Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Wednesday August 6, 2014
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:
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.
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?
- Back on the Rock—Many Bird Species Are Returning To Alcatraz | Blog | eNature
When the Spanish explorer Don Juan Manual Ayala visited San Francisco Bay in 1775, the island we now call Alcatraz was little more than a mound of sandstone whitened by the droppings of many generations of seabirds.
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?
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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Where is Boomer Lake Park in Stillwater, OK?
© 2014 Deb Hirt