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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday May 6, 2012

Updated on November 18, 2012
Thistle flower
Thistle flower | Source

The General Events of the Week

Breeding season is in high gear, and adult birds are madly feeding their babies. Other birds are mating constantly. Butterflies are filling the air on the wing, spring flowers are blooming and wondrous scents fill the air. The only time that I turn my head from the water's edge is when I hear calls that I don't recognize and flashes of color in my peripheral vision. Nature's sights and sounds give my mind's eye such stimulation that I am sometimes unable to focus on just one thing, so I must keep all my senses at new heights. Maybe this is the true meaning of multitasking. If it is, then I will move forward and take in as much as is humanly possible and train my brain to "see" with every sense that I have. There is so much to see. You know, with everything that I have been lucky enough to see, it makes me wonder how much I have been missing...

Great Egret
Great Egret | Source

My Sightings

Most of the new birds this week were seen on Monday, plus there was a few old favorites that also made a reappearance. The first sighting on Monday was the Great Egret. This bird is so white, I could see him a quarter of a mile away, so I moved as quickly as I could walk in order to get a photo as close as possible, which wasn't really that close by. I knew that this bird would be a little skittish with its first appearance of the season, but I was fortunate enough to be able to get one in flight. This was an added bonus. Besides the Great Blue Heron, these egrets roost in trees.

Spotted Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpiper | Source
Source

This gorgeous Spotted Sandpiper is the best known and most widespread in North America. It is easily distinguished on the ground by the fact that it teeters its body as it stands with tail up and its head downward. A female will have more spots than her counterpart male and is larger. The young leave the nest soon after hatching, like the Killdeer, which is also related. The male is the one that incubates the young, but it is possible that the female will help with the final clutch of the year. Here in Oklahoma, I believe that they will have up to three clutches per season, just like the Killdeer. A pair will usually have 3 to 5 eggs, which can be brown, green, pink or buff colored with brown blotches. Like the Killdeer, the eggs are generally on the ground, but they make a true nest, whereas the Killdeer generally does not.

Eastern Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird | Source
Clay Colored Sparrow
Clay Colored Sparrow | Source

The Eastern Kingbird is the only kingbird nesting in the east north of Southern Florida. Its breeding area covers the better part of the United States. When the need arises for this bird to defend its nest, it is so aggressive that it has been known to land on the backs of vultures, crows, and hawks, pecking them and removing their feathers.

The Clay Colored Sparrow is one that likes to be in fields, thickets, and around the edges of forests. If you have a feeder, they will go to feeding stations for bread, cracked corn, millet, and sunflower seeds. They usually nest under 5 feet to the ground, and they will lay 3-5 eggs that are blue-green in color with dark brown and black markings.


Eastern Meadowlark
Eastern Meadowlark | Source

The Eastern Meadowlark implies just that: they love being in fields and meadows and have the loveliest call. Unfortunately, they are a common host to the cowbird populace. Many nests and eggs/young have been destroyed due to mowing. With homebuilding as it is, these birds are somewhat vulnerable due to humanity, since open fields tend to be developed and cows or sheep graze there, as well as farming.

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    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, dreamseeker. The world of birds is amazing, for one will NEVER know everything about birds. They will make a liar out of you, if you think that you have them pegged. Glad that you enjoy the column, and I already have a good surprise for next week's issue, thanks to a neighbor.

    • profile image

      dreamseeker2 

      5 years ago

      You have such informative hubs with the greatest pics. I find them fascinating, interesting and full of info I never knew before. I feel as if I've just come from science class after visiting your hubs. : ) Always fun to see and learn from a talented bird watcher.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Pamela! Yes, Boomer Lake is great. I loved your manakin story!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I love taking pictures of birds also. That lake area is beautiful and I love your pictures. Voted up and beautiful

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Oh, I know, precy anza! It is the time of awakening, the winter has bedded down for the season, and everything just comes to life.

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 

      6 years ago from USA

      Wow! I would love to see what you are having in there. Looks so exciting to me as you describe it all. :) That's why I love Spring, the flowers blooming specially the colors I don't usually see just makes my day ^-^'

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Agreed, Suelynn.

    • Suelynn profile image

      Suelynn 

      6 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Deb, one thing I've learned in life is to be prepared for the unexpected... who knows? :)

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You are so right, Glosheir, it is a gorgeous bird. This is a great place to do birdwatching. I am having the time of my life.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Oh, well, Suelynn...maybe in another life?

    • Gloshei profile image

      Gloria 

      6 years ago from France

      Lovely hub avian and the photos are out of this world. This sounds an ideal place to go bird-watching wish I was there.

      The eastern Meadowlark is so colourful it would be a great shame to lose it.

    • Suelynn profile image

      Suelynn 

      6 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Deb, Corpus Christi was voted the "birdiest city" because it is part of the Central Flyway for migration. I don't have equipment though and generally can't take the heat and humidity outdoors, so I doubt I would be a good birdwatcher!! I do my little bit near my apartment so I can get into the shade and cool quickly. More's the pity! I really would love to see more of the birds.

      It would be great to visit your area, but I am waiting for paperwork to make a move to Canada, so I doubt that I will get to do so.... :(

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Suelynn, maybe one day we can work out the logistics, since you're in TX. Lots of areas here that birds like. What about your area?

    • Suelynn profile image

      Suelynn 

      6 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Hi Deb, I would love to go bird-watching with you! So enjoyed the hub and had no idea that the Eastern Kingbird could be so aggressive! Lovely photos and so enjoy the information you share. :)

      Voting awesome!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, clairemy. It has been a rewarding experience for me, too, as I never know what is going to turn up. It always seems to be some kind of adventure, especially with all the butterflies now. I think I'll have to do something on butterflies, eventually.

    • clairemy profile image

      Claire 

      6 years ago

      Following your times at the lake , and learning more and more about birds is great. Love the photos in particular.

      Voted up and beautiful

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Birds are something else. You've got to love 'em. Thanks Joyce, glad to like to hear about my little adventures.

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 

      6 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Beautiful photo's to go along with all your great information.

      When living in the Californi mountains Stella Bluejays nested. Their one baby tried to fly a little so soon, I didn't see Mom and Pop the baby was all alone only to find out by a swoop close to my head telling to keep away,the baby survived.

      Voted up beautiful,Joyce.

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