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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Thursday April 10, 2014

Updated on April 11, 2014
Male Magnificent Bird of Paradise
Male Magnificent Bird of Paradise | Source

Field Notes

King and Magnificent Birds of Paradise

Join me in Papua New Guinea, and be dazzled by both the King and Magnificent Birds of Paradise. These are strikingly beautiful birds with an interesting courtship display.

Red-capped Manakin
Red-capped Manakin | Source

The Manakin of Latin America

In Latin America, the Manakin is the most remarkable bird available. They love being noticed, yet are so rapid in their movements, high speed videos must capture their speedy behaviors in slow motion. You won’t see this remarkable behavior anywhere else in the world.

Pale-billed Woodpecker
Pale-billed Woodpecker | Source

Costa Rica's Pale-billed Woodpecker

Costa Rica is home to the rare and elusive Pale-billed Woodpecker. This country is a remarkable locale that hosts many unusual birds, and because of the double-knock box, they can be called in for an audience. Just watch this incredible piece of ornithological history:

Secretary Bird
Secretary Bird | Source

Secretary Bird

Observe Africa’s Secretary Bird, a remarkable and unusual bird of prey. If you see this bird, it will definitely have an effect upon you, especially if you observe it hunting and making a catch.

Amusing Owls
Amusing Owls | Source

Owl Education

View this for the sheer fun of it. Most of it is factual, but some of it is rather amusing. Oh, go on. You know that you want to do it.

Red-winged Blackbird
Red-winged Blackbird | Source

Every day I consider myself so fortunate to be surrounded by nature. As I write this column, my back door is open, and the sounds of my winged friends fill the air. For me, that is the material that makes my heart jump for joy and causes me to look forward to another day, as I know that new surprises are around the corner. I won’t make you wait for the events of the week any longer, as I know that it also makes your day to learn what nature has been doing around you. Sit back, have a cup of tea, prop your feet up, and take a few moments for a little rest in your busy lives.

Red-breasted Mergansers
Red-breasted Mergansers | Source

Red-breasted Mergansers

There were some special guests at the lake this week, true denizens of Oklahoma. Welcome the Red-breasted Mergansers! These beautiful diving ducks have serrated bills and they eat mostly fish. I’m sure that many of you have seen one of the three varieties on coastal waters, and I consider them a true sight to behold. The females will most likely be noted for their “bad hair days,” but when you’re striking, you know it.

Male Blue-winged Teal
Male Blue-winged Teal | Source

Blue-winged Teal

The Blue-winged Teal is still around, and these are one of the dabbling ducks, which will upend when they feed. These are rather small ducks, and the males are known for the white crescent shape and the large blue patch on the wings, which is very apparent while they are in flight.

Gadwall Pair
Gadwall Pair | Source


Another beauty observed this week is the Gadwall, another dabbler. Like the other dabblers, these birds will spring straight up from the water to fly. The females are often confused with female mallards, but the difference is the dark top portion of the bill and the wing pattern.

Eastern Meadowlark
Eastern Meadowlark | Source

Eastern Meadowlark

The Eastern Meadowlark is rarely up in the trees, more often hanging around in grassy fields, but this guy appears to be by himself and is looking for a mate, so he is a little more visible than usual.

Vesper Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow | Source

The Vesper Sparrow

This is a Vesper Sparrow, one of the more uncommon varieties, and is known for the white outer tail feathers as well as the white ring around the eye. They favor meadows with a few trees and bushes, farm fields and sides of roads.

Brown Thrasher
Brown Thrasher | Source

Brown Thrasher

The Brown Thrasher has returned to the area and is providing competition to the Northern Mockingbird. This one is very shy and has been staying in the tops of trees. With any luck, I’ll get the opportunity to get to know this one a little better, and perhaps he’ll let me get closer to him for some better shots. This is a rather slim and long bird, with a very heavily streaked chest and abdomen.

Beaver | Source

Beaver Working on His Dam

Last week I showed you the remains of a deceased beaver, so now here is a living one. This guy has a couple of dams going on the Southern Cove, and he was actively working on one when I spotted him. He didn’t mind me in the area, as he was busy working. ‘Busy as a beaver’ certainly rings true in this case.

Female Northern Cardinal
Female Northern Cardinal | Source

There are still numerous Northern Cardinals all over the lake, and here is a wonderful specimen of a lovely female. I also found a Blue Jay, but as I was focusing my camera on it, off it went, twice no less. I thought for sure that I would have a picture for you this week, but I just couldn’t do it.

Red-winged Blackbird, first light
Red-winged Blackbird, first light | Source

Red-Winged Blackbirds Are Mimics, Too

Red-winged Blackbirds are also mimics, I learned. I was certain that I was going to see an Eastern Meadowlark, but was thwarted by this guy. I even caught him in the act of mimicry. Don’t put anything past them.

Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow | Source

Song Sparrow

There are plenty of Song Sparrows in the area, especially in the mornings. This is a common bird, and they vary greatly in size and color. They are noted for their “sweet, sweet, sweet” vocalizations and a notable buzzing.

Where is Boomer Lake Park?

This is all that I have for the week. Keep your eyes to the ground and your head in the clouds. Happy birding until next time!

Red-breasted Merganser Skirmish
Red-breasted Merganser Skirmish | Source
Purple Martin
Purple Martin | Source
Male Red-winged Blackbird
Male Red-winged Blackbird | Source
Gadwalls | Source
American Robin
American Robin | Source

© 2014 Deb Hirt


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    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, Suhail, I have had a number of Buffleheads, as does the rest of OK. They are fairly common all over the states, except the Middle Atlantic, some of the North Central and Northeastern States. They are real beauties, in my opinion.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 

      5 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Unusual start of your article this time with those colourful tropical and rain forest birds. I liked a little travel around the globe.

      The other day I saw some bufflehead ducks in a pond near my home. I took some pictures. Unfortunately, the pond is fenced to keep the toddlers out so my pictures didn't come out great thorough the fence. Do you get buffleheads at Boomer Lake or other places in OK?

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks for the shares, precy anza. We must let everyone know what is happening to our wildlife, so people can help in every way possible.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks for the shares, precy anza. We must let everyone know what is happening to our wildlife, so people can help in every way possible.

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 

      5 years ago from USA

      Hey there bird of paradise, you made me clicked it! :) Beautiful bird just like the rest on the hub. And I enjoyed the photos as always. And oh yeah, the owl video too. Cute! Thanks Deb. Up and shared! :)

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Nell, sounds like everything is well your way…you will have a surprise coming from me, so hold onto your hat!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      5 years ago from England

      Hi Deb, these birds are amazing! I learn something new everytime I read your hubs, I love birds they are so amazing, I saw a heron on the roof near me the other day, and up close it looks so big! My Red Kites are really busy at the moment, I can hear the patter of tiny claws coming! lol!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Vellur! I am having a great time so far. Wish me luck for the rest of the week.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 years ago from Dubai

      The birds are beautiful and unique. You stay in nature's paradise and enjoy it everyday, am a little jealous! Thank you for the education about these birds. Great hub.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, truthfornow! Yes, the beaver was pretty intense with what he was doing, and really aid me no mind. I was just glad that I got to see him.

    • truthfornow profile image

      Marie Hurt 

      5 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      I like the way those owls were looking at each other. That beaver is sure focused!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Alicia. Look for surprises next time around...

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for sharing the videos this week, Deb. Of course, your photos were lovely and very interesting, too! It's exciting to see all the new birds arriving at Boomer Lake and where I live as well.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, whonu! Got something else up my sleeve...

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Kevin! Yeah, the narrator, I think, was hamming it up, t I did get a laugh about some of those owl things. Off on a new adventure in the a.m. You will find out more later…(grin)

    • whonunuwho profile image


      5 years ago from United States

      Nice photos and interesting article. Thanks for sharing my friend. whonu

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 

      5 years ago

      Neat one Deb. That woodpecker video was interesting, and the owl video was funny but the narrator had a lousy voice. The rest was good and the photos were great, my favorite being the Red-winged Blackbird (I love those birds).


    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Anna. That is the effort that I am making. Teaching people to care for our beautiful birds and how to help save them. It is a worthwhile cause.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Mel! Yes, those ducks are characters. They don't seem to mind that I watch them and record their actions.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Honestly, Jackie, I think that's where MJ got it...

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Faith Reaper. There is always a song in my heart with the great companionship that I have at the lake. Thanks.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 

      5 years ago from Scotland

      The Secretary Bird is very unusual. You pack so much learning and such beautiful photographs all in a small space.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      5 years ago from San Diego California

      Your bird pics get better every week, and you have refined your photo voyeurism to an art because you seem to be capturing them in more intimate moments.

      The red breasted Mergansers do abound here in our coastal waters, although I haven't seen any lately. I blame myself, not the ducks, because they don't let me out much on good behavior anymore. Great hub!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Oh I loved that MJ slide; that was amazing!! Thank you so much for bringing us these goodies. ^+

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      5 years ago from southern USA

      You certainly have included some of the most interesting birds of the world ... that sure is a spectacular courtship there of the birds of paradise! All these you have showcased are magnificent. I love that photo of the Northern Cardinal. I have never seen one that color ... being I live in the deep South.

      Great week at Boomer Lake.

      See you next time. Blessings

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Billy! I thought people would get a kick out of some of the interesting birds of the world! Glad that you liked it.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Okay, the moonwalking bird was way too cool. I always learn something new at Boomer Lake. Thanks for the info, Deb!


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