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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday June 30, 2013

Updated on July 7, 2013

Zany, Crazy Days of Summer

There are numerous baby birds in our midst, a joyous season. Parent birds are madly trying to feed those hungry mouths, as well as themselves. If one keeps a sharp ear, they will tell you right where they are, and I have located numerous youngsters in various stages of growth. I’d have to say that my favorite time of year is that madcap time of baby birds.

Caring for Baby Birds

When I was doing volunteer work with wild birds back in Delaware, I’d look forward to the babies, which was a rather stressful time. Newborns would have to be fed every fifteen minutes, and ones about to be housed outside would be fed every two and a half hours. Sometimes the newborns didn’t want to eat, and other newborns couldn’t get enough. Robins and Blue Jays had to be carefully monitored, as they would eat for the sake of eating, and that could lead to a damaged crop. Luckily, parent birds know exactly what they are doing for those youngsters that have them. I am pleased to report that all the babies that I have found at Boomer Lake are healthy and well. One of the original group of three flycatchers didn’t make it, but not all of them will survive. The numbers are very high for birds under the age of a year that will not survive.

Bell's Vireo with Worm for the Nestlings
Bell's Vireo with Worm for the Nestlings | Source

Bell's Vireos

Bell’s Vireos are doing rather well and have their nest well hidden. I know right where it is, and at least one parent is always nearby. This prohibits me from taking a peek, and I really would like to do so, but it just wouldn’t be right. Being watchful, I’ll do my best to see if I can get shots of the fledglings, which should be happening soon. Both parents are getting used to me, and I am no longer a concern to them, so that should be in our favor.

Eastern Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird | Source

Eastern Kingbirds

The Eastern Kingbirds have a nest of their own, staying very close to their tree. They have regularly been performing acrobatics for each other, as well as for me. It should be about time for them to begin fledging their young ones, too. It is all just a matter of waiting and watching right now.

Fledgling Purple Martin
Fledgling Purple Martin | Source

Purple Martin News

There is a fledgling Purple Martin that I was able to capture in a photo, and there are several others. Most of them tend to stay under the watchful eye of the parents. Mother and offspring were in the same tree, but I wasn’t able to get close enough to give you a shot of them together, but I hope this one of the youngster alone will make do.

Five Barn Swallows at Rest
Five Barn Swallows at Rest | Source

Barn Swallows in Action

The Barn Swallows are more plentiful than usual around the lake. I believe that I saw a youngster today, but I’m not positive. The group on the southeast side of the lake near the Southern Cove doesn’t get a lot of human traffic around them, so they are on the skittish side. Spending a little time around them today, here is a picture that you might like.

Downy Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker | Source

Downy Woodpecker

The Downy Woodpeckers were visiting yesterday, so here are a couple of shots. They didn’t make a sound, but their movement caught my eye. They were out and about searching for bugs, making a number of circular motions around a couple of trees.

Male Baltimore Oriole
Male Baltimore Oriole | Source

Baltimore Oriole Habits

Just in case you’re not aware, the Baltimore Oriole will sometimes drink nectar from trumpet flowers. Yesterday morning I found this handsome male atop a cluster, and managed to be fortunate enough to grab this shot. Not being in an ideal position, this was the best that I could do, and it is fairly respectable.

American Goldfinch
American Goldfinch | Source

American Goldfinch and Other News

There are a few American Goldfinches around, and the Dickcissel has made a few appearances over the weekend, but I’ll be darned if I can spot him this time. The meadow grass is rather high, and I have heard the sounds of numerous Eastern Meadowlarks, but they have kept out of sight.

Boomer Lake Park in Stillwater, OK

Scissor-tailed Flycatchers Recently Hatched
Scissor-tailed Flycatchers Recently Hatched | Source

Very Young Nestling Scissor-tailed Flycatchers

There are some very young nestling Scissor-tailed Flycatchers that have been born very recently. Take a look at this photo and see how close they are to naked with just a little down on the heads. I have never seen any this young before. The parents that have been giving me all the wonderful photo opportunities don’t seem to mind me around the nest. Evidently, it helps if you know someone that is connected.

Until Next Week

It is cooling down in the area this week, so there is a good possibility that we may see other birds out in the open. The dark birds have been having a hard time with the 100-plus degree weather, as I have. With a dark camera in front of my face it reflects a lot of heat, which makes seeing through the sweat a little hard.

This is the end of this week’s report. Do stay hydrated this week and let me know about all your wonderful nature finds, as you have been doing. Keep your eyes on the ground and your head in the clouds. Happy birding, and I will see you again next week.

Eastern Kingbird Coming in for a Landing
Eastern Kingbird Coming in for a Landing | Source
Eastern Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird | Source
Purple Martin
Purple Martin | Source
Fledgling European Starling
Fledgling European Starling | Source

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    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      precy anza, the flycatcher nest was actually pretty good sized. If I stood on my toes, I could have easily touched the nest where the nestlings had been.

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 4 years ago from USA

      Thanks for the nestlings update :) Enjoyed the stroll on the lake as always. How big is the flycatcher's nest? Such a treat to see the photos of those two baby birds. ^-^

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Marie! I am happy to provide birds for you since you don't have any. What a pity!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Anna, you definitely will like what is coming up after I visit the lake this morning. Right now it is barely light...

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, deergha! Perhaps you can come to the US some day, and I will show you the lake and all its wonders. SO many people from out of the country are amazed to see what this lovely area has to offer. The nice thing, is that there are different birds all year long, so it keeps me and my camera on the go. That is an important thing, for I can bring you and everyone else interesting material all year long. I am glad that bird watching is infecting your soul, for the beauty is so near to behold.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks for taking a gander, Debbie, and know that there are even more good things coming up later today. I have been hanging around the trumpet flowers, as hummers show up there, but nothing for me as of yet. I'm still watching, though.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 4 years ago from Scotland

      Sounds intriguing; I look forward to it.

    • dghbrh profile image

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

      Hi Deb,

      Your hubs are always a gust of freshness for me. After I started reading your hubs I became truly interested about birds though earlier I just used to love them simply. Now I am more observant about their presence around me. Your level of patience is awesome. I would have like to be with you if only we would have been near each other during your course of taking pics and observing them. Seriously I would have loved learn about birds from you. Its amazing to read about the baby birds and their many characteristics. The pics of birds in flying are simply mind blowing. You are slowly and steadily gaining a devoted fan for yourself. Wish that you feel cooler weather to click as many pics as you wish of the all wonderful birds. All the very best and waiting till

      next week sure.

      Take care

      deergha

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 4 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      I hardly ever see birds where I live. So, I enjoy always visiting your hubs and looking at all your beautiful pictures.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      wow the birds are so amazing.. great pictures.. You and Deb do a great job.. I love birds.. I sit and watch them outside my glass door on the pouch.. while the cat is in the house..lol.. I love hummingbirds.. so beautiful..

      thank you for sharing

      Debbie

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Anna, this week was quite pleasant, and a lot of things were going on at the lake. All the animals and birds made it through the fireworks on the 4th all right, luckily, they were all abed. There will be a lot of surprises for you coming up.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 4 years ago from Scotland

      I was camping in a forest this week and I saw so many beautiful birds.

      I didn't know what they were and I really could have done with your expertise; I thought of you a few times.

      Interesting as always and I thought your in flight pictures were really quite incredible.

      I hope it cools down for you and the birds soon.

      Anna

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You are so right diesmiling. It is up to us to protect nature so that they can remain free. I am pleased that the pictures are fulfilling a need in your spirit. Never stop living your dreams.

    • diesmiling profile image

      David Angulo 4 years ago from Philippines

      When I'm seeing those picture, I think of it on the birds who are really free. I want to have the same life.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Jaye, you're in a birder's haven. I couldn't imagine being right next to a sanctuary...what excellent luck. Don't worry, it will suck you in, you'll be hooked, and then I'll have to show you around Boomer Lake since you're not far. Have a blast with it. Thanks for telling me what is around your area. I will read about the Red-cockaded Woodpecker now.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Connie! Oh, now it is getting fast and furious, a mad feeding frenzy! Boomer Lake is just something else right now. Everywhere I look, there are youngsters, and if a parent isn't there and they are mobile, they even come to me. I just love this time of year. I am grinning and wide-eyed all the time now, and it feels so good.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

      There is a woodpecker somewhere close in the vicinity near my house. I hear his "rat-tat-tat-tat!" at times and wish I could see him, but haven't caught a glimpse yet. I can't tell exactly where the drilling is coming from. It's amazing what a bird that size can do with his beak!

      My neighbors have a lot of mature (tall) pine trees. I have only a few left after a tornado destroyed most of the trees on my property in 2007. I think the woodpeckers that are found in Mississippi like pine trees, but I am the true birding "novice." (You're the expert!) I don't know all the species of woodpecker that can be found in this area, but I did read that the Mississippi Wildlife & Fisheries Department stated the Red-cockaded Woodpecker is an endangered species here.

      One of my neighbors' property is a bird sanctuary, so I get to see lots of birds that fly over from there. Some beautiful cardinals--the males with their bright red plummage--swoop into my yard and light on the picket fence. Haven't seen any females. I suppose they're in the nest, taking care of the young ones.

      Deb...Your good influence may have me buying a book about birds of Mississippi yet!

      Jaye

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Deb, your images of birds in flight are really awesome! I love this time of year as well, when the babies finally fledge. It's fun to watch them as they try to land on the feeders. They make quite a few overhead swoops before they actually decide it's okay to land. Most of the downy babies are still begging for and receiving food from the adults (sunflower seeds from the feeders). But I have a feeling it's just a matter of time before Mom and Pop turn them loose to fend for themselves.

      Very entertaining and lovely hub, my friend ;) Connie

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Colin, there is no greater honor than all my friends sharing my Boomer lake stories and photos with everyone. I wish the world to be smiling, thanks to the animals.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      Well if I didn't know you by your name 'Deb' then I would just go ahead and call you 'Mother' Nature because there have been few people in my 3 years at the Hub who capture the essence and the purity of nature and it's environment as perfectly as you my friend.

      It's always a pleasure to visit here and see and read of the beauty which comes from your heart because I truly know that every hub you do is like a labor of love.

      Sending to you 3 big Canadian hugs on Canada day from Colin, Tiffy and Gabriel at lake erie time ontario canada 6:05pm

      and I will post and link your Hub presentation on my FB page.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Mary, I'm so happy to hear about your catbirds. The more that they get used to you, the closer they will let you come. It is such a joy to make friends with nature, eh?

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Jaye, I appreciate you passing me on for others to enjoy. I think the next step is a blog for additional readership and comments. I will do a book or two eventually, most likely when I retire. BUT I need to get in a lot more practice with the photos. I think its coming along rather nicely, but I really do have a long way to go in that realm.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You know, jill, it is supposed to be about ten degrees cooler this week,so I will take full advantage. After a bit of a rest from work, I'll be on the lake during the evening when the sun begins its downward trek.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Alicia! The action shots are big hits, as with anything else. Observing these birds is also interesting, for one must listen with their eyes. These birds do their best to communicate. The more time I spend with them, the more they educate ME.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Peg. I had just as much fun spending times with my winged friends as I did writing the column. The biggest joy of all, is just being there to witness everything first hand.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      So true, Kris. Cover the cage/basket, turn out the lights, and they are down for the count.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Leslie, but I'm Deb. (Still sitting in the trees surrounded by assorted birds and laughing) You should have parks loaded with beautiful birds. New York City's Central Park boasts some of the largest assortment of birds in the country.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      My next step is a blog, I think, and I hope that will increase readership. Not only that, I want people to share their information with each other. Thanks for your continued support, Johan, and I will see you at the lake.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      I can't say it enough, your pictures are amazing. I love your rhetoric...in other words I really love your hubs and look forward to them each week. The picture of the oriole is spectacular...with the flowers he's sitting on the colors are just magnificent.

      BTW, my birds are catbirds. They are a bit less skittish so I can get closer and could identify them. Their nest seems to be done but no young yet.

      Voted this everything but funny.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Deb....You are so talented and with such a flair for making others enjoy your views of nature. You should really consider developing your journals of Boomer Lake--text and your magnificent photos--into a book, one of those large, glossy "coffee table" books. I'm sure you'd have a big market for it and probably get rich!

      Voted Up+++ and shared

      Jaye

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Another great set of pictures. Especially love the baby bird and fledgling pics and the three at the end. Hope you stay cool, too! It's hot here, but very rainy. Take care, Jill

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      It's very enjoyable to learn about birds by reading your weekly report, Deb. I'm getting a great education, and it's great fun, too. I love the photos of the birds in flight.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      This week's favorite shot is the scissor tailed fly-catcher hatchlings. They are just so cute. Coming in at a close second is the Vireo with the worm. All the photos are awesome, Deb. You really have an eye for this. That Eastern Kingbird in flight and landing are stunning photos, too. Okay, I loved them all.

    • KrisL profile image

      KrisL 4 years ago from S. Florida

      What a fine set of photos . . . also fascinating notes on caring for baby birds. Anyone who can feed a chick every 15 minutes has my admiration. I guess diurnal birds do sleep at night, though, unlike tiny kittens which need feeding through the dark hours.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      i canNOT believe the amazing variety of birdies you have at boomer lake! I wonder if we have as many here and i've just never noticed? i live in the middle of a city, mind you, no lake in my back yard..(unless we have a flood, but...lol..)

      thanks for the vicarious thrill, Vicki..

      sharing on..

    • Johan Smulders profile image

      Johan Smulders 4 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Great photos and interesting info as usual. You need to publish a birding book on Life at Boomer Lake with Debbie and the Birds. You already have the hard work done!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Martin! What a compliment! Glad that I was able to fulfill your expectations, and I'll see ya at the lake next week!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Made a special effort to stop here first. I was rewarded by an amazing hub, thank you

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Jackie. One day, we need to get together and do some workups on birds. I'm sure that I could show you a few things that would help you out in the realm of photography. Not only that, maybe we could share each other's birds.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Nell, thanks for your great support, as always. Yes, the heat has sure been a bear, but this week coming will be a lot more livable. I actually get two days off this week, so maybe a little less glare in the pictures on the next edition of Boomer Lake.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Billy! When I was in Maine, we were inundated with the goldfinches, all year long. Here, they are seen occasionally, but not much. It is so nice for me to see those little yellow pieces of sunshine, and I really miss them. It was a great week, as you could see!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      How beautiful! Been waiting for you, lol. I was thinking while reading this that I rarely see a woodpecker and I saw those all the time growing up. I think I may have seen one or two in the last ten years.

      Beautiful shots, and I am past choosing a best although the birds in flight are always a favorite. ^ and sharing.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi Deb great to know that the baby birds are doing well, and I do believe that they get to know you, so you can take some great photos, sorry to hear about the heat, saw that America was going through some really hot weather, it was boiling hot here today, so I totally understand about the camera, I was trying to take photos too down by the river, they didn't come out very well because of the glare, voted up and tweeted, nell

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Loved the visit as always....I love to sit and watch barn swallows frolic...nice picture of the goldfinch. That's our state bird and I swear I rarely see one. What's up with that? LOL

      Hot weather here as well. Stay cool, Deb, and thanks for the visit.