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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Thursday May 29, 2014
Have you heard of the Rainforest Trust? This is an organization that has been in existence since 1988 and protects threatened critical rainforests and animals with local conservation groups. This is one of the many top organizations on my list, as all donations purchase rainforest acreage. Some of the most rare birds and animals are found in these areas, including coffee plantations which are deemed “bird friendly.” Coffee is meant to grow in rainforests, which are shaded areas, not in the sun. A wonderful coffee that gives back to the birds and the rainforests is called Cerulean Warbler Conservation Coffee, which is priced very fairly, and is grown where it should be. It really is no more expensive than a coffee that we are used to in the US, and not only supports a good cause, but tastes a lot better. When paired with a purified water, this is a real treat, the way that coffee should be. Support your birds of the rainforest, which is the wintering spot for many of our birds, and have a great coffee to boot.
- Amazon.com : Cerulean Warbler Conservation Coffee (12 Oz) - Rich Roast : Roasted Coffee Beans : Groc
Amazon.com : Cerulean Warbler Conservation Coffee (12 Oz) - Rich Roast : Roasted Coffee Beans : Grocery & Gourmet Food
Honeysuckle is one of the most invasive plants in the country, but you sure can’t beat that wonderful, tantalizing smell first thing in the morning on a sunny day. It gets my adrenaline pumping for a promising day of birding. Since we last spoke, some much needed rain fell, and even though the water levels are still a little low, Boomer Lake is doing well.
Great Blue Heron and Great Egret
Great Blue Heron and Great Egret are getting plenty of fish in order to stay healthy. This fine specimen showed me exactly what he got and was very proud of himself. Since herons happen to be some of my favorite birds, I admit that I spend more time than usual with them, but they teach me a great deal about their habits, too. They are very patient birds in order to put up with my stalking them.
Three pairs of nesting Brown Thrashers are residing on the east side of the lake and avidly feeding young. Baby birds are so demanding, as they grow so quickly and expend a lot of energy in doing so. They run their parents ragged and they are always on the go. When a young bird can nearly grow up in less than a year, that’s a lot of food to gather. Parenting is a hard job.
Some of our Canada goslings are nearly full grown, too. Many of them are looking more and more like their parents every day, and it is remarkable how fast the time goes. Some of the young will return here next year to begin their own circle of life, yet others will go elsewhere. Surprisingly, even some geese in the same families are not always resident birds. Some will choose to migrate.
Ruddy Duck is Homewrecker
A couple of ducks surprised me this week. I located a male Ruddy Duck with a female Mallard and her ducklings. The male Mallard was nearby quacking away when she and her little ones departed with the Ruddy Duck. She later returned to her mate, as the Ruddy Duck left the area.
Yesterday three Redheads were on the lake, two males and a female, another surprise. These ducks generally are in the Canadian regions breeding by now, however, since we are one of the few lakes in the area with plenty of water, nothing really surprises me too much anymore. I didn’t see any sign of them today, so it was a definite fluke.
Some of the Blue-winged Teals are still here, but there are no youngsters yet. It appears that it just isn’t going to happen this year for us here at Boomer, but stranger things have happened. I will still remain hopeful.
American Coot Census Shows Less Population
One thing that I surprising, is that there are very few American Coots this year. Since other out-of-the-ordinary things are occurring in the bird world, perhaps we can cut the coots a little slack this season. We also seem to be missing the Eastern Meadowlark this year. I saw one earlier in the spring, but populations definitely seem to have been decreasing each year.
There are still plenty of Baltimore Orioles gearing up for the season, but no youngsters yet. I was hoping that one of last year’s nests would be used, but it still remains empty. It still bears watching, but it does look like one of the males still intends to live in the same tree.
Killdeer and Nests
Many Killdeer are also nesting and it seems like the populations are quite plentiful. Almost everywhere one looks, they are running across the ground, trying to keep one as far away from their nesting areas as possible. Here is a nest that I discovered this week, and after looking at the eggs, you can see why it is so hard to see them, as they are so well camouflaged.
There are still plentiful Northern Cardinals, but I hear that they are everywhere, so this is definitely going to be a year for them.
What is Eclipse Plumage?
Some of the Mallard males and Canada Geese are eclipsing, which means that they are losing old feathers and awaiting new growth. This generally happens shortly after the young are hatched, but this year it seems to be a bit late, as many of the young are well on their way to adulthood.
Other Songbirds and Woodpeckers
Red-bellied and Downy Woodpeckers have been visiting the main part of the lake, many of the Carolina Chickadees have moved to the north part of the lake by Goose Island, and some of the Red-winged Blackbirds are fledging young. I haven’t seen the Yellow Warblers any more, BUT we do have two beaver condos and two beavers in the Southern Cove. I’m not sure if they are paired and want the extra space, but we’ll find out soon enough. They aren’t seen every day, maybe once a week, if I am fortunate.
Test Case--What Are These Birds Doing in Maine?
For those of you that are curious, Maine has been home to a number of birds that don’t normally go that far north, like the Summer Tanager, the Greater Scaup, White-faced Ibis, Red-bellied Woodpecker, and the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. These have only been over the past several days. I suspect that they are there due to food and water, as many portions of the country where they are seen are very low on water supplies. Since they are having such a large influx of the Red-bellied Woodpecker, that could well have to do with the abundance of red cedar and the bugs which inhabit those trees that they seek for food.
Since I’m out of news, keep your eyes to the ground and your head in the clouds. Happy birding until next week!
Where Is Boomer Lake in Stillwater, OK?
© 2014 Deb Hirt