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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Wednesday December 4, 2013
A Canadian owl invasion? Now I’ve heard everything. Between birds being arrested and being invaded by aliens what could POSSIBLY be next?
Cornell Lab Needs your Help
Finch eye diseases are important to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Please report your findings to them via the information contained in this article:
The Linnet in the U.S.?
U.S. birders might want to consider purchasing the Crossley ID guide for Britain and Ireland. These birds aren’t just in their normal countries any more. The Linnet has been spotted in where of all places? Queens County in New York! For more on this exciting news, see:
- 10,000 Birds | The Crossley ID Guide: Britain & Ireland — A Review of the Book
Birding, blogging, conservation, and commentary
BIRDS ROCK--A Video
This is a must-see video from the American Bird Conservancy. This will enlighten, educate, and cause you to see birds in a different light. Please protect them, and keep the “wild” in wildlife.
- BIRDS ROCK! - YouTube
American Bird Conservancy and its partners have launched a new birding tourism initiative http://www.conservationbirding.org to support their growing network...
The Seasonal Influx
For Boomer Lake, December signifies many things. It is a period of solitude, tranquility, and sleep. With dormancy will come rest, and a time for future regeneration. This slumber is important for all living things, as it allows growth and a much needed stretch to allow us revitalization.
We are in a new season for wildlife, but many of our familiar birds still remain with us. Not all birds tend to migrate, even some diehards in certain species choose to remain in a year round home, like Mallards, Canada Geese, Northern Mockingbirds, and the American Robin, just to give a handful of our wonderful denizens here in central Oklahoma. For example, the robin just moves into the area neighborhoods where it tends to be a little warmer, yet others of that species will move elsewhere.
There are many striking and beautiful birds on the lake proper right now, namely the Belted Kingfisher. This young lady was here last year, and gave me many photo opportunities. She has since found herself a mate, but she’ll return with him soon enough. Patience, now patience, and we might just get pictures of them skimming the water for small fish.
The Pied-billed Grebe is a gorgeous bird, whether or not it is in breeding plumage. The grebe family is rather interesting, as they have air bladders that allow them to both raise and lower themselves in the water. This one is in the process of diving, which is how they obtain food.
This is one of my favorite ducks, the little Bufflehead. They possess almost a satiny sheen to their feathers, and are very noticeable and beautiful. They have a very distinct mating ritual, and the males are clearly very possessive of the females that they choose to seek out. Many battles have been fought, and much pride has been hurt with the male of the species, yet they choose to persevere. For additional information on the secret life of this duck, feel free to peruse this piece
- The Beautiful Little Bufflehead
Here's some knowledge about the Bufflehead, including a photo of what the ducklings look like. After viewing these photos, you will be able to recognize these gorgeous ducks, and be able to discern male from female readily.
Here is a rare treat for those of you that admire the American Goldfinch. Finches adore thistle, and I happened to locate several while feeding. These birds coexist rather peacefully wile feeding, and there is no competition for food. As a matter of fact, they travel in small flocks in order to locate food for the good of the species, a commendable attribute.
The Ruddy Ducks will soon be in breeding plumage, which is very unmistakable. The males will be sporting blue bills. They are stiff-tailed ducks, and the males also have white cheeks. Their habitat includes lakes, freshwater marshes and ponds, as well as salt bays and harbors in the winter. If you leave near these particular areas, keep watch. You’ll not be disappointed with these beautiful ducks.
The Double-crested Cormorants are still out in full force, still managing to entertain me. They are also known as shags in some parts of the country, so do become familiar with that nickname. Additionally these birds have no natural oils to keep their feathers dry, so they wil often be seen with their wet wings spread out in order to dry them off.
I saw the Canvasbacks for a couple of days, but they could have been on their way elsewhere, as it is a bit early. I expect more of them later this month, and I know I’ll not be disappointed. They are also very beautiful. The Red-breasted Mergansers don’t seem to be around any longer, and I’m also expecting the Hooded Merganser when it gets colder. These are gorgeous, and I’m very excited to obtained pictures of these wonderful ducks for you. The female always seems to have a perpetual bad hair day, but that makes her easy to locate. You’ll see what I mean soon enough.
Keep your eyes to the ground, and your head in the clouds. We’ll talk more next week. Give me a heads up on your irruptive species(birds not normally seen in your respective areas.) Oh, by the way, chances are VERY good that you might come across some Snowy Owls, even if you’re quite far south. Good luck in spotting new species, and happy birding!
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© 2013 Deb Hirt