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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday October 20, 2013

Updated on October 20, 2013
Great Bustard
Great Bustard | Source

Field Notes

Great Britain Will See the Great Bustard, Once Again!

The Great Bustard, a vulnerable bird in general, has been extinct in Britain since 1832, has laid some eggs. For the exciting news, do peruse the short article:

Free Owl Calls

Just in time for Hallowe’en, from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to you. This is a fabulous way to learn the calls of an assortment of owls.

Owl Masks

Also from Birdorable, you can download free owl masks and free bird-themed pumpkin carving patterns. Get all this here:

Free Bird-Themed Pumpkin Carving Patterns

Also from Birdorable, you can download free bird-themed pumpkin carving patterns. Get all this here:

Everglade Snail Kite
Everglade Snail Kite | Source

Everglade Snail Kite Making a Comeback

Due to the introduction of an exotic snail, the Everglade Snail Kite may not be critically endangered for long. Learn the latest here.

Violet-crowned Hummingbird
Violet-crowned Hummingbird | Source

Paton's Birder Haven

Paton’s Birder Haven, in Patagonia, AZ, is a good news story. They set out to raise $300,000 so that the property could be maintained in perpetuity. They made 99 percent of their goal. To learn more about Paton’s, the #1 ranked attraction in the area, look no further:

Double-crested Cormorant Taking Off
Double-crested Cormorant Taking Off | Source

Double-crested Cormorants at Boomer Lake

The Double-crested Cormorants have been steadily increasing their numbers and making themselves at home. They seem to realize that I am no threat at all to them, and have been behaving in a normal manner, which is basically, the ‘devil-may-care’ attitude. That is your typical cormorant, as you can see from these photos.

Immature Male Red-winged Blackbird
Immature Male Red-winged Blackbird | Source

Red-winged Blackbirds

The Red-winged Blackbirds have been taking advantage of the weather, still showing up during early mornings and toward evening. Even though it has been a little cooler, they still don’t want to be out during the bright sunlight. Even so, the youths are growing up and are ready for their flights elsewhere when it is colder.

Canada Geese in Flight
Canada Geese in Flight | Source

Canada Geese

We are left with the resident Canada Geese, the others have moved on. Birds of feral stock appear to be increasing and becoming more permanent farther south, which I suspect will increase as long as winters are mild. However, everything is always subject to change, so we will see what winter holds for us this year and gauge accordingly.

American Crow

The American Crow has also returned to the area, remaining distant at present, but as time goes on, and they become acclimated to the area, they will venture closer. As we discussed last year, the crow has not been well treated, so they have become rather shy.

Blue Jays

Blue Jays are venturing a little closer to the lake, yet staying well within the boundaries of the neighborhoods. If you like to attract them and watch their antics, provide some peanuts in the shell, and they will soon be in your yard to partake of the spoils. They will also bring their close friends and relatives to relieve you of your offerings.

Pied-billed Grebe
Pied-billed Grebe | Source

Pied-billed Grebes

The Pied-billed Grebes showed up on Tuesday, numbering about a dozen, which is the most that I have ever seen together. They are also rather shy, and will rarely flock, which leads me to believe that this group just arrived in the area. For those of you that are curious, they just happened to receive that name due to the fact that they have a black stripe around that short light gray bill. Another interesting fact is that they have an air bladder that will cause them to rise and sink while diving. If you notice in this photo, this bird was getting ready to dive.

Ruddy Ducks

I also noticed that some of these stiff-tailed ducks were on the lake this afternoon. To be honest, I didn't expect to see these ducks quite so early in the season, which makes me wonder if we might experience an early winter. Let's see if the birds are sending me the right message.

Non-Breeding Spotted Sandpiper
Non-Breeding Spotted Sandpiper | Source

Spotted Sandpiper

The Spotted Sandpiper is also returning to the area, in non-breeding plumage for the winter. It is also known as the ‘teeter tail,’ as a common characteristic is bobbing its body up and down. It usually winters in South and Central America, so it won’t be around for very long. Last year, I believe I missed it for the short period of time that it was here.

Where is Boomer Lake?

Raptor Migration is at High Point

Raptor migration is generally during the month of October. For those of you that wish to keep a watch on this precious cargo, eBird has some wonderful information here:

My report has come to an end this week. So until next time, keep your eyes to the ground and your head in the clouds. Enjoy the upcoming months for some additional migration, and as always, let me know what you’re seeing. Happy birding!

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron | Source
Double-crested Cormorants "The Gathering"
Double-crested Cormorants "The Gathering" | Source
Double-crested Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant | Source

© 2013 Deb Hirt

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    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      LOLOL That makes sense Deb!

      Kevin

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

      Yes, Kevin, the birds were flying in the opposite direction!

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      Were the birds running too Deb - or should I say flying? LOL

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

      Thanks so much, Mel. There was a noisy run for cancer on Friday, so many birds were not in their usual spots. I hope to do better Monday and Tuesday!

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 3 years ago from San Diego California

      I'm checking in rather late this week, sorry about that. I'm usually on pins and needles to see what will show up at the Big Boomer, but I've been a little distracted. Sounds like your Ruddy Ducks and Pied-billed Gebes are the point men for the avian assault that will occur any minute now. Great hub and marvelous photos as usual.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Yes, double crested, isn't that what I wrote? It certainly is what I meant. :) haha, Thanks for clarifying.

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

      Hey, D.A.L.! I appreciate the fact that we get to learn from each other. This is such a wonderful way to do it, too.

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

      Thanks, Chris. That is a double-CRESTED. They are similar to an anhinga, but with a hooked bill. They can be little smarties to other birds, too.

    • D.A.L. profile image

      Dave 3 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Great news about the Everglade Snail Kite in your country and the Great Bustard in mine. Love the way you have presented the Heron in your image. Once again a visit has been a joy and look forward to many more.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Deb, as always, beautiful, interesting and exciting. I love the birds. I haven't heard of a double breasted cormorant. I'll pay closer attention to cormorants from now on.

      Congratulations, Deb, on your award as best photographer.

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

      Nell, so glad to hear that your Canada Geese are there. Believe it or not, I actually fall right into these pictures. The birds see me, then they perform. Life just does not get any better.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      How do you manage to take such amazing photos? I can't believe it sometimes, I wish I could do that! lol! seriously, another great hub and the birds are so lovely, the Canadian geese? yep, they are alive and well and living down my river! they always turn up at this time of year! lol!

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

      Hey, teaches. Bring on your birds!

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

      Hey, Alicia! I also always look forward to your interesting material, too. I never know what you're going to come up with, so it always piques my interest.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      You are a talented photographer, as evident by your photos. My hubby and I love to take pictures of the birds here in South Florida. The Blue Heron is one we often see around the lakes. Thanks for sharing the beauty.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The heron and the blackbird photos are especially nice this week, Deb. As always, I loved reading your hub, looking at the photos and seeing the latest bird news.

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

      Hey, Faith Reaper! That's why it is so important to be able to protect the wonderful wildlife that we have., so we can share the Great Bustard and others with everyone. It is so much better to be proactive than reactive to the needs of wildlife. Honestly, in the scheme of things, it really takes so little effort. They need a place to live, just like anyone else.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      I have never seen the Great Bustard, what an interesting bird! Love your photo of the Great Blue Heron, truly superb. Another wonderful hub here and we will wait in anticipation for what is going on at Boomer Lake next week.

      Up and more and sharing

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

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

      Hey, agusfanani! I hope the Great Bustard proliferates, as well. t will give us all hope if it is successful. One small step like this, could bring about so much.

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

      Glad you liked this week's material, Wayne. The ducks are moving in...

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

      I know whatcha mean about the bustards, it happens. If you only knew my Great Blue Heron. He is such a good boy. He loves being photographed, too. I'll have to send you a pic later.

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 3 years ago from Indonesia

      I'm very glad to read the news about the Great Bustard, hopefully it will successfully increase its population and can prevented from extinction. This hub is very informative about bird migrations with awesome pictures too, wow..! I wish I had the chance to observe those beautiful birds in person but this hub has given a lot of information about them. Vote up this this hub useful, interesting, and awesome .

    • wayne barrett profile image

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Refreshing! Thanks for sharing Deb.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 3 years ago

      Sigh..i've known far too many Great Bustards...ya know..

      Ahem...

      I love how you geared a lot of this towards halloween, Deb - you're so smart!

      Seriously - Grebs? I have learned soooo much from you, it's incredible. I may not know the names of the birdies flying around me, but - i do notice them and have put a few into at least the correct category, me thinks..

      I got the canada goose down to an artform! lol

      Love ya, sistaxx

      sharing/caring

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

      Hey, whonu! Thanks so much for saying so, and I will always try to bring you something worthwhile.

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

      Hey, Bill! So many remarkable birds and animals are out there for us to enjoy. The greatest pleasure is in keeping them from leaving us.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 3 years ago from United States

      I always enjoy your nice work on Sundays. Thanks for sharing, whonu.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well I for one would love to see the Great Bustard make a comeback...what great coloring on that bird.

      I always learn something here, Deb, and for that I thank you.

      bill

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

      Hey, Anna! Yes, I thought some bird related-themes might be fun, especially for kids to learn a bit about birds. Thanks so much for coming to the lake.

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

      Martin, I will always take you with me. I will do something special for you next week.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      That was really interesting about the Great Bustard and good to hear. Beautiful pictures as always, and the halloween ideas are a great addition.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 3 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for the outing. Going out, even in a wheelchair, is getting hard for me. I can still hear the birds in my yard.

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

      Jaye, if you like the Great Bustard, you will like the looks of the beautiful birds of Pakistan. I do so want to go there and report all the wonders there. I recently obtained a bird book of those birds, and am studying it right now. However, stay tuned for more wonders at Boomer Lake.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 3 years ago from Deep South, USA

      As usual, all of your photos are gorgeous, and this week you've got a lot of diversity going on in your report--Hallowe'en prep and all!

      That Great Bustard is a magnificent bird. I'm glad it's reemerging in Britain. I'd never even seen a picture of it before, but am very impressed by its looks and regal carriage. That one looks to be "strutting his stuff."

      Jaye

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

      Hey, Jackie! You won't be able to see the Great Bustard unless you go overseas, which is my hope to do, sooner rather than later. I saw the Canada Geese like this today, so I was truly happy to have that opportunity. Thanks for coming to the lake with me, as always.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Oh that Great Bustard, what a magnificent bird, I am so glad you showed it. I have never seen one. I just want to stare! It could almost be a pie it looks so good, lol. And your flying geese picture, is so good, like you are flying right along with them! You really are great at this and I am glad I can say I saw it happening!^

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

      Kevin, the park includes the lake and the surrounding area, a 5 km walk path. I believe next year, an amphitheatre ill be constructed on the west side of the lake, opposite to where I haunt. I think the birds and I will steer clear of that area, where it is going to be quieter.

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

      Hey, Connie! There was lots of great news this week in the birding world. ZI am especially pleased that no other birds were arrested. Thanks for the up vote.

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

      Hey, Mary! Thanks for your events. Some geese will go north and others will head south. They don't always head south for the winter. It all depends on where they winter. Thanks for all the votes and sharing.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      As usual your photographs, and stories, are awesome. I think that I have heard of the Great Bustard before but I may be thinking of another name. It is a beautiful bird. I know that I have both heard and seen (photos) of the Everglade Snail Kite.

      By the way, does the park surround the lake - or is the park in the middle of the lake where the tree was??

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Deb, I'm very glad that Paton's Birder Haven has been secured for lots of hummers and other birds. I contributed to that campaign this summer because of its extreme importance.

      The portrait of Great Blue Heron is fantastic, as is the image of the double crested cormorant. What great shots!

      And what about that Great Bustard--what a gorgeous bird. I'm pleased that it has not gone the way of so many birds and become extinct.

      Great information and awesome images, as always my very talented friend ;) Connie

      Voted Up++++

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      Your blue heron photo is magnificent!

      Migrations are starting here as well. Geese flying overhead are heard almost daily but for some reason they seem to still be flying north! Our humming birds are gone and there are more cardinals and yellow fiches around already.

      Can't wait till next week. Until then, voted up, useful, awesome, interesting and shared.

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