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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Thursday July 3, 2014

Updated on July 3, 2014
Rainforest Connection
Rainforest Connection | Source

Field Notes

How to Help Combat Poachers

If only Dian Fossey could protect the silverback gorillas like Rainforest Connection is doing now for other animals, she’d sure be an advocate. If you are not aware, she went to her death to combat poaching and killing adult gorillas so that their young could be sold to circuses and other illegal ownership. Donate your old cellphone to this organization, and not only will it warm your heart, you’ll be directly helping our animals from becoming extinct.

Bell's Vireo with Caterpillar
Bell's Vireo with Caterpillar | Source

How to Get Birds to Help You

There are several birds that you can attract to your yard that will eat a number of garden pests. They won’t rid you or your neighbor’s yard of everything, but they will do their duty, and more importantly, if you provide water, they and their young will do their part. To learn more about attracting birds with appropriate food, read on:

Northern Parula
Northern Parula | Source

Vermont/Caribbean Bird Needs Help

Vulnerable bird found on Vermont mountaintop twice that winters in the Caribbean.

It is an issue about conservation that will insure this bird’s survival. See more at:

Male Red-winged Blackbird
Male Red-winged Blackbird | Source

Birds of a Feather Flock Together

As I write this, it is the eve of the Fourth of July, and I find myself looking back in the annals of time to see what the rockets red glare really means. To me, it is what our forefathers did for us, to make us shun fear where it is not warranted. Celebrating this special and powerful day means that the only thing that we must NOT fear, is fear itself. We can do anything in order to survive. However, the birds and other animals need our help, for we have withered away a lot of nature. We can’t get it back, but we can sure make the most of what we have. Let’s do our best to recycle everything possible, and try our hardest not to depend on carbon and fossil fuels. If we can be diligent one day a week, it will surely help. Trust me when I say that, for it will help to slow down greenhouse gases, then we will think about it more, and depend less on what we don’t need.

Young Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Young Scissor-tailed Flycatcher | Source

Baby Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

We are now in a baby animal frenzy at Boomer Lake. I have seen fledgling Scissor-tailed Flycatchers as well as mothers and fathers sitting on nests. The Circle of Life is a beautiful thing, and it surrounds us, if we only look around. Also while we look, make certain that we watch where we step, as young birds don’t always vocalize their presence. Many of them will take that first step right out of the nest, not knowing how to return to that comfortable abode. If you see babies on the ground, most of the time they are fine, and a parent is feeding them. However, if you are in states like Oklahoma where the ants will eat anything that doesn’t move, then do intervene, but only in an emergency situation like that. If you know for certain that a parent is not tending its fledglings, only then seek help by intervention.

Baby Eastern Kingbird
Baby Eastern Kingbird | Source

Fledgling Eastern Kingbird

There are also some gorgeous Eastern Kingbird youngsters enjoying the sun and cooler breezes. Even though they are under the watchful eye of their parents, they are exploring and watching as much as they can in order to make it to adulthood. These little beauties look exactly like adults, but you’ll notice a much shorter tail, that is one of the things that signifies their youth.

Young Western Kingbird
Young Western Kingbird | Source

Young Western Kingbird

Recall how I mentioned the fact that I saw no Western Kingbirds at the lake? That’s because they nested in MY yard this year! Mother Western Kingbird flew over to me as I exited the house one evening to take me to one of her little ones that had just fledged. I held off on my errand to get a couple of shots of this wonderful baby in all its innocence. Isn’t this what makes life picture perfect?

Cattle Egret in Breeding Plumage
Cattle Egret in Breeding Plumage | Source

Cattle Egret in High Breeding Plumage

As luck would have it, a Cattle Egret in high breeding plumage came to visit a couple of days ago. I have seen these small egrets several times, but never dressed in their fancy duds. This beauty usually remains hidden away on the farm with the cattle, who stirs up insects on the ground. Every once in a while, they come to the lake, and not normally this close, so this was an excellent opportunity.

Mother Red-winged Blackbird Feeds Baby
Mother Red-winged Blackbird Feeds Baby | Source

Fledged Red-winged Blackbird

The fledgling Red-winged Blackbirds are all over the lake, and the parents are so busy feeding them. Even though all of them are perfectly capable of feeding themselves, they still want to make their parents work for their wages, and they do.

Green Heron
Green Heron | Source

Green Heron!

The Green Heron is also at the lake, but is very hard to capture. For starters, she is older and of breeding age. She came by this year with her mate, who is not from this area, so he is very squeamish around people. However, wonders sometimes never cease, and they have been spending a little time at the Southern Cove. So, voila, and enjoy this handsome specimen.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron | Source

Great Blue Heron on High

Great Blue Heron has been spending as much time as he can at the Southern Cove, too, but the Red-winged Blackbirds have been driving him away. He decided to sneak up on the area over the past few days, by hiding in a tree before making the final leg of the voyage. Sometimes he was able to avoid the blackbirds, but not always.

Those are the events of the week, and I consider them all noteworthy. I hope that your experiences have been just as good. Keep your eyes to the ground and your head in the clouds. Happy birding until next time!

Where is Boomer Lake in Stillwater, OK?

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher in Nest
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher in Nest | Source
Great Blue Heron Stretches
Great Blue Heron Stretches | Source
Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret | Source

© 2014 Deb Hirt


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    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Dave! All the young ones are all over the place now, it is a fabulous time of year.

    • D.A.L. profile image

      Dave 3 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Another enjoyable and informative visit. Love the picture of the young scissor -tailed flycatcher. You caught the moment beautifully.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, teaches! I'm so glad that you enjoy the pics. I try my best to capture the essence of every creature that I encounter.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Your photos never cease to inspire me on nature's beauty.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      livingsta, once you have mastered the behavior of birds, it will be easier for you to photograph them. Get a good birding guide that shows you movement/flight patterns. If you can anticipate how the birds move, you'll kern to be one step ahead of them. Happy birding!

    • livingsta profile image

      livingsta 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Beautiful hub with beautiful pictures. We are in the summer season here and I can hear a lot of the chirping mostly during the morning and evenings. I find it very difficult to photograph these tiny birds as they are constantly moving. I enjoy watching them through my window, and sometimes I can sit for hours enjoying their behaviour etc.. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks for the shares, Cris. That's what really gets the word out. Hope all in well in your area!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Kevin, it is Bicknell's Thrush that is becoming vulnerable. Didn't mean to mislead you with the pic. Birds are so amazing in what they do. One just has to love them!

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Beautiful as always. Great catch just like how the bell's vireo caught the caterpillar. :)

      Up and sharing.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      It is a shame about the Northern Parula becoming vulnerable. :-(

      I thought that was cute how the Western Kingbird led you to its nest. Great shot of the young one!


    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You are so welcome, Alicia, and I thank you for your solid support.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      How lovely to have the Western Kingbird nesting in your yard! This sounds like a wonderful photo opportunity. Thanks for another interesting report and for the message about the need to help birds, Deb.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Johan, that is pitiful. There is no need for animals to be killed like that, it makes me sick. We all must do what we can.

    • Johan Smulders profile image

      Johan Smulders 3 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Great stuff! If we all do our bit we can prevent the ongoing damage we as humans are causing. On poaching, more that 400 Rhinos have been killed this year in South Africa!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Leslie, no birds in the DR? That is strange, as many of our birds end up in Central America for the winter…must have gone further south, as they sure came back!

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 3 years ago

      Great pics, Deb - as usual...

      I agree - one day a week would make a huge difference..

      interestingly, i was in the dominican this past winter and honestly?

      I didn't see ONE bird!


    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Eddy! Missed you!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      So great to be back and following your hubs once again Deb.


    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      ChitrangadaSharan, life is an important thing, and we must do what is necessary in order to preserve it. Without our nature, we will have nothing.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Lovely birds and wonderful information!

      The blue one looks so beautiful. It is important to take the issue of poaching seriously.

      And good to learn, how to attract the birds so that they help us.

      Thanks for sharing the very useful and interesting hub!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Glad that the rain finally came, Jackie, it sounds like your area is parched. The poor cardinal was likely doing all that he could to get a little moisture.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Yes; I keep them water to drink but the dry ground is keeping all the juicy bugs and worms hid away! But alas it is pouring right now so I will see them singing and feeding all day tomorrow. We saw a male cardinal acting like a humming bird a few days ago, getting nectar from honeysuckle blooms and stopped in flight!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, Jackie, I hope that rain comes to your area ASAP. Birds need water just as much as we do. Don't forget to keep your birdbath filled.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks as always, Suhail. I'd love to see poaching and decimating land eliminated, too, which is why there article thrilled me. Glad that you enjoy my little "family"!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Love them all but again; when I see the Blue Heron it just makes me go..ah. Such graceful lines, like a ballerina. We need some water for our birds but it is thundering now so that should bring some food to the surface for them instead of dry dust. ^

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 3 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Using old mobile technology to protect poaching and illegal cutting of trees - what a novel idea. I really hope it works and finds buyers worldwide.

      I liked the fledgling pictures too. That western kingbird story was great.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      If it were up to me, Billy, I'd send poachers a lot further than that...

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      From the Caribbean to Vermont? That's a lot of flapping of wings. Fascinating stuff here, Deb....and poachers should be punished to the full extent of the law.