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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Wednesday August 6, 2014

Updated on August 6, 2014
Mourning Dove
Mourning Dove | Source
American Robin
American Robin | Source

Field Notes

Most Common Birds in the US

The two most common birds in our country are the Mourning Dove and the American Robin. Want to learn even more? Listen to this:

Northern Mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird | Source

A Reading List for Naturalists

Birds, conservation, the environment, and so much more are at your disposal. Here’s some great reading on these topics.

Egret Chicks
Egret Chicks | Source

What's on Alcatraz These Days?

Alcatraz may have been best known for the inescapable prison once there, but over the last decade, it has been a bird haven for nesting avians. Nearly five thousand people visit it daily for this reason. Why is Alcatraz Island making a comeback for birds?


Our Health is Our Wealth

Right now, the weather is perfect and I can’t think of any better way to enjoy it than at the lake. We can add a little vitamin D to our bodies by being outside, which will keep us healthier and more vibrant. The exercise that we obtain from walking will keep the heart pumping and actually make us eat less with the effort. The birds are singing, the sun is shining, and the fish are jumping. What better way to keep ourselves in a positive mood than by relieving stress in the out of doors?

Juvenile Northern Cardinal
Juvenile Northern Cardinal | Source

Juvenile Birds

There are still a number of young birds that hatched this spring still on the lake providing entertainment. When birds are young, they still retain their innocence and really have very little fear of people. However, those parts of the puzzle of nature will soon kick in and give them the good sense to keep away from us. They will actually live longer by doing so.

Juvenile Mourning Dove
Juvenile Mourning Dove | Source

Are You Ever in a Fog?

We had a glorious foggy day a few short days ago, which allowed a completely different sense around the lake. It allowed an aura of mystery to permeate, changing the feeling of the area completely. I could almost hear Big Ben chiming—no wait a minute—that’s in another part of the world. What I meant to say is that is that the fog created a diversionary tactic, as the birds felt that they could not be seen. Seriously, since they see ultraviolet, it was blocked, so they felt that since they had trouble seeing me, that I could not see them. Imagine that?

Injured Great Blue Heron
Injured Great Blue Heron | Source

Injured Great Blue Heron Due to Fishing Line

Yesterday I found a Great Blue Heron that was injured. He was actually mobile, but I believe that a piece of fishing line was around his ankle and foot, as the entire area was very swollen. Since my phone was not working, I located a city employee that contacted a warden for me. She came out to see what she could do, and I was told that the heron flew away from her, so at least I knew that the poor heron was not tethered to the snag in the lake. The warden provided chase, but I never learned the outcome. I did see the heron today, he was not favoring the foot as much, and it didn’t appear swollen, so perhaps she was able to remove the fishing line.

Fishing is a great sport and a good source of food, but when a hook and/or a line is torn off, it can provide a very deadly hazard to wildlife, namely birds and aquatic animals. It can kill them and even horribly maim them. If you should discover hooks, fishing lines, balloons, plastic, or any other trash on land or in the water, please dispose of it properly. When you make the effort to do this, you deserve thanks, as you could be saving a life. Let me be the first to thank you, for there are plastic heaps in the ocean. Midway Island has bird carcasses all over the island with stomachs filled with plastic, mostly baby birds. But it can stop, if we make the effort. I know that we can do it. Please help me help the animals.

Great Egret
Great Egret | Source

Northern Reaches

I visited The Northern Reaches both yesterday and today. Everything looked picture perfect out there. Herons and egrets were in the trees, and it was the epitome of peace and solace. We are so fortunate to have a private area in the city, dedicated to beauty and nature, the surroundings almost like what our forefathers appreciated and loved. Everyone should have the chance to see what nature looks like and they shouldn’t have to travel far to see it.

Gulf Fritillary
Gulf Fritillary | Source

Butterfly Corner

There has ben very little wind over the past several days, the temperature has been perfect, and butterflies have returned to the area. Today I saw both the viceroy and the gulf fritillary. I was concerned to some degree, as I knew that the butterfly population had taken a hit, especially the monarchs. They overwinter in Mexico, and so few of them have been around this year, due to pesticide there.

Night Herons Coming Soon to Your Area!

Our water bird population has been very healthy, and I am soon hoping to see the Black-crowned Night-Heron, and if I’m lucky, the Yellow-crowned Night-Heron. Night herons tend to be more visible in the latter part of the afternoon, but early mornings also are good times to see them. They are still around when the sun is out, to some degree, but they could well be sleeping, like night people. It’s the same sort of thing, but it is built in, if you’re a night heron.

Green Heron
Green Heron | Source

Green Herons

Since I can’t show you this year’s night herons, you’ll just have to be content with a current shot of the Green Heron. There are four that I know about on the east side of the lake this season, plus we have a clutch on the Southern Cove. These chicks should return next year, so our census data should be up.

Great Blue Heron Asserts Authority
Great Blue Heron Asserts Authority | Source

Looking Ahead

While I’m in a predicting mode, I also believe that this winter will hold a number of good things. Since our water table is holding at a higher level, we should have more than our share of ducks this winter. Last winter was very good, as we even had a Tundra Swan, but I’m looking forward to even more winter residents.

Great Blue Heron Just Chased Green Heron Off the Snag
Great Blue Heron Just Chased Green Heron Off the Snag | Source

Great Blue Heron vs. Green Heron

There has been a competition again this year, but not so much with Great Blue Heron and Great Egret. It has been between Great Blue Heron and Green Heron. On the Southern Cove, Great Blue Heron has a certain place that he has claimed as his own, and it is a snag. Shortly after 7 a.m., he likes to arrive and rest a little there. Green Heron also likes the snag, but has a few other areas that he likes. Lately, Great Blue Heron has been announcing his arrival, as Green Heron has been on his snag. I’m hoping to time it correctly, and get a photo of the two of them at odds with one another. Wish me luck.

In the meantime, keep your eyes on the ground and your head in the clouds. Happy birding until next time. As always, keep me in the know about your uncommon birds, as it assists me in my research regarding global warming and how they are adjusting to it.

Should We Protect Nature?

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Where is Boomer Lake Park in Stillwater, OK?

Canada Goose Landing
Canada Goose Landing | Source
Mallards | Source
Green Heron
Green Heron | Source
Spider Web in Fog
Spider Web in Fog | Source

© 2014 Deb Hirt


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    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      teaches, you are so right. It won't be long, fortunately.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      We had a juvenile mourning dove in our front yard tree and it was very comfortable walking just inches from where we stood. It's a good thing their natural instinct kicks in because I can see the danger of trusting all people.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, ChitrangadaSharan! There are so many things…especially what seems that animals are sentient beings, which has really been overlooked or ignored for quite some time. As an example, why would a bear rescue a drowning crow?

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Great informative hub about birds! As always your pictures are beautiful.

      I had no idea about how birds feel in the Fog.

      Great article and voted up!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Alicia. I have been experimenting with a few things in order to make people more knowledgeable about what they can do to help wildlife proliferate.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very interesting report, Deb. I enjoy learning about the lake in all weathers and conditions! Your hub also contains some important information about keeping birds safe.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Many of the songbirds are moving now, per spy…the weather is very unsettled, too, and they won't have an easy time of it this year, not that they ever did, but it will be more challenging.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Faith Reaper. A lot of things can interfere with birds, including diseased fish. For an example, the Great Blue Heron can get worms from the fish that it eats. I appreciate your well wishes, and the sooner that we can get the word out, the better, for helping wildlife. I guess that makes me a serious advocate, eh?

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      I loved your story about the foggy day, how interesting! Thank you for sharing.

      I did not know that the Mourning Doves were one of the most common birds in America. I do hope the Great Blue Heron is okay. I never thought about fishing line catching on birds. It is good to be mindful of such to protect wildlife.

      Voted up ++++ and away

      Look forward to next week and hope you have a lovely week ahead on Boomer Lake

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      The wrens must be migrating, too. They have the habit of feasting on the chickery seeds in front of our picture window each year about this time

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Nell! Yes, I hope that you get to narrow down what kind of new bird is in the area. Keep your camera at the ready in case it decides to appear.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      Sounds like your foggy walk was amazing! lol! we have a new bird call, it seems to get going around sunset, just outside my window, I have never heard it before, I would love to know what it is, but he is a noisy little thing! lol! wonderful info and photos as always, nell

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Johan! My pleasure. How are your penguins faring?

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Mel, I would love to hear what you have to say about birds. I'll bet you've had a run-in with the mockingbird more than once...

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      That's right, Kaili. There are a number of different kinds of doves all over the world. It would amaze you, as it has me.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Dave. There are lots of hazards for many animals, including us. Look at the plastic islands that we have in the ocean. That really sickens me. I am not surprised that these coastal birds are in decline in your area due to global warming. Their food sources are going north.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You bet, Jill. I have actually done it before, and it is empowering,in a way. They behave naturally.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      There are so many interesting things out there, Peg. Been doing a LOT of reading lately…did you know that there are even birds out there who taste bad because of what they eat?

    • Johan Smulders profile image

      Johan Smulders 3 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Interesting info and great photos as usual-thanks for another great blog.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 3 years ago from San Diego California

      Great pics as usual. I was surprised about the Mourning Dove population, because they seem to have declined drastically in our area. I was thinking the newly arrived Eurasian Collared Dove is pushing them out of their habitat, but I am glad to hear you say they are doing well, because I love that friendly little bird. By the way, you may have competition soon because I am contemplating launching a series of hubs about birds from a postal perspective. Of course you have nothing to fear from me because I could never take the lovely photos you do. Great hub

    • Kaili Bisson profile image

      Kaili Bisson 3 years ago from Canada

      As always Deb your photos are just wonderful. I love doves. They perch on my neighbors roof every morning and coo away. It always makes me sad when I see just one...

      And your message about plastic and fishing lines etc. is a good one. We can all help the animals.

    • D.A.L. profile image

      Dave 3 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Hi Deb, Fishing lines are the cause of many distressful sights on our waterways also. Swans Particularly seem vulnerable to getting entangled. A new survey over here show that a number of wading birds that overwinter on our coasts are in decline. My favourite picture this week is the Green heron once again. Great and informative read as always.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 3 years ago from United States

      What glorious pictures and a fun monologue to boot. Sounds like you enjoyed being invisible to the birds that foggy morning!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Deb, this is another beautiful capture of the lovely creatures that share our planet. Sad to read about the Egret and the fishing line. Your advice about picking up stray fishing line and plastic trash is so useful.

      We have Mourning Doves here in Texas. Their call is truly mournful and eerie. I loved that picture of the Egret chicks in their nest with the egg. Wow.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, per spy. I was not sure about the area getting its name, so I looked it up. It seems to be legends about the "still water" in Stillwater Creek. A second legend states that cattlemen driving herds from Texas to railways back east always found water "still there". Another legends said that the several local Indian tribes named it because the water is always still. I like your query about stills!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Birds shouldn't be too hungry this time of year, unless they are migrants, which you will get in droves. If you have to feed birds, in your opinion, seeds and fruit are the best options. I've been trying to get a trash receptacle at the Northern Reaches for a good year. Since they removed the recycling dumpsters a year ago, trash has been strewn everywhere by the boaters and fisherfolk. I've spoken to the neighborhood folk, who ail lean on the city for me. Sadly, this is the purest area for birds, but actually is not in the park, so I must do my best to preserve it. If trash ends up in the water, it will be the worst thing for this location.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Great Hub (as usual), but I am still waiting for the answer to my question: "aviannovice - did your town's name come from the water being still, or from the still being water?"

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      What fantastic shots! I love them. The blue heron just may be becoming my favorite bird but any that flashes me the right wing just wins my heart! lol Sorry to hear about your injured one. I will be sure to pick up and trash anything I see like that around the ponds and lakes near me. Thanks for the food for thought!

      I had a tiny sparrow come begging for crumbs today on my picnic; have never seen a bird do that before and I was sure throwing a piece of bread would scare it away but it went right for it without any fright.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Kevin. You didn't do anything wrong, I'm sure. When I saw the article, it gave me the two most prolific. Perhaps the European Starling was an afterthought, as it is not native? Thanks for the daring, as it will get the word out about the hazards for our animals and birds.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      This was interesting Deb, but when I looked at the site for "Most Abundant Birds in US", unless I did something wrong, I only saw one more - the starling. That is a shame about the heron and the fishing line. You are right. people should be more careful, many birds are affected by this. I voted this up and shared it.


    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Be careful, Billy. I'm looking up all the time with my camera around my neck attached to a fully extended tripod...

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You should join my birding tour, Leslie. Wait until I'm an ornithologist…(grin)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well I'll be darned. Now I'll be looking up all the time on walks. Hope I don't trip. :)

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 3 years ago

      Canadian Goosette - comin' in for a landing! lol

      Awesome info Deb. I've learned a ton about birds from you.

      Who knew...


    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You sure do, Billy. They are on the phone/electrical wires much of the time.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I didn't know that about the Mourning Doves. Do we even have them in western Washington? If we do I doubt I've ever seen one....very interesting. Now robins we have in great numbers.


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