Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Here’s the interactive map of the Pacific coast birds and animals on the move. Do enjoy, and keep abreast of what might be coming soon to your area.
- Marine Important Bird Areas of Alaska
Map of Pacific Flyway marine IBAs (from Mexico to Alaska), with pictures and fun facts for each.
Prolific Snowy Owl Irruptive Year
This winter will be one of the most prolific Snowy Owl irruptions in years. See the stats and check to see if the Snowys could be in your area.
- Snowy Owl Irruption Watch 2013-214
Get all the latest updates on the winter irruption of Snowy Owls on the East Coast.
Pakistani Birding News
The rare Falcated Teal has been seen in Pakistan, one of the hottest birding spots in the world. My day will be coming soon enough to bring you my report from this country, along with new friends that I have been corresponding with for quite some time. Nowhere are there are more generous and kinder folk than in the east. I proudly encourage you to read
Superb Lyrebird of Australia
One of the most remarkable birds that I know lives in Australia. If you have never witnessed the incredible mimicry of the Superb Lyrebird, you have missing a great deal. This remarkable bird can imitate more than 20 bird species in one song. Educate yourself here
- Video -- World's Weirdest: Bird Mimics Chainsaw, Car Alarm and More -- National Geographic
This songbird breaks out the sampler to get a mate. And the superb lyrebird doesn't stop at mimicking other bird species — man-made noises just become part of the remix.
Birds and the Perils of Winter
Many wonderful birds are at Boomer Lake for your viewing pleasure. They have been working hard in order to sustain their lives, especially during hard freezes. It can be difficult for water birds to obtain adequate nourishment during these times. They have been known to fly many miles in a weakened condition just to obtain a few morsels for themselves. If it becomes too bad for them, I have seen employees out in boats over the years breaking up ice in order to help our wildlife survive. We owe these state employees much gratitude for going to these lengths to help our birds and other animals. Personally, I feel that these men and women not only deserve our gratitude, but they deserve to have a few more dollars in their pockets to help feed their own families.
The Duck Overview
Our world of nature this week comes to you courtesy of global warming. Our ducks have arrived early by a couple of weeks in this area. They are on the hunt for food, as well as to begin their mating rituals to propagate their species. Our Canvasbacks are increasing at the lake, yet the Bufflehead population is lacking somewhat. They seem to have paired up for the season, and I suspect that most of them tend to stay put wherever they are. Several days ago, the lake was frozen over with a couple of small channels for these ducks to feed themselves, as to safely remain in groups away from predators. The night sometimes takes its toll with ground predators, but thus far our bird population has been holding quite steady.
Double-crested Cormorants and Ring-billed Gulls
We still have a few Double-crested Cormorants in our midst, as well. They have been socializing with the Ring-billed Gulls, or vice versa. It is going to be survival of the fittest, as neither one of these birds is terribly aggressive in actively hunting its own food. Who will they befriend next for a food source?
Great Blue Heron Days
Several Great Blue Herons are here at the open lake, and there is an active rookery at the back end. From what I can hear, there are a good amount of herons making their home there, and I suspect that before long, there will be some new little herons in our midst. I don’t think that winter is going to be too kind this year, so we will have to hope for the best for them. Overall, I hear that all over the country bird deaths are at a relative high in general.
Songbirds still continue to be in the general area, and I have seen record amounts of goldfinches. Of course, we have record amounts of sunflowers and thistle, so that gauges what we could have for birds. I suspect that plenty of finches will be around over the winter.
The Northern Cardinal has also made a few appearances. Since the food supply is a little scarcer, they are more on the lookout. There are remains of berries still in plentiful supply, and I know where to find those, as does our friendly neighborhood cardinal pair.
The American Robin is not scarce, either. I have been seeing them rather frequently, especially in the early mornings. There may not be any worms available, but they have been sharing berries with the cardinals in the same trees.
The male Belted Kingfisher was in my vicinity this morning. I’m not sure if he has forgiven me for paying more attention to the Bald Eagles last week or not. He did permit a few pictures, but didn’t come too close, like the female tends to do. Of course, it is early in the season, so time will definitely tell.
There was no sign of the Sooner Lake pair, but to be honest, I’m not surprised, as the water is open. They tend to prefer fish for their meals, and really don’t want to disturb any of the other birds. I have deliberately been staying away from the Northern Reaches, so they can have peace and quiet. If there’s too much hubbub, they’ll just leave the area, and I’d rather not have that happen.
That’s about al I have to report this week. Most importantly stay warm and hydrated. Keep you head in the clouds and your eyes on the ground. Until next week!
Let's Go to Boomer Lake!
© 2013 Deb Hirt