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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Thursday June 5, 2014

Updated on December 20, 2014
Puffin Chick
Puffin Chick | Source

Field Notes

What is Happening to Puffin Chicks?

Puffin chicks have been dying on the Maine breeding islands, and it seems like problems like this are only beginning. Climate change/global warming is very serious. Unless we get to the bottom of it, and do it quickly, we could be losing more birds.

Source

A New Bird Fossil

Here is the earliest found bird pollinator to date according to a fossil. This tiny bird was smaller than a hummingbird.

Barn Swallow in Flight
Barn Swallow in Flight | Source

Another Score For the Intelligence of Birds

These Canadian Barn Swallows are intelligent birds, for they know how to trigger the doors on a bike locker in order to be able to get to their nests. I think that ‘bird-brained’ is going to mean very intelligent instead of not very bright. This is better than random movement.

Great Blue Heron in Flight
Great Blue Heron in Flight | Source

Fledglings, Welcome the Rain, and Global Warming

Fledglings are everywhere, and to be honest, it is about time. That is the best way to know that spring is in the air. Fecal sacs are being transported elsewhere. Bugs and/or insects are on the way to a nest site. Tiny calls are heard while parents are being run ragged. Now is a very critical time for birds, and they truly appreciate your help with providing them extra seed in the feeder. They are burning excess calories trying to feed those young ones, who are constantly hungry. Thanks for everything that you do in order to assist in the survival of the birds.

Rain has come to the area several times, and it was a welcome addition. Water attracts birds, butterflies, and other animals. It is actually more important than food, as it hydrates and is the giver of life. Birds plant seeds and pollinate just like any creature of the forest, and that was and is how they continue to survive perpetually. Nature is symbiotic, for without one element, the rest of them have to compete to try to seal up that hole in the bucket.

When excess carbon dioxide is added to the mix of a balanced nature, it causes the balance to run amuck. Ozone is also added to the air, and global warming creates its own problems, causing animals to lose touch with their body clocks. They go to places that they have never been, in order to seek food and water. Is it simply survival of the fittest? No, it is just survival and the attempt at adaptation. Sometimes it is impossible to restore the balance, at least in our lifetimes.

Brown Thrasher
Brown Thrasher | Source

Brown Thrashers

There are three Brown Thrasher pairs that have nestlings. Both parents are trying so hard to keep those hungry little ones fed. However, there is hope on the horizon. The older they get, the less feedings are required. It is true that they eat more, but they require less initial calories, as they are not growing as quickly as they first were. Young birds have a rapid growth spurt, which tends to slow as they are closer to full development.

American Lady
American Lady | Source

The American Lady

The American Lady appeared this week, the first time that I have met this butterfly. This is a common variety. They frequent gardens and open areas, flying rather close to the ground. Don’t let that fool you, as they are actually quite rapid in movement. I’m not sure how I got lucky enough to get a good shot of one, but I’m not complaining.

Marsh Rat
Marsh Rat | Source

Marsh Rat

The marsh rat has been appearing quite frequently in the early mornings while feeding on weeds and grasses. It is food for owls, hawks, and Great Blue Herons. Great Blue Heron prefers fish to the rat, but out of desperation, I have seen it eat these rodents.

Great Blue Heron with Fish
Great Blue Heron with Fish | Source

Great Blue Heron and Great Egret

Several of the Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets have abandoned the rookery area and come to the main part of the lake where the fishing is best. Great Blue Heron is much more social than Great Egret. Green Herons are also here on the lake, but they have been also rather skittish. As the season progresses, they will all come around more and feel less bothered by human foot traffic.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher | Source

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

The Scissor-tailed Flycatchers are very plentiful now. They can be seen performing aerial courtship acrobatics and displaying for one another. The male will initiate flying into the air about a hundred feet, then will show his expertise on aerial maneuvers for the female. It is possible to tell the two apart, as the male has beautiful salmon pink and reddish wing linings, while the female is much paler in this area. The adult male also has a longer tail.

Red Eared Slider
Red Eared Slider | Source

Turtle Populations

Turtles are very plentiful, many of which are in the quieter Southern Cove. We have painted and red eared sliders that frequent that area. There are also snapping turtles in the main portion of the lake, and an occasional box turtle will be seen on land.

Young Eastern Cottontail
Young Eastern Cottontail | Source

Eastern Cottontail

You cannot miss the Eastern Cottontail, who is all over the area, primarily nearest the water. There are also a number of young ones, who will provide entertainment by running all over at a rapid pace. If there are two of them playing, there will be even more enjoyment watching them interact.

Northern Reaches

For those of you that prefer birding off the beaten path, the Northern Reaches host a number of songbirds that prefer to stay in the woods. There are Ruby-crowned Kinglets, White-breasted Nuthatches, the Swainson’s Thrush, Eastern Phoebe, Red-eyed Vireo, and an assortment of woodpeckers. It is a wonderful area for a nice picnic lunch and to commune with nature, but please don’t leave your trash there.

Boomer Lake in Stillwater, Oklahoma

Canada Goslings
Canada Goslings | Source
Disturbed Great Blue Heron
Disturbed Great Blue Heron | Source
Canada Gosling Stretches Out
Canada Gosling Stretches Out | Source

© 2014 Deb Hirt

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    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks for the vote, tazzytamar. I won last year, and got a nice t-shirt. I believe that if we all know and understand what animals are losing in order to thrive best, we can have some kind of impact on our governments. Many changes are already happening, but we can do better.

    • tazzytamar profile image

      Anna 3 years ago from chichester

      I voted for you as best photographer in the hubbie awards! Hope you win! I really hope the struggling species can be helped :(

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      If you have moving water, precy anza, that makes it all the more attractive to birds. You'll have plenty of birds around for that feature!

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 3 years ago from USA

      Enjoyed the photos as always. True that water attracts birds, I was so thrilled to see a feathered visitor checking out my fountain outside. :) But flew away before I could take a photo.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Jackie! See if you can get some pictures of them. They might be vultures, but they are generally afraid of people, as they had been mistreated in the past.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Oh I love the little Puffin stuff and of course the heron is my all time favorite. I am getting a lot of grey doves and these things my husband calls turkeys but they are not and they are not buzzards, something in between and really loud.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Mel. I am actually rather lucky, as many of the birds just happen to do their thing for me. Since they see in the UV spectrum, I must just have that "glow" about me…(grin)

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 3 years ago from San Diego California

      Marvelous scissor tail. You must have the patience of Job to get these shots. And no I don't believe any of that bird-brained stuff either. Animals are much more intelligent than we give them credit for and we just call them stupid to justify killing them. Great hub!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Cindy. Lots of things are affecting animals and I have taken it upon myself to educate people on how to best protect birds and other animals. Every little bit helps. Thanks for viewing and hope to see you again.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 3 years ago from Western NC

      I'm with what Bill said above: climate change is very real and very scary. I only hope humanity can get its head together before it's too late. Wonderful photos and commentary. I also saw this article over in an online magazine (you shared it on FB, I think). Anyway, wonderful job and it's good to see you!

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      You are welcome Deb.

      Kevin

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Alicia! When it comes to birds, they are our business, the world over.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for yet another interesting, informative and enjoyable Boomer Lake report, Deb. As always, I love the fact that you include important bird news from other parts of the world.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Sounds reasonable, Kevin, and rightly so. Thanks for that info.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      pumilio (Latin) 'dwarf'; ornis (Greek) 'bird'; tessellatus (Latin); 'mosaic'

      So going by other birds names, I would figure that they called it the 'mosaic dwarf bird', but I can not be positive about that part.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      No, Kevin, I don't know what the Latin translates--do fill me in. Thanks for sharing, as we must educate everyone that we can about the importance of caring for our wildlife.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      Another amazing Hub Deb. I was really interested in that fossil bird and I investigated some more, do you know what its (Latin translated) full meaning is?

      Everything else was also useful and delightful to read and the photos were pleasurable to look at. I voted it up and shared it.

      Kevin

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      ChitrangadaSharan, thanks again for looking out for the birds. The more that we know about them, the better that we can provide for their needs.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Nice one again, learnt a lot of facts about these birds. You provide wealth of information about the birds, which all of us must know.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Perspy, it is my home state, too. Once the current governor is out, I think that things might improve...

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Glad to see you are working with my "home state of Maine." We are working with them here in Utah, too, based on our "Best State For Business" rating which has brought their business representatives from private business and state government here to see what they can do to improve their rating which is currently the lowest of the 50 states!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Perspy! Wow, that is quite an honorable mention. Thank you.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Dave. I'll take a look at the drones piece as soon as I can.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, whonu. I give it my all.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Thanks for your continued production of quality Hubs here on HP. Well done....again.

    • D.A.L. profile image

      Dave 3 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Global warming is a serious problem for wildlife and especially migratory birds. here in the UK many birds are either breeding earlier or losing out. As you know the birds time their chicks to arrive in time for the glut of caterpillars. However, the caterpillars in many parts of the country are hatching two to three weeks earlier than they did and the birds are missing out by nesting at their usual time.

      Deb there is something you may find interesting on my site about drones being used to monitor wild birds. Content banner Conservation issues 2014.

      Enjoyed the visit again always good to read about birds on your side of the water.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 3 years ago from United States

      Interesting work and nice pics, my friend. whonu

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, Sanjay, we have spoiled the earth. Now the question is: how do we fix what we have done?

    • SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile image

      Sanjay Sharma 3 years ago from Mandi (HP) India

      Beautiful pictures. But we have spoiled the earth.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Sounds like your birds are getting very good care, and you can keep those mosquitoes!

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

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

      I am back after very busy days in the office. The regulatory changes are not letting us compliance people take any respite.

      It seems whatever you are observing down in OK is happening here too - early and mid spring wildflowers, baby birds, mosquitoes that turned me into fodder last Sunday, so on and so forth.

      After reading your hub, I just emptied my freezer and hanged all suet cases out on the trees for mama and papa birds to feed on haha.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Jill. The birds will certainly be grateful!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 3 years ago from United States

      An enjoyable read, Deb. Lots of variety--both serious & lighthearted. I'll put extra seed out. (: Have a good one! --Jill

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      As you know, I reported on the global warming problem last year and reiterated those facts very early this spring. I have a project coming up with the State of Maine regarding the loss of their breeding colonies of Great Blue Herons. They have experienced a decline over a ten-year period, which no doubt, also has to do with global warming. As an example, if water temps have raised five degrees over ten-year period, the same fish that they use to feed their young may have traveled further north. Hence, they may have done the same.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      I hope the puffins do survive, I have been watching something called Spring Watch over here in England, its on every night, and they were talking about how global warming was messing with 'timing' of the animals and birds, the insects are coming out earlier, the birds are late or too early with the babies and so on, I am sure they will adapt but its not nice for some of the species, great work as always Deb, nell

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Billy. All I can do is make people aware of the problems, so that we can fight on the behalf of our wildlife.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It is beyond me how some people can argue against the effects of climate change and warming. Let's hope the Puffins find a way to survive the damage we have done to their habitat. Well done as always, Deb.