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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Thursday June 19, 2014

Updated on June 19, 2014
Clean Power Sources
Clean Power Sources | Source

Field Notes

No More Dirty Power!

We need clean power and we need it now. Fossil fuels are in the past and the future will assure our children’s children that they will not have to deal with global warming. Let’s make that problem a thing of the past. Join the people whose music that I grew up with in our quest to a safe and beautiful environment.


Birds Have Great Clarity of Vision

Birds have incredible vision, for the see via ultraviolet light. This means that colors are sharper. They can actually see the differences between male and female birds that we can’t, and they even have us beat on focusing their eyes. It will make more sense now on how they see you, before you see them.


Bluebirds, Anyone?

Many people attract bluebirds to their yards, but do you know how to get them there? It’s outlined in an easy way here:

Great Blue Heron at Dawn
Great Blue Heron at Dawn | Source

Boomer Lake's Popularity Increasing

There were a few exciting things at the lake this week. The fact that other birders are out and about is always a joy to behold, especially those with cameras. I spoke to a number of people this week that are enjoying my column in the local paper, and they are very receptive to the idea of a birding tour. Since I am familiar with many active nests and bird hangouts, it will give people something to check on every time that they pass by the area. Not only that, it is important to share information, as one person might see something that we can all look out for and admire.

Immature Downy Woodpeckers
Immature Downy Woodpeckers | Source

Downy Woodpeckers

A couple of beautiful immature Downy Woodpeckers were playing and enjoying a wonderful sunny day. Immatures are very easy to tell, as their tails are so short and they don’t seem to worry as much about people being in close proximity. I got a few photos when I first passed them, then stopped again to visit on my way back home, and got even more, including one of the two of them together. It wasn’t a fabulous click, but it was unusual. Downies and hairies look very similar, but the Hairy Woodpecker is about a third larger than the downy.

Tufted Titmouse Pair
Tufted Titmouse Pair | Source

Tufted Titmouse Pair

As luck would have it, I also managed another picture with two Tufted Titmouse together! These have been rather hard for me to find, especially since they like shade trees and woodlands. Not only do they have a crest, but they have the largest black eyes.

Mallard Ducklings
Mallard Ducklings | Source

Mallard Ducklings

Mother Mallard stayed in the water while her ducklings did a little land exploration. Naturally, I stayed in the background to observe some of their antics, from hopping up to see what small sapling leaves taste like to chasing each other in the grass. This was a fortunate find for me, and a most enjoyable one.

Backlit Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Backlit Scissor-tailed Flycatcher | Source

Scissor-tailed Flycatchers Have Eggs in Their Nests!

There are a couple of active Scissor-tailed Flycatcher nests in very close proximity, so I have been keeping a watch on them as I pass by. Mother was sitting on the eggs one day, but I was unable to get that shot. Normally, the young ones have hatched by now, but they got a late start this year, due to the cooler temperatures. However, I expect to see little heads in about another week or so.

Eastern Kingbirds
Eastern Kingbirds | Source

Eastern Kingbirds Are Also Nesting

A pair of Eastern Kingbirds are nesting on the outskirts of the lake, not far from where I live, so I have been stopping to visit here and there. Imagine how happy I was when I managed to get this shot. Since they are so territorial, almost as much so as the Red-winged Blackbird, it really is best that they are of on their own.

Red-winged Blackbird Rushes Great Blue Heron
Red-winged Blackbird Rushes Great Blue Heron | Source

Great Blue Heron and Red-winged Blackbird

A Great Blue Heron was in the rushes on the edge of the lake where the blackbirds build nests, so I was also able to capture a shot of the male worrying the heron. It is very common behavior for the blackbirds to lash out at anyone in the vicinity of their nests. Not only will crows try to eat the eggs and young, but I learned that the Great Blue Heron is also responsible for the same actions.

Female Northern Cardinal
Female Northern Cardinal | Source

Northern Cardinal

This female Northern Cardinal was being fed by her mate, but sadly, I missed that shot. However, she decided to stick around for a photo op, which I immediately took. The cottonwood leaves lend a wonderful background to the shot and she looks rather pretty here, don’t you agree?

We have lost another tree on the lake, which had actually lasted a lot longer than I thought it would. It was on the bank with roots exposed, where I got photos of the Belted Kingfisher over the winter, on the east side of the lake, across from Goose Island. It was once home to a Red-winged Blackbird family, but such is the way of the world. The tree looked like it had been there for many years, but will be a good snag in its present condition.

That’s about all the news that I have for you this week. Keep your eyes on the ground and your head in the clouds. Happy birding until next time.

Where Is Boomer Lake in Stillwater, OK?

Immature Downy Woodpecker
Immature Downy Woodpecker | Source
Female Red-winged Blackbird
Female Red-winged Blackbird | Source
Eastern Cottontail
Eastern Cottontail | Source
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron | Source

© 2014 Deb Hirt


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    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Oh, sure tazzaytamar. Nature is truly amazing, and just think it is all in front of us. We just need to know where to look.

    • tazzytamar profile image

      Anna 3 years ago from chichester

      I adore the downy woodpeckers and of course all the others! I love it when birds are nesting and you can spot them gathering materials for their nests :)

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Faith Reaper! The more that these articles go around, the more that people can experience the joys of wildlife. Not only that, they can talk about all the different ways to help birds and other animals survive in an ever-changing world.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      A lot of thrills, indeed, going on at Boomer Lake!!! Thank you so much for always sharing your amazing and oh so beautiful photos with us all.

      I found it so interesting about birds' vision. It makes sense now at how they can fly so fast without harming themselves.

      So thrilled that your news articles are attracting more people to go birding. You certainly would make the best tour guide.

      Hope you have an awesome Fourth up there on Boomer Lake!

      Voted up and more and away

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks for the shares, Pamela. That is the best way to get the word out on how to help our birds. Luckily, the government is doing something about some of their problems now, like lights being on in buildings overnight. Most birds migrate at night, so the lights cause them to think that it is open area.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 3 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      Sure enjoyed your second-to-newest report. Those little ducklings reminded me of the time (2004) I saw a mother duck with 14 tiny baby ducklings swimming behind her in one of the canals here that I was walking along. The next evening I saw her with 10. I threw some seeds for her, but she kept on going -- intent on protecting her babies while she scooped up insects on the water's surface. The next morning I took more varieties of our African Grey's seeds there to the canal, hoping she would still have 10 babies. She only had two left. Heartbreaking. Voting up and sharing.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      As far as I know, I am being advised when you publish something. Leslie Silverman told me a while ago that she isn't getting anything from me. I have no idea what is going on with that, other than my readership is down about 50%. Bu August 20th, we have to upgrade our Google Analytics, which I know that I have already done, as our referral number begins with a 'UA'.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      August 20? What is that all about? First I have heard but I am still not getting notices and at least 3 people have told me they are not getting mine.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      rdsparrowriter, I don't recognize them all, but I know a fair amount of them. The more chances that I have to go look for them, the better I will get. Thanks for your great support.

    • rdsparrowriter profile image

      rdsparrowriter 3 years ago

      Wow, you have a great eye :) I always enjoy reading your articles about birds and when I see birds, you are the first to come into my mind as you might recognize it easily. Really cool!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      This has been for a couple of weeks now, Jackie. Do you think it might have something to do with that new analytics thing that we have to do by August 20th? I really don't know WHAT to do with that.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I was wondering; not seeing many have visited you here. It was really wacky for me last week (and many others) but that was during the changeover they were doing with the share button. Still my hubs weren't going out to everyone for could be something still.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Jackie. Maybe a lot of other people aren't getting notice, either, as my contacts have dropped WAY off.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Kevin. I only saw the other cardinal for a few seconds before it disappeared. Tried to set up the camera quickly for a shot, but it was a no go. Thanks for your great support.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I never got notice of this Deb or I would have been here straight away! I am so sorry. I always come immediately to see what you have been up to and see the gorgeous pictures. The spread winged fantastic.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 4 years ago

      Hi Deb, I watched that energy video but I was disappointed because I expected info about future energy, not past energy.

      The Downy and Hairy Woodpecker have two differences to make them easy to separate. The Hairy Woodpecker has a longer bill and an all-white tail.

      About the cardinal - did its mate have a red beak? If so, then the red beaked on was the parent and the photo that you took was a young one.

      Overall that was something else this week. I guess that I may not be around for the new energy. I was aware of how to attract the bluebirds. You took several great shots again. My favorite this week was the bluebird. I gave your Hub a thumbs up.


    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks as always, Alicia! I've been getting a lot of interest in my newspaper column and hope to be doing a birding tour shortly.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is another enjoyable hub to add to your Boomer Lake collection, Deb. The big photos at the end of the hub are especially nice. I love the one of the female red-winged blackbird! The bird and the surroundings are beautiful.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Nell. There are so many amazing things out there, it just boggles the mind!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi Deb, I was absolutely fascinated by the video of how birds see! I never knew they had extra blood vessels in their eyes, so that they can focus much better than us, and to be able to see the light spectrum better etc, fascinating stuff! your photos are amazing as always, wonderful!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You're so welcome, whonu. The birds need safety and protection as much as we do.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

      Loved the colorful pics and interesting information. Thanks my friend, for sharing. whonu

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Mel, I don't like the wind power for the same reason, but I'd sure like to see the fossil fuels go by the wayside. Thanks, as always.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 4 years ago from San Diego California

      I think your Downies are spectacular. I also agree with you about clean energy, except for wind power. Those windmills to me are an eyesore on the landscape and they are also bird killers. A lot of avian predators get killed by them. Great hub!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You're right, Billy, we can only hope, but maybe if we squawk loud enough, it will happen. Thanks so much for your support, it means so much. I think, too, that Boomer Lake can only benefit from more supporters.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Clean power? I'm not sure I'll live long enough to see this country rely mainly on clean power, but I can always hope. As for your popularity growing, it comes as no surprise to those of us who have supported you for a long time.


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