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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Tuesday February 25, 2014

Updated on February 26, 2014
Male Bird of Paradise Displaying for Female
Male Bird of Paradise Displaying for Female | Source

Field Notes

Climate Change Affects the Entire World Now

Climate change is even affecting tropical birds atop a mountain in New Guinea, where even the peak of the mountain is not enough for them to escape. Warming temperatures are even pushing them off the top.


New Guinea's Birds of Paradise

Most of the birds of Paradise are found on New Guinea. All 39 species transform the “ordinary” into the extraordinary and are the most remarkable birds that I have never seen. Join me in uncovering their secrets, the miracles of evolution. They are living textbooks in the world of the uncanny.

Oil Pipeline
Oil Pipeline | Source

How Far Will We Go For Money?

Is this really worth it, for one major irruptive year to see Snowy Owls as far south as FL? I think the love of oil has gone too far, as well as those people in the House and Senate that are making money over the lives of us and our animals. What happens when there are no more constituents?

Not only that, who wants to look at this ugly thing that is going to cause an oil spill somewhere along the 1,700 miles. Do you want this in your backyard?

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

Put the Brakes on Spring!

This week I have encountered a number of assorted birds, who are telling me that ‘spring has sprung!’ Sorry, my little friends, it has NOT. We are in for more cold weather, especially in the north, and some of the Middle Atlantic States, not to mention other areas of the world. It is happening, all areas are in flux, and if I were you, I’d just sit tight, bide my time, and ride it out as best you can, for there is nothing that you can do about it.

Male Canvasback
Male Canvasback | Source
Bufflehead in Flight
Bufflehead in Flight | Source

The Ducks of Winter

I’ve seen plenty of ducks—Canvasbacks, Ruddy Ducks, Mallards, the Buffleheads, Lesser Scaups, and a few others. They don’t know what to do at this point, and last year saw them long gone at this time. The most important thing to them right now is the water level, and I’m beginning to wonder if we just might not see some unusual ducklings, unless we manage to get out of this deep freeze. Nonetheless, I would like to be selfish, and treat you to something different this year.

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

Great Blue Heron Clan

The Great Blue Herons are in the rookery, for the most part. A few of the first years and a couple of oldsters are in the area of the Southern Cove and the shelter of Goose Island. Fortunately, the ice has melted, so these few can go about their normal business, and have been giving me a few interesting shots.

Cedar Waxwing Portrait
Cedar Waxwing Portrait | Source
Male Northern Cardinal
Male Northern Cardinal | Source

Our Winter Lineup of Songbirds

The songbirds, however, have been simply insisting that now is the time to get down to business. Who am I to argue, for they are just doing what their biological clocks are telling them to do. There are times like these, when they pair up early, and I’m hoping that this doesn’t happen, as it will throw nature out of whack. If there are youngsters too early, they just won’t have what is necessary to eat, and first clutches will fall by the wayside. I hope that the weather will hold out, as more and more of the American Robins, Northern Cardinals, and Cedar Waxwings come to join us at Boomer Lake.

Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow | Source

Insistent Birds

A few days ago, during a 65 degree afternoon, I had my back door open at the house. While I was reading, I heard a rustling about and when I looked up, a male Song Sparrow was after nesting material. I had an old nest and a bit of yarn in a suet cage at the ready. Just as I was setting up my camera, the sparrow got what he required, and made an exit out the back door. You know how it is, sometimes these things tend to happen, but I was SO close at providing you a bird’s-eye-view of nature at work. The funny thing is, another sparrow came in last year, but at that time, I had nothing available.

American Robin
American Robin | Source

Keep Our Birds Safe

Since the birds are in neighborhoods and are preparing for spring, I’d like to mention the need for extra food and water. Winter is a trying time for birds in the cold, and they need extra energy to prepare for nesting season, as well as trying to keep warm in this cold, some of it rather severe, depending upon where you are located. Black oil sunflower seeds are about the best, and if you don’t like seed hulls in your yard, hearts of seed can be purchased. Not only that, wet seeds and hulls can mold, and make our avian friends quite sick and kill them. Therefore, it is important to dispose of old material where its healthiness is questionable.

Give those birdhouses from last year a good cleaning with a weak bleach solution, if you haven’t done that already, along with the birdbaths that you’ve gotten at the ready. I like to clean my birdbaths every night with a weak bleach solution, but I never use soap. Allow them to dry thoroughly, as the bleach will dissipate, causing the birds no harm.

Here's Where to Find Boomer Lake!

Keep your eyes on the ground and your head in the clouds. Happy birding, and here’s looking forward to a new and wonderful year.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron | Source
Male Red-winged Blackbird
Male Red-winged Blackbird | Source
Bufflehead Pair(Male- Bottom)
Bufflehead Pair(Male- Bottom) | Source

© 2014 Deb Hirt


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    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      precy anza, I have missed you! All is well here, and I suspect will be even better when spring has officially sprung.

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 4 years ago from USA

      Hello Avian :) Beautiful birds! Love the color of the red-winged blackbird. And when I saw that bird of paradise, I remember seeing it on Geo channel, such a beauty. Hope things are going well there in Ok and on the lake :)

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Faith Reaper. No, we are not yet done with Old Man Winter. This is the year that he doesn't want us to forget.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, I cannot believe I missed Boomer Lake! I have been reading your amazing poetry of late and somehow missed your usual Boomer Lake hub.

      The weather truly has been just so strange this winter. Just a couple of weeks ago here in the deep south we had a winter storm with snow and ice on the ground for three days, and we are just not prepared for such severe weather with single digit temperatures. Now, this weekend, it is supposed to be 74 and beautiful, which I am so thankful. I hope we are done with the severe cold, but we could have another bad spell in March, as we do sometimes.

      This is another interesting read here and I always love your amazing photos.

      Have a great weekend.

      Up and more and sharing

      Faith Reaper

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Alicia, That sure is the truth. We'll just have to see what is in store for ua.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The weather is certainly strange in some places this year. It's interesting to read about how the birds at Boomer Lake are handling it. The story about the song sparrow was exciting! This is a great report, as always, Deb.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Kevin, Snowy Owls have been as far south as FL. Their food sources have been so affected up north, they have been down here trying to eat. I'm going to try to see if I can find it on Youtube, as I don't have a TV.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 4 years ago

      Hey Deb, I just watched a video on Weather Channel about Snowy Owls affecting SE and they do not know why. They did not seem to know about the pipeline.


    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Leslie. It's the world in a nutshell, but with any luck, I can get my wrench into that damaged machinery.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      Gorgeous photos, Deb! As far as money goes - of COURSE we'll do ANYTHING for it..including inducing the next ice age..

      Great way to bring awareness...

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Dave, I'd still rather be a bird...

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      So right, Johan. I think a fix would be a cage around the propellers, but how badly will that affect drag?

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Kim. I'll bet that the coyotes are looking for food, too, but their eyes are more than likely on the birds, or mice.

    • D.A.L. profile image

      Dave 4 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Hi Deb, that biological clock keeps on ticking, birds over here are getting into their breeding plumage and blackbirds and song thrush have already got eggs in their nests. Toads and frogs are also visiting their breeding ponds. Like you I fear many of the first broods may well be lost. False springs are now becoming notorious for all wildlife. We can only hope for the best. As regards oil and money it will always be a priority to many humans and wildlife sadly comes a sorry second.

    • Johan Smulders profile image

      Johan Smulders 4 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Great photos, another interesting article. Audrey and I are doing field work as part of research on the impact of wind farms in our area. Progress comes at a cost and as you pose a valid question; is it worth it?

    • klidstone1970 profile image

      இڿڰۣ-- кιмвєяℓєу 4 years ago from Niagara Region, Canada

      The birds have definitely had their work cut out for them this winter. The cold has been like a kick in the gut for all of us. I've seen a few cardinals and jays but not much else...although I had a coyote in the yard yesterday. But my two parrots seem to be paying more attention to the window lately, so maybe they are noticing more than me. Who knows. The pics are great, my fav the red-winged black bird.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Connie! All we can do is hope for the best, and be especially helpful for the little ones now. They deserve it.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Hi Deb, I absolutely agree that the birds are sure it's spring! My nesting ball has been frequently visited by chickadees and juncos.

      I also totally agree about the water and black oil sunflower seeds. During this especially cold prelude to spring, the birds are mighty thirsty and hungry.

      Awesome images as always, my friend. I am never disappointed when I visit Boomer Lake ;) Connie

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You very well might, Suhail. It al depends on what strikes at any given time.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      And I am thinking that we will get to see lot of flower pictures from you beginning this spring :-)

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Meldz! I don't always get perfect moments, either, but what can you do?

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Oh, Suhail, it is just the best thing to be out in nature, just to relish everything right in front of you! Well, you know how it is, as I tell you each week. Give K2 a hug for me...

    • profile image

      ignugent17 4 years ago

      I understand sometimes we have a perfect moment but the camera is not yet ready. But as always you get good pictures.

      Have a good day!

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Beautiful message on our greed for oil and on keeping birds safe! Then their are awesome birds pictures. I wish I had a long FL lens and an aptitude for wildlife photography.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      The blackbird is on his way. He likes to be around water, Jackie, so you can catch him there.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Wayne! Glad that you like our lively crew this week.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Oh that bird of paradise, I could go for that feller. That blue heron shot, priceless Deb is all I can say. What a pose! Love them all but those were my favorites. Keeping my eyes peeled for the red-winged blackbird though. ^

    • wayne barrett profile image

      Wayne Barrett 4 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Lovely piece, Deb. Wonderful photos as always.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Kevin, we will always be assured that spring will get here eventually. Thanks for everything...

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 4 years ago

      This was really awesome Deb. I loved the part about the Birds-of-Paradise - every time that I see them they amaze me! I hated the pipeline; liked what you said; felt sorry for the owls and the people; but there must be another way they can do it.

      My favorite photos were the Red-winged Blackbirds. It is not here yet but spring is coming, the days are getting longer.


    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I'm so glad that I don't NEED a vehicle, Billy...

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Greed...don't even get me started about the oil pipelines. I'm getting a motor scooter this summer...enough said. :)


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