Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Snowy Owl News
Major things are happening with Snowy Owls this year. It is irruptive, yes, but mainly because of a lack of rodents. And why is that? As of nearly one month ago these birds have been seen as far south as Missouri and Kansas, which is VERY rare. Here’s the full story:
Federal Enforcement Comes For Birds and Wind Power
Federal enforcement is now occurring for wind turbine companies killing birds. This is a major milestone for those of us that have been fighting for the lives of birds for decades. Read more at:
- First Prosecution of Wind Company for Killing Birds
The Department of Justice today announced a settlement on the prosecution of Duke Energy's wind developments in Wyoming in connection with the deaths of 14 Golden Eagles and 149 other protected birds, amounting to $1 million in fines and mitigation a
The Owl Whisperer
How can owls hunt and capture their prey in near silence? Learn exactly how this fascinating phenomenon means so much to the well being of our avian friends.
European Bird Migration Delayed
Migration is being delayed in Europe, which has a lot to do with the warm weather. Less birds are moving, so birds that are normally seen in one part of Europe during this time of year don’t have the need to move, as their bodies are telling them that they don’t need to go. Will this become worldwide? Only time will tell. Learn more at
- BBC Nature - Autumn's birds delay migration
Geese, ducks and swans that spend winter in the wetlands of Northern Europe are delaying their migration south, say scientists.
Parrot Smuggling in Mexico
Parrot smuggling in Mexico fell to a 17-year low. There were also more animals involved, which helps eradicate disease, damage habitat, loss of species, mortality, and the dangers of having the animal in society. Learn more through knowledge:
The Week's Notable News
This was a rather fruitful and wonderful week. Even though it was colder than normal here, it was the same everywhere. Birds are coming from the northern climes to make this one of the most irruptive years in a long time, due to all the snow and lack of food. Raptors have even removed themselves from their normal areas, especially the Snowy Owl, who has come as far south as Chicago and northern Missouri, but that is old information. If you have never seen this owl, a good place to find them is at airports. They seem to enjoy the comforts of the orange cones found there. Do go out and explore, as many, many birds are on the move, and chances are very good that you’ll see a number of winged wonders that you don’t normally see if you’re studious. Now, without further adieu, I bring you the enriching life and magnificence of Boomer Lake.
Ducks Arriving Early Bears Watching
This week, the ducks are early, and as I predicted over the summer, with al the rainfall that has come our way, it has been for naught. Several ducks and grebes are here, on the early side of the season. Yesterday, I spied the lovely Red-breasted Merganser. This is not a rarity to the region, but the Eared Grebe is a bit more uncommon. Three of them stopped off for a couple of days, and even though I managed to get several shots, none of them are very good. Both days were very cloudy and the dark water didn’t help, but as you can note from the photo, they are still easily recognizable. They were obviously ravenous, as they fished steadily for the entire two days that they were here. They are headed for all points south, and I am pleased that they chose Boomer Lake for a stopover.
The Ruddy Duck population is steadily increasing, and before you know it, the males will be sporting that striking breeding plumage. Breeding males have a bright blue bill, and are the only stiff tailed ducks that we have. They are small and chunky, and are completely helpless on land, so the tend to remain in the water for their own safety, in large groups.
The female Lesser Scaups are here in small numbers, but I have not noticed any males yet. That could well be due to the placement of the sun, but if they aren’t here, which I really doubt, they will be soon.
A notable for today is the Belted Kingfisher. I spotted the female earlier this morning, and shockingly, she was silent, which tells me that we haven’t yet reached breeding season, but it is not far away. Generally, this kingfisher tends to prefer the more quiet areas of the Northern Reaches, and they are rather vocal. This was the first opportunity that I had to capture this beautiful bird with my 500mm lens, and that certainly made a big difference over last year’s shots with the 300mm.
Bald Eagle Sighted!
We also had the Bald Eagle here this morning, most likely due to the large influx of ducks. This is most likely one of the Sooner Lake pair, who graced us a number of times for both breakfast and dinner last year. Our eagles in this area prefer to feast on fish, but they will not turn up their noses to duck. By the time I was able to home in on the eagle, it was really too far for me to obtain a good shot. However, I will hope for the best, and be diligent in my quest to obtain a proper photo for my readers.
Dark-eyed Juncos on the Scene
The Dark-eyed Juncos, our little winter birds, are coming in, and many of them have made it here safe and sound. As soon as the weather cools down, they arrive here to enjoy the prolific weed seeds and rapidly dart about as rapidly as they can, making it quite a chore for me to record their presence for you. I promise, I will do my best.
At this time, these are the highlights of the happenings at the lake. Keep your eyes to the ground, and your head in the clouds. Most likely next week, we will discuss the arrival of more ducks, and perhaps even have a few new finds for you. Remember to keep your feeders filled, especially if you are in the frozen tundra of the northern areas. Birds rely on you food their food supplies in trying weather. They also need water, too, so please keep that in mind, too.
Have You Noticed Birds That You Have Never Seen Before in Your Area?
Remember that all pictures(images owned by Deb Hirt) sold are used to benefit wildlife. Half of the $25 cost for an 8x10 is donated to the Audubon Society to further their continuing support to save birds.
© 2013 Deb Hirt