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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday September 22, 2013

Updated on September 22, 2013
American Oystercatcher
American Oystercatcher | Source

Field Notes

Fewer than one hundred fifty Greater Sage Grouse reside in Alberta and Saskatechwan. An emergency order will now protect these prairie birds. Get the latest at

Hummingbird Migration

Hummingbird feeders are even more important now as they are making their journeys. Your findings are requested as these winged jewels make their way south.

East Coast Residents!

A project tracks the American Oystercatcher in order to keep them safe. See the entire story brought to you by Audubon Society:

Volunteers Needed

Volunteers are needed for winter bird feeding. See this link on how to help:

Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinal | Source

Northern Cardinal

I hear the calling of winter just around the corner when the beautiful Northern Cardinal comes knocking on my door. Today is the first day of fall and the temperatures here are perfect at Boomer Lake. Today we have the low 80’s, a beautiful sunny day, and dusk comes earlier than the height of summer. But don’t despair. Even though fall is upon us, we will still have many more perfect days to share. So here is that wonderful Northern Cardinal that I promised to share with you.

Great Egret
Great Egret | Source
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron | Source

Great Egret and Great Blue Heron

Great Egret and Great Blue Heron both have been having good times frolicking and enjoying themselves during these wonderful afternoon forays. I can always count on these two to show me good times and what lazy afternoons are really all about.

Tawny Emperor
Tawny Emperor | Source

Butterflies

For the past several days, butterflies have been virtually everywhere. They have been in trees, on roadsides, in fields, and even in city parking lots. Everywhere that I look, I am seeing nature just winging its way into my eyesight, as well as my heart. It is a great reminder of the simplest things being free within all our lives.

Immature Red-tailed Hawk
Immature Red-tailed Hawk | Source
Immature Red-tailed Hawk with His Mouse
Immature Red-tailed Hawk with His Mouse | Source

Red-tailed Hawk

Yesterday began my run of good luck, and today only made it even better. An immature Red-tailed Hawk has been in the area. This is one of the most common hawks in the country. They favor mountains, roadsides, plains, prairies, and open country. The adults are very recognizable, with that rufous-red tail on top, and a pink underside. Both adults and juveniles have a belly band, and this immature has a white chest, along with a brownish tail with narrow, dark banding. This gorgeous hawk took my breath away yesterday, and even more so today. Yesterday, I missed the hunts, losing track of the bird altogether. Today was a different story. This gem caught several mice in my presence, and as luck would have it, I got the shot, along with a few others that I believe you will appreciate. But whom am I kidding? I took an easy fifty shots, if not more. My friend, Jeannie, was with me, and we were both enthralled with what we saw. As you can see, this was clearly the highlight of the week, and perhaps I will be fortunate enough to see the same raptor next week.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher in Flight
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher in Flight | Source

Scissor-tailed Flycatchers

The Scissor-tailed Flycatchers are still in preparation for their journeys. They have been exercising hard, and a good fifteen or twenty have been hanging around in the oak tree that was once home to a Baltimore Oriole family. They have been showing off for each other routinely, practicing their prowess and strength. Dipping and diving are the norm for them during mating season, and I have been getting interesting shows now, but that has been all in good fun for the males simply trying to outdo each other. Excess energy will certainly pay off, as it is a long flight to the tropics.

According to e-Bird, migrations for all birds are getting heavier, and I am anxiously awaiting all the new visitors that will soon be coming to Boomer Lake. I am certain that you are, too.

Keep your eyes on the ground and your head in the clouds. Happy birding until next week!

Where Is Boomer Lake?

Red-tailed Hawk in Flight
Red-tailed Hawk in Flight | Source
Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinal | Source
Immature Red-tailed Hawk
Immature Red-tailed Hawk | Source
Sunset at Boomer Lake
Sunset at Boomer Lake | Source
Immature Red-tailed Hawk with Dinner
Immature Red-tailed Hawk with Dinner | Source

© 2013 Deb Hirt

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

      agusfanani, I think it is up to all of us to protect our wonderful wildlife, and sometimes it takes education. Many people just don'y realize what the dangers are to animals. Thank you for being there, too.

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 4 years ago from Indonesia

      What a beautiful hub !. I always try to participate in bird conservation too. Thank you for sharing and your concern in bird protection.

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

      Gail, there is a three-part series on the Athos I oil spill of '04. It is lengthy, but you will see the joys and the sorrows of being involved in such a catastrophic event.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 4 years ago from South Carolina

      Hi Deb,

      I don't know about Tristate Bird Rescue, but will be on the lookout for mention of them.

      Have you written any hubs about your experience as volunteer?

      Gail

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

      Hey, MJ! Glad that you enjoyed my wonderful characters. Do keep them all in mind, as they never disappoint me. I believe that you will really enjoy tomorrow's column. There are still young ones around! Young ones let me get quite close, I might add.

    • MJennifer profile image

      Marcy J. Miller 4 years ago from Arizona

      Thanks for sharing your gorgeous lake and its local denizens with me through your hub! Your photos are, of course, spectacular. I swear I could smell the water reading this (here in the desert, one develops a keen ability to smell the wet stuff -- honest!) and feel the cool fall air.

      Best --

      MJ

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

      Hey, Kathryn! Thanks so much for visiting the lake. If you like these photos, wait until Sunday's column!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Bill Holland mentioned you in his post the other day, and I knew you sounded familiar. I have read at least one or two of your articles before, but forgot that you're under the name Aviannovice.

      I really like the way you lay this out, include beautiful photos, and provide an update on what things are like in Boomer Lake. I enjoy seeing how things change as the seasons go by.

      Thanks for sharing this with us, and have a great day!

      ~ Kathryn

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

      Thanks for all the shares, Suzie, but you won't be able to pin it. Pinterest claims ownership to the photos on there, which will not happen with me, so I turned it off. You will see some more good things coming up this Sunday.

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

      Thanks, Glennys.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      H Deb,

      I am so glad I took Bill's link to this and found your story wonderful I have to say! Your passion for birds just oozes from your stunning photographs I so enjoyed . I loved all your pics and found the Great Egret exquisite. Continued success I will be following.

      Votes, shared and pinned.

    • gamby79 profile image

      gamby79 4 years ago

      I have been so busy being out of town and away from a computer that I have neglected to read your blog for too long and realize how much I am missing out on! And WOW!!!! Wonderful photos! Simply AMAZING!!!!

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

      Hey, Nell! Geese will migrate at night and you'll hear them honking in the dark, IF it is a migratory group. Some, however, will stay as residents, but many do move elsewhere for the winter.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi Deb, I love the Cardinal, and your photos are always spectacular, we have had thousands of Geese overhead in the evenings, and what a row they make! lol! not sure, but is it true that they say the more geese inland, the colder the weather is going to be? Have a great weekend, nell

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

      Hey, Gail! Thanks so much. You might know about Tri-State Bird Rescue where I volunteered for years when I was living in Wilmington.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 4 years ago from South Carolina

      Came here after reading Billybuc's niche article which featured you.

      Love this hub and your beautiful photos. Voted up across the board except for funny and shared.

      Best Wishes as you continue to develop your niche.

      Happyboomernurse aka Gail Sobotkin

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

      You know, I never even stopped to think about that. Wow, thanks for the vote. Remember wildlife, and all the joy that it brings you.

    • LongTimeMother profile image

      LongTimeMother 4 years ago from Australia

      You get my vote for 'Best Photographer' Hubbies award, Deb. Hoping lots of your followers remember to vote. :)

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 4 years ago from Scotland

      I look forward to it :)

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

      Thanks, Anna. But next time, you'll see an even better one.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 4 years ago from Scotland

      As always very informative and educational. The photograph of the Red Tailed Hawk in flight was really exceptional. Beautifully done.

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

      rdsparrowriter, glad that you like the column. Yes, I have one good eye, and I guess that';s all I need. Thanks for everything, and I will catch you on the flip side.

    • rdsparrowriter profile image

      rdsparrowriter 4 years ago

      Very interesting as always. I really enjoy reading and learning from you. You got a good eye :) God bless you! Voted up and awesome!

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

      Hey, Alicia! It was another remarkable week, and next week will be just as interesting, if not more so. There are a few surprises in store!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is yet another lovely and very enjoyable look at the inhabitants of Boomer Lake! I love the photos which show the birds frozen in flight, and, as I've said before, I appreciate seeing the latest bird news. Thanks, Deb.

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

      Thanks, Eddy. I'm so glad that you like the series.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      A wonderful read as always Deb;voted up and shared.

      Eddy.

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

      Leslie, a feeder or two would work well for you. It would give you the chance to get a closer glimpse of what surrounds you. You could see those delicate features, and during mating season, you will see the males crack open shells and feed their lady loves. I don't know your situation, but birds will use feeders up to five stories high.

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

      Thanks, Suhail. I will be keeping a watch for your former birds in my area. As you can see, all is well on the lake.

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

      Hey, Jackie! Thanks for the nice words, and like I told Connie, if you want to see even better material, follow me on google+(at the top of my profile page). Sorry that you have do deal with physical therapy, but I know that you must work hard in order to retain muscle and movement.

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

      Hey, Connie! I knew that you would enjoy these. The hawk is still around, so I will have some other good pictures to share next week. As a mater of fact, if you want a preview, follow me on my site. It is at the top of my profile page, so click on that.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      Because of you, i can now look at a bird and say 'hawk'...or..'cardinal'...or 'crane'..

      i'm often wrong, but - i'm definitely learning! Thank you for that, Deb - never knew how interesting birdies could be..

      if i could i'd get a bunch of different feeders...i'd love a hummingbird feeder..

      sharing, dearxx

      ps..that red-tailed hawk in flight is breathtaking! Wow!

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Thanks for the migration report.

      We have lost our blackbirds, cowbirds, robins, common grackles, etc. to south, but I saw lots and lots of vultures and goshawks soaring and perching high up in the trees while hiking this last Saturday.

      Although our forests and meadows are now very quiet, I heard a northern cardinal singing this morning near my home, which I thought was very unusual for this time.

      Those great blue herons and great white egrets are still around too.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Jeepers Deb, you are really getting in close on these shots! Just wows me. I never even see them that close much less get photos! lol Well I am sure pleased you do and thank you so much for sharing them with us. Sorry I didn't get here last night, am having therapy and have to work on certain exercises myself and it is robbing me of a lot of my time. I am going to take time to go up and down this screen a few more times though and vote you up all across.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Deb, your images are even more awesome than usual this week! My hummingbirds left on the 15th of September. I sent them on their way with full bellies from the nectar feeders and the wildflowers that are still blooming here.

      Being in the right place at the right time sure pays off, judging by your hawk pictures. How amazing was that to be able to watch as they nabbed mice! Glorious images that deserve to be published in nature magazines;) Connie

      Voted Up+++

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

      Thanks, whonu. It is always a joy to do another column.

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

      Hey, Cris! The 'kids' love seeing you at the lake, too, for any sky dweller is a natural friend of theirs.

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

      Hey, Jill! Many adore the cardinal, as it is such a flashy chap. Thanks.

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

      Thanks, Billy. No, I haven't written anything regarding the birding column. It is all yours...

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

      Hey, Mel! As we all know, there can be a number of 'Life in the Fast Lane' items in the birding world. I've been lucky with the pictures, especially since the arrival of the young red-tail!

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

      Hey, Peg! Lots of bird activity this week, and I am awaiting more. Glad that you like Field Notes.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

      Always enjoy your work. whonu

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Beautiful! Always refreshing to land here! My feet on the ground Deb, eyes looking up and heart tilted heaven ward...

      Love from the sky~

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      I adore your cardinal pic. It's a beautiful piece of art.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Have you written a hub about the process involved in starting this series, and what you have done with it for promotion? I think readers need to understand that writing in a small niche like this can be done and done well....you are living proof. :)

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 4 years ago from San Diego California

      Impressive photos as usual. Your northern cardinal was stunning. We don't have any here in San Diego but they are common in the deserts around Phoenix, where I spent part of my youth. Great job keeping us updated on developments in the bird world.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Spectacular photos, Deb. You really have the knack for catching these beautiful birds at their best. I love that Red Tailed Hawk. And the Egrets look like they're dancing. Thanks for the information on the Grouse, too.

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

      Hey, LongTimeMother! Glad that work with nature makes you think of me. Long may Mother wave in her infinite beauty.

    • LongTimeMother profile image

      LongTimeMother 4 years ago from Australia

      Spectacular photos, as always. :) As you head towards winter, we are seeing hints of summer. Just spent a couple of days in a tent by the beach. Thought of you while I was taking photos of pelicans. lol.

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

      Martin, the world is my oyster, and you can join me at any time that you wish to get away for a little while.

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

      Hey, Faith Reaper! We always seem to get out of life exactly what we put into it, and this is my little way to help my feathered pals as best I can.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Enchanting! Thank you so much for this escape.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Thank you Deb for always being on top of the latest endangered birds and sharing here with us all to bring awareness. You're the best! Love that Northern Cardinal. Yes, Fall is upon us and I am sure brings a lot of change as to what you will see at Boomer's Lake. Beautiful photography as always and lovely sunset there at Boomer's Lake.

      It was a most beautiful day here too.

      Up and more and sharing

      Blessings, Faith Reaper