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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday Sept 28, 2014

Updated on October 1, 2014
Green Heron Fledglings
Green Heron Fledglings | Source

Field Notes

Climate Change Will Make Birds Extinct

The birds of today will not be here tomorrow, if we are not careful. Climate change is very serious business, which started DECADES ago with the breech of the ozone layer. Little did we realize that we would be paying for it in a very serious way.

Canada Goose
Canada Goose | Source

How to Keep Canada Geese Away Humanely

For those businesses that want to deter geese from leaving presents, there is a very easy fix. Try this inexpensive and non-invasive way to do it, and life will be better for all concerned.

Long Billed Dowitcher
Long Billed Dowitcher | Source

How Are Shore Birds Making It in This Life?

Peregrine Falcons are major predators of shorebirds, but they are very resilient in their fight for life. They have adapted, and this is what they are doing in order to survive.

Great Egret "Wings Wide"
Great Egret "Wings Wide" | Source

Our Healthy Lake Benefits All

Great Egrets are all over Boomer Lake, as they are fattening up for migration. There are about twenty of them out and about now, and since the ecology of the lake is excellent, there is nothing to fear about them pulling too much fish out of that body of water. Due to the slightly higher than normal seasonal temperatures, and adequate rain over the summer, the fish have been proliferating to a high degree. There are plenty of mosquitoes in the air and the fish have been jumping to take them early in the mornings. I have witnessed very large fish, and that is serious business, which proves that they are well fed.

Juvenile Snowy Egret
Juvenile Snowy Egret | Source

The Stork Brought Snowy Egrets

There was a juvenile Snowy Egret at The Northern Reaches this morning, right in the midst of several Great Egrets. I suspected that we could have young at the local rookery, since I saw a couple of adults about two months ago. The urge was controlled to inspect the area, and I’m glad that I did in view of this exciting news. Not only is the rookery growing, but it is hosting other herons, besides the Great Blue Heron and the Great Egret. This is not unusual to have multiple egrets nesting together, and it also proves that there is safety in numbers in a healthy environment. Since there are few predators in this location, it is ideal for these birds to be together in the same rookery.

Juvenile European Starling
Juvenile European Starling | Source

The Beauty of the European Starling

There are still a large number of juvenile birds all around the lake, and least surprising, is the European Starling. This non-indigenous bird is termed a pest and legally can be taken home as a pet. However, I’d like to touch upon the inherent beauty of this egg-thieving bird, and let you know what the bird looks like as a youth, as its looks confuse a number of people that aren’t used to seeing it. It has a mix of color between the adult and the juvenile right now, and if one looks quickly, it can appear to some to look something like a Northern Flicker. These really are pretty birds, even though they are detrimental to nesting birds, as they love to eat eggs.

Brown Thrasher
Brown Thrasher | Source

Songbird Central

There are still lots of Brown Thrashers and Northern Cardinals hanging on to pre-migration time, many of them still juveniles. Most everyone recognizes the beautiful adult male cardinal with the beautiful crest. The female and juveniles are brown-red, but still have the same shape as the adult male, so it isn’t hard to determine that they are the same bird.

The stately and serious appearing Brown Thrasher is a mimic, just like the Northern Mockingbird. I have seen it sitting in the trees spewing all sorts of sounds to make it sound like another bird, and today, it chose to sound like a hawk. It learned that trick from our local Blue Jays.

Juvenile Male Red-winged Blackbird
Juvenile Male Red-winged Blackbird | Source

Red-winged Blackbird Juveniles

The young Red-winged Blackbirds are taking on the coloring of their parents, and one can now differentiate the males from the females. They have also been getting extra food and will be on the move shortly.

Male House Sparrow, Fall Plumage
Male House Sparrow, Fall Plumage | Source
Female House Sparrow
Female House Sparrow | Source

Starring Fall House Sparrows

Even the House Sparrows are taking on non-breeding plumage, yet the pairs still remain together, unlike many other birds that tend to separate themselves for seasonal reasons.

Common Grackle Juvenile
Common Grackle Juvenile | Source

Common Grackle

This is a juvenile Common Grackle. This area has both the common and the Great-tailed Grackles, which have a size difference due to the length of the tails and a slight difference in color. I have always found their iridescent coloring to be striking and in the sun, they are simply gorgeous birds.

Our time has come to an end, but we’ll get together again next week. In the meantime, keep your eyes on the ground, and your head in the clouds. Happy birding!

Where is Boomer Lake in Stillwater, Oklahoma?

Great Blue Heron in Tree
Great Blue Heron in Tree | Source
Juvenile Red-winged Blackbird
Juvenile Red-winged Blackbird | Source
Northern Mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird | Source

© 2014 Deb Hirt

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

      Thanks, ChitrangadaSharan. You're always here for me.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Climate change is a big concern. We all need to do our bit to save those lovely birds and our environment.

      Another useful and informative hub by you. Great pictures, voted up and thanks!

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

      As always, Kevin, thanks for the shares. We definitely have a lot of things to correct in order for life to continue as it is.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      Lovely photos of everything Deb. That European Starling is neat and we do take it for granted. Climate change will affect all of us, birds, animals and humans, we have to notice and correct the cause(s). Voted up, shared and G+.

      Kevin

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

      Hey, Mary! You don't really HAVE to feed the birds during summer, but if you want them in your yard, you certainly can. During the spring, they are running a lot for their young ones, during fall they need extra calories for migration, and during the winter, excess shivering burns calories. Summer feeding is personal preference, but don't worry…the birds won't forget how to forage for themselves. Thanks for all the votes.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      We feed the hummers in the summer and the rest of the birds in fall through spring. Is that the right thing to do? I argue with my husband we should keep the feeders up all year but he insists its better to let them feed naturally in the summer...comments?

      As usual your pictures are outstanding!

      Voted up, useful, beautiful, and interesting.

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

      Ok< Riz. Good luck to you!

    • Rizwana Yasmin profile image

      Rizwana Yasmin 2 years ago from Lahore

      effort are great Deb wish i can do what i want ?

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

      Hey, Alicia! Starlings are some of the most beautiful birds. They were introduced from Europe(really!), and have spread over this country like wildfire since 1890, when they were brought here on a ship. There are dozens of species all over the world.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is another enjoyable installment in your Boomer Lake series, Deb. I found it very interesting to learn that it's legal to take a European starling home as a pet.

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

      Well, tazzytamar, there IS a method to my madness. Through my educating people by writing these columns, there WILL be more people helping animals. I am certain of it.

    • tazzytamar profile image

      Anna 2 years ago from chichester

      I love that you really care and highlight issues such as global warming for those who are surfing the web. Another beautiful collection of photographs - your hubs are always a delight to read and I really hope that the shore birds (as well as all the others) continue to be taken care of by those around them.

      If there were more people like you in the world there would be a lot less animal-related struggling!

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

      Manatita, we will be heard if we choose to be heard. The more that think outside the box and are willing to back this cause, the larger and stronger we grow.

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

      Thanks, Dave! I think if we force the hand of the current administration, by voting for someone that will work for us, that will really show who has the power.

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

      Riz, sadly money talks in the political arena, where one hand washes the other. "Do for me, and I will support you," is the mentality in many cases.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      Such great variety. Yes, climate change is a big worry. We pray that we, as well as Governments, recognise the problem and act accordingly. Love and Light

    • D.A.L. profile image

      Dave 2 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Hi Deb, the latest reports suggest that half the worlds animal species have declined over the last fifty years, and still nothing of significance seems to be getting achieved, as regards global warming,except talk from insincere world leaders.

      As regards Boomer Lake once more an enjoyable visit enhanced with your quality images.

    • Rizwana Yasmin profile image

      Rizwana Yasmin 2 years ago from Lahore

      Agreed totally , in fact those who are have power to bring drastic changes to save earth and reduce global warming and preserve the nature, those people are in the market of arm making, war, industrial waste, factories, producing so much automobiles, small traffic, and so many causes which caused a great danger to our climate, and this is why we have still hot weather in October like 38 cc ..oops....don't understand when human being save from themselves in future, because human cause lost of human being and other spices

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

      Riz, we must try to get the word out to as many people as possible in order to prevail.

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

      Hey, Suhail! The state of Maine has Great Blue Herons leaving that area, which they have been doing for two decades. These birds aren't seen much there anymore. However, they have some warblers that you would not believe. Things are changing, but NOT for the better, unless we really get the word out and try to do our part as individuals to nip this in the bud. It is going to take a lot of doing, but I think we can help.

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

      Yes, Riz, we must make a LOT of drastic changes, especially in the carbon footprint.

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

      Jackie, we have to see what we can do as individuals and make as many people are of this that we can.

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

      Billy, the proof has given itself to us over DECADES...

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

      Thanks for the shares, Kevin. You know how much that means to me.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 2 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Deb,

      I personally think that most birds will adapt to the changing climate. Also, I strongly believe that more and more birds will be feeding off the backyard feeders. Birds of prey will also be picking their prey at the feeders. I have personally noticed this happening.

      Btw, I went on the link, but couldn't find the story on removing geese humanely.

      Information on peregrine falcons preying on shore birds was new to me. Thanks for this piece.

      Regards,

    • Rizwana Yasmin profile image

      Rizwana Yasmin 2 years ago from Lahore

      your point of view is so much valid and weird for coming time in the caring of birds specially , global warming is very big deal in climate change and painful for the extinction of birds, we must go through and fight for the care of mother earth and all living species on this earth and make some drastic changes to prevent from global warming which cause dangerously climate change,,, sad time.. thanks to pointed out

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      My trees have been loaded and humming for hours before dark. Such an exciting time. I believe in heaven from where they were sent there will be no shortage or extinction although I don't mean by that we should not take care; just that the maker won't be gotten the better of. Men can destroy earth but not heaven where all things of beauty will be everlasting.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shhh...according to many politicians, there is no global warming. There's nothing to be concerned about at all, Deb. :)

      Another wonderful installment.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      That was all beautiful and informative. I cannot believe that we are going to lose so many of our winged wonders! We must correct the climate change, or at least slow it down if we cannot change it. I voted this up, definitely shared and G+ it.

      Kevin

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

      I would be, too, Sha. What we are seeing is some of the strongest disrespect to nature.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      I hear you, Deb. Mother Nature is quite pissed off and frankly, I don't blame her!

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

      Sha, we must all get serious, including voting in lawmakers that will be on the same page as we are in order to begin to see a slowing of global warming. Once the ozone layer was breached, that was the start of the problem with too many greenhouse gases, followed by oil in both the water and the atmosphere. Then came DDT and its kin, and the plot thickens. Now we are paying for it, but our grandkids might be able to get us out of this mrs, if Mother Earth decides to stick around for it. She is mighty angry, as one can tell with fires, excess rain in certain areas, loss of a major part of the polar caps, and I could go on...

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

      Thanks for the kudos, Peg, but we must all mobile and be on the same page. Just yesterday, I went to The Northern Reaches out of frustration with a 45-gallon trash bag, and picked up a lot of the trash out there. I hate to say it, but a lot of it was left by the fisherfolk, including a lot of line.

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

      Perspy, West Nile is still a thorn in one's side, but when I was working with West Nile birds, I never had a problem. Keep those hummers warm!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Deb, you always display the most beautiful pictures of these creatures. I love your descriptions and the tips to help the environment maintain our lovely natural wildlife. Another wonderful edition of your Life at Boomer Lake.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      A welcomed visit with you and your feathered friends. 42 F. here last night, so the hummingbirds and barn swallows are well advised to be gone, though it will get to the 80's again by the weekend. Just a good taste of Fall last night and this AM. My son-in-law developed the second case of West Nile Virus in the county, but is recovering well.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Deb, it's comforting to know birds abound at Boomer Lake. So many of our birds are now threatened. Climate change, deforestation, and land development are affecting behaviors and habitats. It's nice to know you have an area that's untouched and allows the various species to thrive.