Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Wednesday April 23, 2014
Warbler Watching Made Easy
Here are some of the best ways to find the elusive and rapid moving warblers during migration times in the spring. You will discover the best habitats and how to ‘call’ them by pishing. Learn to get more out of your birding adventures with warblers.
- Birding Warblers - YouTube
To help celebrate the imminent arrival of spring migrants, Jessie Barry and Chris Wood from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology share their warbler-watching tips....
How to Learn Your Owls
In just a few minutes, you can learn to recognize various owls by their calls and their pictures. This is invaluable for the owl enthusiast.
- Birding By Ear: OWLS - YouTube
birding by ear
e-Bird Migratory Interactive Mapping
Courtesy of e-Bird, these are the birds on the move right now, and approximately where they are. This is an interactive map that will give you valuable information in order to make the most of your birding experiences.
Where to Get iPhone Bird Guides
Here are your iPhone bird guides, as well as the pros and cons for them all. While out in the field, this is a simple way to listen to bird calls and make identifications on the spot. Don’t leave your birding guides at home, though.
- Comparison of Bird Apps for the iPhone
A look at the bird field guide apps for the iPhone and other iOS devices.
Weather and Birds
We’re running about two weeks behind with the spring weather, which has been colder even in the warmer parts of the United States. There are drought conditions in many states, yet the birds still go to their old stand-by areas in order to rest from those long migration routes. During this critical time of year, please keep your feeders filled and have plenty of fresh water for our avian friends. They lose a lot of weight and are dehydrated on these long trips, so all help is appreciated by them, and can make the difference between life and death.
You Can Bird by Sight and Sound
While I am working on this piece, I can hear Baltimore Orioles The American Crow, and I know that a Great Horned Owl lives on the property next door to me. How do I know about the owl? Scat(whitewashlike substance running down conifer trees is a sure sign, as well as pellets that owls regurgitate with bones, beaks, legs, and feathers that they cannot digest. They throw up these pellets, which are often under the tree where they live.) You will hear them at night while they are nesting, so during daylight hours, you can wander about. Look upwards for the nest. You might find it, or see mother and father owl bringing food for the youngsters.
Baltimore Oriole Singing
- Baltimore Oriole Sings! - YouTube
Baltimore Orioles have just arrived in the London, Ontario area. This one was filmed singing in our yard on May 6, 2013
As many of you know, I just returned from South Padre Island in Texas, and I am back on the job at Boomer Lake. Even though I have only been back for three days, I have seen many wild and wonderful things to know that Oklahoma has not been left behind in the birding world.
Parks and Rec has put up several extra Purple Martin houses. Martins are wonderful and helpful birds, for they eradicate our mosquito population. Mosquitos tend to be near bodies of water where they lay their eggs, but the martins need both food and water. While taking a little water, they feed on the mosquitos in the area.
Blue-winged Teals seem to be hanging on in the area, and chances appear quite good that we might even have a nest or two, if they stay much longer. I have never been around breeding teals, so I am hoping that this area will be able to afford me the chance. I’d love to show you photos of teal ducklings.
Boomer Lake has a resident pair of eagles now, as well as a nest. Nothing could be better news than that. When I went to the Northern Reaches this morning, one of them was in the area looking for fish from the treetops. The smaller birds kept out of the area, but the Canada Geese, Great Egrets, and Great Blue Heron pays the eagle no mind. After all, they are large birds, so they have nothing to fear.
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Herons also happen to have a rookery in the area, and I’m certain that we have youngsters on the nest now. The breeding males are easily disturbed, and I was lucky enough to get a shot of one of the two. The one that I got was clearly a resident, and not an intruder like the one that he was chasing.
Goose Island is like a college apartment complex. It is loud and full of fighting geese. I saw several battles between the males, who were just driving each other off the island. The water was roiling and churning with all the activity, which is quite a show for the uninitiated.
Not only were the birds out, but there were a number of butterflies, too, including the Monarch and the Black Swallowtails. There were also skippers, and no doubt, many others that I didn’t have the time to seek out. However, I did manage a couple of shots, just so that you could see them.
Great-tailed Grackles are in full force, also in breeding plumage. I do so adore these grackles, as they have remarkable personalities. All the black birds have a great deal of intelligence, and if you have seen them, you’ll agree with me. I have born witness to many amusing things with these birds, ad once you have interacted with them, you’ll never forget their antics.
And Much More!
There are also Northern Cardinals, House Finches in breeding plumage, hosts of Ring-billed gulls, red ear slider turtles, Red-shouldered Hawks, beavers, and just so much more. As a matter of fact, if you come to the lake, you might just see even more than I have mentioned. So I will leave you with that thought for now. Keep your eyes on the ground, and your head in the clouds. Happy birding until next time!
Boomer Lake, Stillwater, OK
© 2014 Deb Hirt