Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Thursday July 24, 2014
Caution--Another Harmful Substance to Birds, Bees, Animals
Neonicotinoids are killing birds, bees and other animals, as it is destroying the insects that they feed on. I am all in favor of science, but when we are killing off food that we or other animals need, it is time to pull in the reins.
- Not Just Bees: Controversial Pesticides Linked to Bird Declines | Science | WIRED
Evidence continues to mount that a highly controversial class of pesticides blamed for widespread bee declines is also harming other creatures, perhaps catastrophically.
Bald Eagle Returns to San Clemente Island in CA
For the first time in over half a century, the Bald Eagle is back on San Clemente Island in California. Read more about this joyous news here, and see what could happen next.
- Bald eagles found on California island for first time in 50 years| Reuters
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A pair of nesting bald eagles have been found on San Clemente Island off the Southern California coast for the first time in more than 50 years, the National Park Service said on
Greater Bird of Paradise of Aru Islands
The Greater Bird of Paradise is just as noteworthy as the rest of its kin. Let’s take a short peek into the life of this bird through the mating ritual:
- Greater Bird-of-Paradise - YouTube
Explore more at http://www.birdsofparadiseproject.org Enter the rainforest canopy of the Aru Islands to watch the coordinated displays of two male Greater Bi...
An Excellent Price! I Paid 2/$5.00 on Sale Locally
It Pays to Watch Carefully
Many things occurred at the lake this week, which means that we must always look around and see what nature has in her grand bounty. Once in a while, things will happen directly in front of us and we cannot miss them, but many times we actually must book ahead, behind, or to the right and left. When it comes to smaller birds that might be silent, we just might not see them, unless we have a sharp eye. This week, there were a couple of wonderful events that played out for me, and I will share them with all of you.
Purple Martins Left a Vacancy
The Purple Martins vacated their apartments, as the youngsters fledged. Once the last bird flies, they are out of structures of any kind. However, they are still working hard to control mosquitos and other small biting insects, as water draws them in. This is why insect eaters are so valuable in a wet location. They cannot get every insect, but they make it a lot more bearable for us.
Great Egret Dance of Flight
Earlier this week, our Great Egrets tripped the Light Fantastic and beautifully choreographed a lot of wonderful dances for those of us in attendance. These stately birds are every bit as graceful as they are lanky, and as you can see, it doesn’t matter if a bird is missing a leg. This gorgeous adult handled itself as well as a whole bird would, perhaps even with a little extra flair. Nature provides for those that survive.
Unusual Snowy Egret
Snowy Egret also came to visit, which is not completely unusual, but it was the first time that I had seen one in this area. These water birds are shorter than Great Egret, and they move faster and shuffle along the bottom with those bright yellow shoes in order to stir up the bottom feeders to the surface. Snowy also made it to the main part of the lake for a short time, then returned to the safety of the Northern Reaches where it is much less congested and quieter.
The Eastern Bluebird is still nesting and we will have another crop of fledglings shortly. These gorgeous songbirds will grace many yards with their presence, as long as you build a nestbox exactly to their specifications. You can run a search on this and come up with a plan to build your own, which is very easy. You can even build a nestbox without power tools if you’d prefer to go that route.
Mallards and Ducklings
There are still new Mallard ducklings, as well as those that are nearly grown. Some are still on the main part of the lake, and a few still prefer the Northern Reaches.
Great Blue Herons
Great Blue Herons are still doing very well in all sections of the lake, but the greater population is in the Northern Reaches, as are the Great Egrets.
There are two pairs of Green Herons, and I was treated to a delightful show today. These herons are generally much more skittish, but today there didn’t seem to be a problem with being shy. There is an active nest for one pair of these vocal beauties on the Southern Cove, but I shall not search for it. I’d like to have this family return again next year for breeding purposes.
The Smallest Herons
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Juvenile American Robins
There are several fine-looking juvenile American Robins that have been showing themselves off. They are no longer bothering their parents with procuring food, as they are fully able to handle that themselves. They all appear very healthy. We won’t know if they are going to be resident birds, as nature will tell them what they are going to do when it is time.
Northern Cardinals and Brown Thrashers
The Northern Cardinals and Brown Thrashers are still all over the lake, but the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher has taken a bit of a breather and has disappeared for a while. They always seem to return in a couple of weeks, but they generally are one of the first birds to leave for fall migration. I saw a handful of them still around, but it won’t be much longer until they disappear, too, for a temporary reprieve.
Great-tailed Grackles and Eastern Kingbirds
There are still plenty of Great-tailed Grackles and Eastern Kingbirds protecting their respective territories, mostly on both sides of the Southern Cove. The Red-winged Blackbirds are living nearest the water, and keeping poor Great Blue Heron at bay. However, when he can make it through the Front Line, he stays on some of the logs and snags, quietly preening and doing a little fishing when necessary.
We all know that the Western Kingbirds are all living at my place, right? How appropriate can that be?
We Can Save the Rainforest, a Piece at a Time!
- Saving rainforests, protecting endangered wildlife - Rainforest Trust - Rainforest Trust
Rainforest Conservation with Rainforest Trust (formerly World Land Trust-US) - 25 year track record of successful and tangible conservation actions.
The Hawk and the Cat, A True Story on Intervention
My friend, Jeannie, told me about an interesting experience that she had yesterday. There was a gaggle of Canada Geese crossing the road on the east side of the lake. She had stopped her car for them and was watching the plot unfold, when a black cat came into view. I know exactly what cat she is referring, as I have seen it hungrily looking for songbirds, also on the east side of the lake. Then, she said, suddenly a hawk swooped out of a tree and made that cat jump head over heels. You see, the moral only goes to show that nature can win in a big way when all the cards are on the table. That hawk likely saw me admonishing that cat around the songbirds, and took it upon itself to assist me in my quest. Isn’t life sometimes a bowl of cherries?
I also had a short trip to The Links Golf Course, which is a wonderful wildlife area. The area is north of the Northern Reaches, and hosts a number of Mississippi Kites, Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Green Herons, Blue Jays, Northern Cardinals, and most likely a number of other wonderful things that I hadn’t even seen. It is beautifully landscaped, and was relatively quiet while I was there. I managed to get a few pictures, and if I can, I will go there again, and see what other beautiful birds and animals I can photograph and observe.
With those words, I will leave you to think about your own week birding. If anything noteworthy occurred, you can certainly keep me informed. Keep your eyes on the ground and your head in the clouds until next time when we meet again. Happy birding!
Where is Boomer Lake in Stillwater, OK?
© 2014 Deb Hirt