away and dispose of it properly.

      Up and more and sharing

      Blessings, and have a great week,

      Faith Reaper

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 3 years ago from United States

      Nice work and well done. whonu

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Jackie, you're so welcome. Yes, that is real plumage on the Bird of Paradise. Every one of the different species is absolutely beautiful. I hope to get to the islands to see them one day...

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Gorgeous of course and is that a real tail on that first bird up there? We are lucky if we can catch their true beauty but what an artist our God is. Amazing. I have seen that northern mockingbird and northern cardinal right in my window and would have not guessed the names of either, so thanks for that. ^

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