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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday September 8, 2013

Updated on September 8, 2013
Nutmeg Mannikin
Nutmeg Mannikin | Source
Blakiston's Fish Owl
Blakiston's Fish Owl | Source

Field Notes

Fifteen new birds were discovered in the Amazon, the greatest discovery in the birding world since 1871. What have we got? Get the details at:

The ABA adds the Nutmeg Mannikin, making species #981 on their birding checklist. But is this realistic? See the ABA’s response at:

Of the 10,000 bird species in the world, only a few have made it to 8,000 species. Is it an honor, an obsession, or a contest? Find out the details at:

Birdbaths are very important, not just in summer. Is yours clean and healthful for the birds that stop at your residence? There are some useful tips to keep birds coming back to your yard, and that isn’t just birdseed. Here are ten birds to attract and how to recognize them, courtesy of Birdwatcher’s Digest:

An endangered Russian owl needs old-growth forests in order to survive. Will this keep Blakiston's Fish Owl from becoming extinct? Read more at:

Butterflies on Peach
Butterflies on Peach | Source
Dragonfly | Source

Butterflies and Dragonflies

Butterflies, butterflies, everywhere, and just what do they eat? I found a rather large group on a rotten peach, and I learned that they weren’t eating the fruit at all, but drinking the nectar through the proboscis. They will also ingest salt that they require through animal dung and mud. The only time that they feed, is when they are in a caterpillar state.

Dragonflies and damselflies will eat mosquitos, bees, flies, moths, butterflies, etc. They use the basket formed by their legs in order to catch their meals while they are in flight.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron | Source

Great Blue Heron

The herons are still plentiful in the area, catching fish and mice at the end of the day for their final meals. I have no idea what disturbed this heron, but take a look at the crest here.

Spider Web
Spider Web | Source
Cocoon on Grass
Cocoon on Grass | Source

Spider Silk and Cocoons

Here are a couple of wonderful examples of both a cocoon and spider silk. Some of the webs that I saw measured two- by three feet, with some rather good-sized spiders in the center. None of my arachnid photos turned out too well, but I was amazed by the sizes. How long does it take for a spider to construct a web? I have seen them go up as quickly as ten minutes, to as long as a half hour. You may not see them being built, as most are constructed at night. The spider will eat the old one, as most will not last more than 24-hours due to rain, wind, and other natural and unnatural forces. Next time you see a web, take a good look, and see how intricately it is constructed.

Eastern Kingbird Balancing in Wind
Eastern Kingbird Balancing in Wind | Source
Eastern Kingbird Surveying His Domain
Eastern Kingbird Surveying His Domain | Source

Eastern Kingbirds

Yesterday evening, I got some remarkable photos of Eastern Kingbirds in various forms of flight and standing stationary. Many times bugs will fly rather close to them, and they will just snap them up from where they are sitting, or actively dive for them. I have seen remarkable instances of two or three of them together doing barrel rolls and dives to obtain their meals. Here are a few interesting shots for you.

Grasshopper Perched on Wild Sunflower
Grasshopper Perched on Wild Sunflower | Source


These wonderful insects are still plentiful, and should last into the fall. Did you know that they possess five eyes, no ears, and live everywhere except the North and South Poles? This is a common grasshopper in central Oklahoma.

Mice on Glue Trap
Mice on Glue Trap | Source

Dangers of Glue Traps

I wanted to mention another hazard for birds that are commonly used to catch mice. The glue trap has been known to catch many ground feeding birds that might come onto your porch where you have mice problems. Once a bird has been ensnared by these traps, it is virtually impossible to free them safely, and they will most likely die. If you have any of these, please consider the fact that they can cause harm to others, as well as mice. It is also a very slow death for mice, who could just suffocate in the “glue,” starve, and/or dehydrate.

Eastern Kingbird(top of Tree) with Scissor-tailed Flycatcher(bottom)
Eastern Kingbird(top of Tree) with Scissor-tailed Flycatcher(bottom) | Source

Prevalent Birds at Boomer Lake

There are many birds still in the area and I was pleasantly surprised to find the Baltimore Oriole, as well as several trees that are hosting the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. Several Scissor-tailed Flycatchers have been spending time with the Eastern Kingbirds. Both of these species are Tyrant Birds, which means that they will actively chase other birds out of their territory, if they should innocently wander in. No eviction notices are posted.

Cornell Lab’s e-Bird Migratory News

The eastern U.S. will be seeing more movement than the western. The Eastern Kingbird, the Barn Swallow, a few warblers, some sparrows, and others will be on the move according to the latest map:

Where to Find Boomer Lake Park

I’ve still been looking for wandering birds, but have not seen any, as of yet, but we aren’t in the full swings of migration yet. Keep your eyes to the ground, and your head in the clouds. Happy birding, and have a wonderful week until we see each other again.

Mallards | Source
Mallard Silhouette
Mallard Silhouette | Source
Eastern Kingbird in Flight
Eastern Kingbird in Flight | Source
Roses at Last Light
Roses at Last Light | Source

© 2013 Deb Hirt


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    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thank, Anna! As always, it is so good to see you t the lake.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 

      5 years ago from Scotland

      Beautiful as always. I liked the spider's web information. I didn't know they ate the old webs! I always learn when I visit your lake.

      The photograph of the Eastern Kingbird in flight was stunning.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Faith Reaper! It is always good to see you at the lake, and reminder to keep the "wild" in wildlife!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      5 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Deb,

      Fascinating hub and truly phenomenal photography as always. Thank you so much for sharing in your beautiful life there on Boomer Lake. We all learn so much from your insightful series here.

      Look forward to your next hub!

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      Bless you, Faith Reaper

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks once again, Mary! It is always great having you visit the lake. Sharing my denizens with one and all brings me so much joy. Education is also paramount to saving all our wonderful creatures for the future...

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Another stunning addition to your Boomer Lake series. Such great information and stunning photos. How lucky we are you can share this with us week after week. I do look forward to it every week!

      Voted all but funny. Shared too. (Again no Pin It button so I tweeted.)

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      The Examiner-1, how nice to hear about your little Carolina Wrens. Surprisingly, I actually have two days off this week, so my plan is to get into heavier birdwatching. Perhaps I can turn up something new. I think with all this heat in OK, everything is at a standstill here.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Eddy! It is always good to see you at the lake.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 

      5 years ago


      Those were neat photos of the Nutmeg Mannikin and the Fish Owl. I liked looking at both of the birds. That was neat info about the butterflies and dragonflies too. Unfortunately I see enough of spider webs here at home, both outside and INside the house. I see that you still have your herons, mallards and Kingbirds hanging around. :-) As usual they were all beautiful photos!

      Oh by the way. I do not know about there but some birds seem to have come back here. Just yesterday I saw three Carolina Wrens on the porch deck, not singing, but one was investigating, one was hopping around. I believe that they were young ones.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      5 years ago from Wales

      Wonderful as always Deb voted up and wishing you a great day.


    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Alicia! Glad that you enjoyed this, and I will see you at the again.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for another enjoyable and informative report, Deb.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, whonu! The true beauty is under the blanket of nature.

    • whonunuwho profile image


      5 years ago from United States

      Another beautiful work of art in writing and photos, my friend. Thank you for sharing this beauty. whonu

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Billy, everything always tends to shine through from all angles. Thanks for the great words, and you know that I'll always be on the flip side...oh, and by the way, I will be doing a monthly column for the local Audubon Society chapter. Seems like when things begin rolling they pick up momentum quickly. Thanks, Mr. H, for all the good teachings. As you can see, I pay attention.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Sunshine. I have recently told people that I had a plan for the Serengeti, and exactly that: I might NOT return. Perhaps I should do the Amazon first, as I heard that it is tres rewarding. If I don't see you this lifetime, I will in the next.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Carol. There is always so much to learn with the animal kingdom, but nothing beats plain ol' observation.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I decided to come this morning instead of last night and I'm glad I did. Some new creatures for us to look at this week and the pictures are spectacular as always.

      Thanks for sharing your little slice of heaven with us.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 

      5 years ago

      Deb, oh - the fun you would have in the swamps of the amazon! lol..(i mean that from my heart..) You may never emerge, just live along the banks discovering new and amazing species of birds! Can you imagine?

      Love how your passion shines thru. You're an amazing example of how quickly one can learn when they love what they're doing! (You know what I'VE been passionate about lately. (excuse

      Haven't seen many butterflies round these here parts lately...sadly..but - the grasshopper pop is definitely on the HOP!

      love ya girlfriend..

      tight hugs and sharesxx

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      5 years ago from Arizona

      I always enjoy learning new things ...and The photos are beautiful. Thanks for sharing all this. Voting up

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      And thank you, Martin. Yes, I would very much like to see where you are.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, srsddn! Glad to hear that you have a soft spot in your heart for the little ones. They are so endearing and full of life. Thanks for the votes and the sharing. We must leave a message for everyone that there are hazards in this world of ours for so many animals. Every share will help get the word out on how to protect them. Thank you!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Jackie! Thanks so much for your encouragement. I recently entered photos in an Audubon Society contest. Wish me luck...

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      5 years ago from San Francisco

      As usual, thank you for this.Use google maps, search 2330 - 33rd ave. to see my area in San Francisco.

    • srsddn profile image


      5 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

      aviannovice, I love birds. Any addition is always welcome. Thanks for sharing. Voted up.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Oh the silhouette and the kingbird in flight (oh and that blue heron!)...and the rose. You have just gotten better and better Deb. I know you are going to have your own magazine one day and if you don't you should!


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