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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday September 15, 2013

Updated on September 16, 2013
Wind Turbines and Birds:  A True Hazard
Wind Turbines and Birds: A True Hazard | Source

Field Notes

Birds and Wind Development?

Is that a recipe for disaster? Many Bald Eagles have died due to wind turbines since 2009, and songbirds are at even greater threat due to nighttime migration. For additional information, read:

Thanks, Megan!

A friend of mine named Megan H., came up with a very feasible plan that would be easy to install. She suggested that something similar to deer whistles on the fronts of cars could be placed on the blades of the turbines, which could deter birds. She wrote to ABC with this idea, and perhaps it could come to fruition. Thanks for caring Megan, and our birds thank you!

monarch butterfly
monarch butterfly | Source

Logging Threatens Monarch Butterflies in Mexico

This is a very good reason why the monarch didn’t make it to its usual haunts this summer. Logging in Mexico is a very real problem with a catastrophic impact if we don’t do something about it soon. Get the entire story at:

Save Vanishing Species stamp, United States stamp
Save Vanishing Species stamp, United States stamp | Source

Renew the Save Vanishing Species Stamp

This funding source for global conservation is due to expire at the end of September. Please ask the Postmaster General to allow this stamp to continue, and do your part by buying it with me. It has a surcharge earmarked specifically for endangered species, and has done a great deal of good. For more information, see:

It's Late Summer, but Where are All the Birds?

This is a question that we have asked for a good month now, and it has to do with molting and predation. For more information, see

Look under the header, “Living Bird,” for the article “It’s Summer…Where Did All the Birds Go?” under Table of Contents.

Green Heron
Green Heron | Source

Green Heron!

Now onto our wonderful Boomer Lake, which hosted a dear friend, Green Heron. I nearly gave up on seeing my friend, wondering what had happened, and lo! and behold, there he was, in all his glory. It was a thrilling moment for me, and those wonderful eyes of recognition in return were remarkable. Were it not for a few boisterous souls, it would have been even better. But, what can you do? Live life for the moment, and I DID.

"Veiled" Marsh Rabbit
"Veiled" Marsh Rabbit | Source

Marsh Rabbit

How is this for a pose? I could not have planned it better, as it looks like a lace veil in front of this marsh rabbit. The rabbit stayed for a couple of moments, while I tried to make an attempt to get the best angled shot. Both were equally good, but I chose this one just for you.

Gulf Fritillary
Gulf Fritillary | Source
Tawny Emperor
Tawny Emperor | Source


The gulf fritillary and the tawny emperor were out in full force for these priceless photo opportunities. In the extreme heat, they have been retiring to trees on the northern jetty, just south of Goose Island. It is a quiet area for them, and I’m certain that nobody bothers them in this perfectly shaded locale.

Great Egret
Great Egret | Source

Great Egret

Great Egret was out fishing, having found himself the perfect perch, which actually puts me nearest him. No sooner had I arrived, when his lordship thought that he had found a fish, off he went. Sadly, he came up empty handed, but the return landing was phenomenal.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron | Source

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron also gave a wonderful photo opportunity, and I must say that this is certainly bird portrait quality. He was in the middle of the Southern Cove fishing, biding his time, about an hour before sunset. This afforded me ample time to get the picture perfect showing for you.

Scissor-tailed Flycatchers

Most of the adult Scissor-tailed Flycatchers have left for the tropics, but the immatures remaining will be leaving within the next couple of weeks. Their flight feathers look good, and they are definitely fresh and ready to do some serious travelling. They have been playing among themselves, strengthening those wingbeats, putting on a little weight, and as a proud observer, their time is almost here. I remember this little group of three when I got a beautiful shot of them all together in a row. They will return, but I won’t know them next year, since they aren’t banded for recognition. Hopefully, they will make it as first years, and my fingers will be crossed for them. Their first flight will be grueling.

Immature Great-tailed Grackle

Just as I was leaving work today, I was accosted by a young Great-tailed Grackle looking for food. I stood by the tree when he was located, and he was clicking and clacking, grunting and groaning, making a host of interesting sounds and just begging for food. At times, he was flapping his wings, just giving me a perfect showing of helplessness. Eventually, all good things come to an end, as a bird’s boredom will set in, and off he went. Most likely, he decided to look for a parent and be properly fed, since I just didn’t get it.

The few days of youth that is an in-between time for these young birds, when they fear nothing, is a priceless time for a naturalist. Then that inevitable time sets in when nature tells them to beware, and these moments of curiosity and wonder are all over. As much as it saddens me, it pleases me to know that these youngsters really do have a good chance at survival, by keeping away from humans.

Fall is rapidly coming upon us, and a new season will be ushered in. This marks the end of babies, and the beginning of adulthood. In a way, I almost feel like a proud parent, sending the kids off to college.

Another visit draws to an end. Keep your eyes to the ground and your head in the clouds. Happy birding, and let me know what comes whizzing through your area in droves. See you again next week.

Any Evidence of Migration in Your Area?

See results
Great Egret
Great Egret | Source
Green Heron
Green Heron | Source
Starring Green Heron!
Starring Green Heron! | Source

© 2013 Deb Hirt


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    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks again, Anna. When I saw the marsh rabbit in that position, I knew it would be an interesting picture. I'm just so happy that it turned out well in that darkness. I hope that the whistle will be implemented for the birds, too. It seems an inexpensive and very easy way to save so many lives.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 

      5 years ago from Scotland

      Informative and beautiful pictures too. I hope the whistle idea for the turbines comes to be

      I really loved the 'veiled' Marsh Rabbit.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Alicia! It is never too late to see what we can do to help wildlife stay with us. Thanks for reading!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a lovely nature hub, Deb. It's both informative and enjoyable. I look forward to your Boomer Lake reports and the weekly nature news very much.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Eddy! I try to get something in here for everyone to enjoy, and now I am in my educationl mode. The more that we know to protect our wildlife, the better we can do our jobs.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Exactly, truthfornow. Glad that you enjoyed the pictures, and I hope to see you again next week for more adventures.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      5 years ago from Wales

      Oh Deb you publish so many gems with not one disappointing and this has to be the work of a true writer. Here's to so many more hubs for us both to share on here.

      I have learnt so much from you so thank you also for being so inspirational.

      Enjoy your day.


    • truthfornow profile image


      5 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      That marsh rabbit is quite a poser. Wondering about the whistles on turbines, it seems like a good idea and one that could actually work. Someone should do something to save those poor birds.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Sunshine, the monarchs breed in Mexico, so the logging industry is destroying habitat, therefore less butterflies. It could have long term effects upon the species as we know it. My passions are far and wide, and I read to glean knowledge. No such thing as learning too much, eh? Thanks for sharing. We much save as much of nature as we can now, before it is too late.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 

      5 years ago

      Deb..i swear these guys are SO clear - it feels like i could reach out and pat their cute little

      i don't quite understand why the logging industry is specifically affecting the butterfly, and i don't have time to go to the link..

      can you give it to me in anutshell, dear?

      You have taught me an amazing amount about bird, but YOUR learning curve has truly astounded me. You can actually SEE how you've improved. Amazing what happens when one is, er...'passionate' about what they do, yes?



    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Jill! Thanks for coming to see the new kids on the block and our old friends.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Mary. As always, I am happy to kickstart your day, nd give you a little piece of what makes me such an advocate of our natural world.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Billy, I am glad to see that you are looking around and enjoying temporary visitors. There is nothing like a sweet surprise from nature.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 

      5 years ago from United States

      Lots of good information and links in this one, Deb. Awesome hub!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      How I love to start my Monday at Boomer Lake! Your bird pictures (and butterfly and rabbit) are truly breathtaking!

      No one has migrated here yet but they are certainly getting ready. Six hummingbirds were chasing each other about last night trying to keep each other from 'their' feeder.

      Have a great week. I look forward to next Monday's entry.

      Voted up, useful. awesome, beautiful, and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love this month for migration over our state. It seems the skies are alive constantly.

      Interesting idea about the whistle on the wind turbines....hope that works out.

      And as always, thanks for the tour of your wonderful, life-sustaining lake.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Faith Reaper! There's so many things out there to keep an eye out for, and so many people have been helpful in making me aware. It really is a learning process for everyone.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks so much, Graham. Yes, Megan is a very bright girl, a good photographer, and a sculptor, too. I think she'll have a lot to offer the world.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Martin, I never realized that google was that broad. I'll take another look.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      These irruptive migrations are really apt to net just about anything, Chris. I think if you check the native species of Montana on line, it could give you a fairly good idea.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      5 years ago from southern USA

      That is an eye opener about the wind turbines! Your friend came up with a great plan.

      I do so enjoy reading about all that is going on at Boomer's Lake, especially your wonderful photography is always a blessing to view. They are all such glorious creatures.

      Up and more and sharing

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 

      5 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Deb. A great idea from Megan I hope something comes of it. Carry on your good works. A really nice engaging hub.


    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you again for this. With the satellite address I sent you, you can o some nature watching in my area.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      5 years ago from Hartford, CT

      Deb, thanks for the great descriptions and the outstanding photos. I'll be watching for any migration, but I don't know what to expect here in Montana.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Mel, those are the noisiest and ugliest things in the world! Hope you get to the WR soon, and let me know what you see!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Jackie, I hope that you get the opportunity soon to spend a little time off by yourself to wander around and get a few shots in. There is so much out there, but many of the birds are off molting, keeping quiet, ad staying hidden from predators. You will find them out soon, but in the meanwhile, you can even photograph the chickens.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      5 years ago from San Diego California

      Had the pleasure of seeing a Green Heron about 10 years ago in a little marsh on the end of my route. This used to be a great spot for water birds but then they reconfigured the water flow and the birds dried up too. Looking forward for the fall migration. I'm going to try and head over to the Tijuana MWR and see some shorebirds. Also, I've never liked the windmills. I think they're an eyesore.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      You are such a perfect end to weekend Deb! Nothing better than beauty and smiles. I have taken three chickens to raise and with some other things standing in my way I have missed so much picture taking this summer. I have had a chance to look at some of the hundreds I have taken though with no chance yet to see them, so that is good. Finding some beauties. Just flowers and butterflies though, no birds. I don't know if my blue heron is still around or not. Hope I get a morning to go looking and catch him fishing! ^


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