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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Thursday May 15, 2014

Updated on May 15, 2014
Ostrich in Beijing
Ostrich in Beijing | Source

Field Notes

Ostrich on the Run

Can you imagine an ostrich running through the city streets at 45 mph? Not only was he speeding, but he had residents of Beijing, China, in quite an uproar.

Large Group of Flamingos
Large Group of Flamingos | Source

Flamingo Origin a Mystery

147 flamingos showed up in West Palm County, FL, a state record. But where did they come from? If we knew that, we could solve the dilemma on how to better protect them.

Rescued Bald Eagle from Lakeland, FL
Rescued Bald Eagle from Lakeland, FL | Source

Just Hangin' Around, But Luckily Rescued

A Bald Eagle was rescued in Lakeland, FL hanging in a pine tree with some sort of wire or fishing line wrapped around its wing, which has not been confirmed for me yet. Read about the rescue efforts here:

Milkweed Pod and Seeds
Milkweed Pod and Seeds | Source

Where to Get Almost Free Milkweed and Butterfly Garden Seeds

It has been a bit cooler this week, but it has not been a real problem for birds and wildlife. The only ones that have disappeared for the moment are the butterflies, but they will come back. With any luck, we’ll get some much-needed precipitation soon, for that is necessary for the survival of all birds and animals. The water table on the lake in receding to some degree, and needs to be replaced.

While we’re on the topic, it is important for you conservationists and naturalists to plant milkweed and plenty of it. It is an important staple in the lives of both birds and butterflies, namely the monarch. If you remit $1 to Live Monarch – Seed Campaign 2014/3003-C8 Yamato Road #1015/Boca Raton, FL 33434 you will receive in return 50+ seeds for milkweed or for a butterfly garden. Just specify the type of seeds that you want.

Eastern Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird | Source

Eastern Kingbird

The Eastern Kingbird has been in residence for a couple of weeks now. This little beauty is related to the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, and is just as tyrannical as the flycatcher. They really aren’t mean, but they do want other birds to keep away from their territories and will escort them out if provoked.

Canada Goslings "Mummy, Mummy, Mummy, Mummy!"
Canada Goslings "Mummy, Mummy, Mummy, Mummy!" | Source

Canada Goslings and Dangers of Plastic

Our little Canada goslings are really growing quickly and meet me at the lake every day. There’s nothing like young ones around the lake to remind us that it is spring and to please be careful of trash on the ground. It is especially crucial for young birds not to have anything detrimental to their health, like fishing line, plastic bags, or plastic rings around the water bottle caps. Please be as diligent as you can in throwing these items away in a trash receptacle if you see them. Thanks so much for your help!

Male Yellow Warbler
Male Yellow Warbler | Source

Yellow Warblers in Residence

There are several Yellow Warblers that seem to be setting up housekeeping in the deciduous trees on the lake. I have been hearing their loud and boisterous singing on a daily basis now, and that pleases me greatly. With any luck, you are able to see them as well. These are not like your normal warblers, that just speed through the trees. These little beauties actually will sit for a time on one branch as long as they don’t feel threatened. They do stay rather high, but that long song should bring your eye to them rather quickly. You’ll enjoy them as much as I do.

European Starling
European Starling | Source

Songbirds are Nesting with Young

The European Starlings, American Robins, and Northern Mockingbirds are actively feeding young ones. I have not spotted any nests as of yet, but I suspect that there are quite a few with the large avian population around the lake. Everywhere that I turn, there are birds everywhere, which is a good sign.

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

Red-winged Blackbirds and Barn Swallows

Red-winged Blackbirds are everywhere, as are the Barn Swallows, which you’ll see come out from under the bridges. They are all over the park, which is also a good sign for the health of the lake. Between the Barn Swallows and the Purple Martins, they will readily keep the pest population down. They keep the flies, mosquitoes and other flying insects in check.

Clay-colored Sparrow
Clay-colored Sparrow | Source

More Songbirds Debut

There are a large number of American Goldfinches, Bell’s Vireo, Cedar Waxwing, Mourning Dove, Baltimore and Orchard Orioles, and Clay-colored Sparrow in residence. I have also seen several varieties of other warblers, as well as the Northern Parula on the lake.

Blue-winged Teal Pair
Blue-winged Teal Pair | Source

As Spring Progresses and Summer Comes

The Spotted Sandpiper, Great Blue Heron, Blue-winged Teal, and several other waterbirds, including the Double-crested Cormorant have healthy populations as well.

As spring progresses, and summer is due to arrive, we will also see other visitors, like the Dickcissel. I haven’t seen the normal number of Eastern Meadowlarks, but chances are good that they could be with the area cattle at this point, especially if there is plenty of water available. The little Cattle Egret still comes and goes upon occasion, but that is quite normal for them, as they are likely communing with the cattle and meadowlarks.

Where is Boomer Lake in Stillwater, OK?

And Then

There are a small amount of Brown Thrashers, Red-shouldered Hawks, and other species that will tend to come and go, like the Blue Jay. Later on in the season, we will likely see the Red-tailed Hawk and the American Avocet. Anything else will be a definite bonus.

This about wraps up the week. Keep your eyes to the ground and your head in the clouds. Happy birding and I hope to see you again next time.

Great Blue Heron with His Crappie
Great Blue Heron with His Crappie | Source
Pre-teen Gosling
Pre-teen Gosling | Source
Mourning Dove
Mourning Dove | Source

© 2014 Deb Hirt


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    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      tazzytamar, there is always something going on around this lake. I am expecting a huge influx of ducks, and if this plays out the way that I hope, it should be outstanding. There were plenty of babies this summer, and it was an exciting time. It's just like a box of chocolates--you never know what you're going to end up with.

    • tazzytamar profile image


      4 years ago from chichester

      Its always wonderful seeing all the babies emerging from the nests with their parents - looking forward to next spring already :)

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Glimmer Twin Fan! A third nesting is rather amazing, since we have just begun summer, but this is a banner year, too, with a lot of unusual activity. Maybe you'll have to paint this fall, when it is cooler. might be a good link for you to follow, since I take a number of Great Blue Heron shots. I adore water birds.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 

      4 years ago

      Our robins are on their 3rd nesting and we still haven't been able to paint the deck this year. We've also had a lot of hummingbirds which has been nice. Once again, lovely photos that make me smile. Love the great blue heron. They are such a joy to watch.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      rdsparrowriter, if you wish to be able to ID more birds, you can get a birding guide. Helm publishes a lovely guide for your area.

    • rdsparrowriter profile image


      4 years ago

      Every time I see a bird (one I don't know the name), I think of Boomer Lake articles and how you recognize each one and share very interesting articles, it just makes me wonder how you do it since I only recognize parrots, crows and pigeons since I happen to see them a lot in my area. Really interesting :) God bless you!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      teaches, I am hoping to see a flamingo--maybe next year?

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      4 years ago

      I missed the flamingo invasion and the eagle rescue! I did see one solitary flamingo across the road last week, maybe a scout? I enjoyed your spring review on bird activity.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks for the shares, Cris. It is the best way to get the word out on how to protect our wildlife.

    • CrisSp profile image


      4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Lovely creatures! I had an encounter once with an Ostrich (almost my size) in the wild safari park in London and that was so funny and scary at the same time. I just wish, I was able to capture that moment. :)

      Love the King bird but I'm picking up the beautiful flamingos as my favorite on this hub.

      Voting up, beautiful and sharing.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      ChitrangadaSharan, I'm gal that you enjoyed the little tidbits and the photos. Should have a few more interesting things next week.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Awesome hub with lovely pictures! I found the Ostrich information really interesting. I have seen them only at the Zoo.

      Thanks for sharing this interesting hub!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, WiccannSage! Plenty more where that came from...

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Dave! And I also get to learn about your birds…I thank YOU, too.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      4 years ago

      Wow, how absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

    • D.A.L. profile image


      4 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Another enjoyable visit to your part of our natural world. Love the yellow warbler and the eastern king-bird. Another informative hub that has added to my education about birds.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Anna. If we al try to work together, we might be able to slow down the litter problem that harms our birds and animals.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 

      4 years ago from Scotland

      Beautiful photographs as always. The Great Blue Heron is stunning.

      I walk around the lochs here and I hate to see litter. You done a great job of highlighting the danger that human laziness poses for the birds and animals.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Alicia! The world is our oyster, and we are lucky to be able to enjoy it. I'm so glad that the birds in the pictures found me.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I love the photos of the birds and the composition of the photos, Deb. Thank you for another very enjoyable hub.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      It warms my heart to see how you took care of the geese, Nell. You did it al correctly. My bunch lets me walk all around them, but many of them do that, as I am a kindred spirit. Gotta love our parks!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      4 years ago from England

      How amazing those birds are acting so strangely, especially the Flamingos, and that ostrich, well, lol! I did smile at your Canadian Goslings because I went on an eight mile walk today! yes eight miles, that was from my house, to the park, then all the way along the river through two more villages, and ended up at the little cafe on an island, but just before we got to the river island, there, on the bank of the river were three sets of Canadian Geese and their little families! Right next to the path, just goes to show how they trust us! I will add the photos on facebook tomorrow, worn out now! lol! but they were literally about two foot away from me! the first couple of birds had three babes, the next in the middle had five, and the other couple of birds had two! it was amazing! I told my partner to take a photo, but keep back, and quiet, which he did, mind you one of the mums got a bit anxious and hissed, but I stepped back, kept quiet and she was fine. we only stood there for about 20 seconds so as not to distress them. It was amazing, gorgeous and a real Aw moment! lol! nell

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      DzyMsLizzy, I am so sorry that your husband has allergies--they can really do a number on someone's health. Glad that you enjoyed my column.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 

      4 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Lovely photos; interesting tidbits.

      Sadly, my husband is allergic to milkweed, so I have to pull out any strays we find. He has problems enough with his health, without adding allergy attacks to the mix. :(

      Voted up, useful, beautiful and interesting.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Good deal, Jill! Hope you can get them soon.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 

      4 years ago from United States

      A fun read, Deb. Enjoyed it. And it reminded me that I want milkweed seeds!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, truthfornow! Boomer Lake is filled with birds right now.

    • truthfornow profile image


      4 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      I would freak if I saw an ostrich running the streets. Glad the guy is okay. And love the Bald Eagle rescue as well. Great pictures and that Yellow Warbler is quite the poser!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      How can they 'afford' all that OT, Mel? Guess we'll never know… Glad to see you again, for I missed you.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Glad you like everything, whonu! Thank you.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      4 years ago from San Diego California

      I am amazed by your photography. Your Kingbird and Yellow Warbler were especially stunning. Sorry I've been away so long. The post office has had my nose to the grindstone with 10 hour days 6 days a week. And they say we are going broke! Great hub!

    • whonunuwho profile image


      4 years ago from United States

      Very well done and as always, great pics. Keep up the wonderful work. whonu

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks for sharing, Kevin. I am trying so hard to get the word out on properly disposing of plastics. That is the main problem affecting our birds and animals.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 

      4 years ago

      What a Hub this time Deb. I looked at the one about ostrich and it was funnier listening to the news lady. :-D

      I have a beginning where they could start looking for where those flamingos came from. I saw they have a photo of the groups flight. If they know which direction it was they could begin to follow it backwards.

      The rest of it was interesting and useful information. I voted it up and straight across, plus I shared it.


    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Billy. I do my best to keep you interested.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I had no idea an ostrich could run that fast. That is fascinating, as is this column. You never disappoint.


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