Tag Archives: Today’s Feathered Friend

~ Today’s Feathered Friend-Western Sandpiper~

 

Western Sandpiper

 

Western Sandpiper

A FewFacts:

`Black, relatively long sharp-pointed bill
`Black legs
`Contrasting reddish-brown markings on shoulder
`Reddish brown on crown and ear patch
`Feeds on crustaceans, mollusks, worms and aquatic insects
`Nests on moist tundra or mossy slopes

Fishing
Fishing
Western Sandpiper Art
Western Sandpiper Art

New one! – #372

 

Photos taken at Bullards Beach State Park, Bandon, Oregon

 

Bullards Beach State Park
Bullards Beach State Park

 Joining Charlotte at Prairie Birder at http://prairiebirder.wordpress.com

 

~Today’s Feathered Friend – silky-tailed songbirds~

 

Cedars have velvety chests of gold,

and crests fitting of a king,

their colors so prominent and bold.

~

While wearing a black facial mask,

and smiling, it appears,

stealing berries their task.

~

Bright as the sun, a tail dipped in yellow,

distinguished with age,

are these fellows.

~

Among the ladies, they are measured,

 for their waxy, red, wing tip,

and then granted pleasure.

 

 

Cedar Waxwing
Cedar Waxwing

 

IMG_0746
A Cedar Waxwing sitting in an Oak Tree

 

Gregarious by nature
Gregarious by nature

 

IMG_0740
Sun-streaked in beauty

~

a charming, courtship ritual they exhibit,

while sitting on the branch of a tree,

passing a cherry, insect or petal of a flower,

back and forth to each other,

until the gift is accepted, freely

~

A pool party
A pool party!

 

We have never seen so many Cedar Waxwings in one location. It was fun watching them come in for a drink. In all the photos I captured of them drinking, there was always one Cedar preforming the task of “lookout”. Photos taken in April 2014 in South Llano State Park, Junction, Texas. I was using my Canon 70D with Canon EF 75-300mm 1:4-5.6 lens.

 

Added to my Birding Life List

on o6/09/87

Loveland, Colorado

(with Ann Means, my birding friend

and my Mom who came for a visit [special])

 

Sharing with: Wild Bird Wednesday

http://paying-ready-attention-gallery.blogspot.com

~

Prairie Birder

http://prairiebirder.wordpress.com

 

 

~Today’s Feathered Friend-Color me Indigo~

A Tanka

~

unique in color,

depending on how the sun,

shines its light on him,

a deep blue to purple sheen,

is how seen, his name Bunting

~

What a beautiful bird!
What a beautiful little bird measuring only 5 1/4 to 5 3/4 inches

 

 Today’s Feathered Friend:

Indigo Bunting

 

Male:

`deep-colored bright blue overall (breeding plumage)

`only North American small finch to appear blue all over

`blue-purple head

`dark blue to black lores

`blue edging to blackish wings and tail

`dark gray conical bill

Female:

`plain, but beautiful brown

`two tawny buff wing bars

`short, gray, conical bill

`blue-edged feathers on wings and tail

Facts:

`populations are expanding with the creation of disturbed habitat after logging, highway and power line    construction and from farmland abandonment (yeah to expanding)

`likes forest edges, roadsides, hedges, dry brush lands, orchards, open woods, creeks and rivers

`eats grasshoppers, beetles, weevils, aphids, cicadas, cankerworms, span worms, flies, dandelion seeds, aster, thistle, grasses, grains, berries and more

`nests in raspberry and other shrubs

`song is a sweet-sweet, where-where, here-here, see-it/see-it (pretty melody)

`many are killed, while migrating at night, striking power lines and tall buildings (wind farms next?)

`neotropical migrant, flight speed measured at 20 m.p.h

`common hosts to cowbird parasitism 😦

 

Indigo Bunting taking a bath
Deep blue with purple sheen on head

 

Splish-Splash I'am taking a bath
“Splish-Splash I’am taking a bath”

 

**If  you want to learn more about the Indigo Bunting, please go to The Audubon Society Encyclopedia of North American Birds, Smithsonian Handbooks, Birds of North America and Stokes Field Guide to Birds. I used these sources for my information.

Artsy background highlighting a beautiful Indigo Bunting
Artsy background highlighting a beautiful Indigo Bunting (I played with the background in this photo.)

 

Added to my Birding Life List

on o7/12/88

Sky Rocket Road, Loveland, Colorado

(with my amazing birding mentor- Ann Means)

 

 Photos taken at South Llano River State Park in April of 2014 while sitting in a bird blind. I was using my Canon 70D with Canon EF 75-300mm 1:4-5.6 lens (no stabilization).

 

 

Links:

Paying-Ready-Attention (Wild Bird Wednesday)

http://paying-ready-attention-gallery.blogspot.com

Prairie Birder (Feathers on Friday)

http://prairiebirder.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~Today’s Feathered Friend-Color Me a Rosy Red~

 

A Haiku

~

large bright yellow bill

color me a rosy red

my name, Tanager

~

Summer Tanager eyeing  a suet feeder
Summer Tanager eyeing a suet feeder

 

Figuring it out!
Figuring it out!

 

Imitation
Water Fall Imitation

 

Today’s Feathered Friend:

Summer Tanager

Male:

`Seven and three-quarters inches in length

`Bright rosy red overall – all year

`Large yellowish bill (more yellow during breeding season)

`Darker red wings and tail

Female:

`Yellowish below, slightly darker above

`Yellowish bill

`Olive-green upper parts

`Orange-yellow under parts

Facts:

`Tanager is from language of Tupi Indians of Amazon region, who called these brightly colored tree-drelling birds tangaras

`Most common North American tanager in its range – eastern and southern United States

`Song is Robin like and is a repeated Pick-a-Tuck

`Eats mostly bees and wasps and known to catch them right out of the air

`Habitat: Pine Oak woods, willows and cottonwoods, along streams

`Likes peanut butter and cornmeal from your feeder

~Neotropical migrant

~Vulnerable to habitat loss and forest fragmentation

`Host to Cowbirds, uncommon {yeah}

`Usually monogamous and many appear to remain in pairs all year

`Information taken from several sources including: Stokes Field Guide to Birds and Smithsonian Handbook Birds of North America, NGS Birds of North America

 

Going to get a cool drink of water
Going to get a cool drink of water

 

A beautiful Summer Tanager
A beautiful male Summer Tanager

 

Large Yellowish Bill
Large Yellowish Bill

While camping at South Llano State Park in April of 2014, I captured these photos while sitting in a bird blind. It was a thrill to see this beautiful Summer Tanager up close. I also saw the female, but didn’t manage to capture her with my camera. She was pretty shy!

The Field Sparrow told me about this water slide
“The Field Sparrow told me about this water slide”

 

He was right: "This is fun!"
“He was right this is fun!”

 

~

Added to my Birding Life List in April, 2007

at Dead Horse Ranch State Park

Cottonwood, Arizona

~

 My Birding Life List – 366

 

Links:

Paying-Ready-Attention (Wild Bird Wednesday)

http://paying-ready-attention-gallery.blogspot.com

Prairie Birder (Feathers on Friday)

http://prairiebirder.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

~Friday’s Feathered Friend-Orchard Oriole~

This was my first sighting of the Orchard Oriole
This was my first sighting of the Orchard Oriole

 

~

Added to my Birding Life List on April 13, 2014

South Llano State Park

Junction, Texas

~

 

Since a lot of birders are talking about the Orioles and their migration, I thought I would post my Friday’s Feathered Friend on the Orchard Oriole. It was fun seeing this bird for the first time a few weeks ago.

I will say, as everyone is pointing out, its time to put your Oriole feeders out; it is easy to do. Cut a few oranges in half and place some grape jelly in a dish and you might have a beautiful Oriole in your yard. Here in Colorful Colorado we have the Bullock’s Oriole.

Orchard Oriole
Orchard Oriole

Orchard Oriole:

Male:

`small Oriole  6-7.75 in length

`black-hood, back and wings

`burnt-orange underparts

`single-white wing bar

`white-edged flight feathers on wings

`chestnut underparts

`chestnut rump and shoulders

`black-tail with narrow white tips

Female:

`olive upperparts

`yellowish underparts

`dusky wings with two white wing bard

 

Their song sounds like this:

look here, what cheer, wee yo, what cheer, whip yo, what wheer

I happy bird I would say!

Population status: common to fairly common in open woodland, farmlands, scrub-mesquite, shade trees and orchards. Declining in parts of western range. They eat fruit and nectar.

Conservation: Neotropical migrant, Common host to cowbird parasitism (sad)

 

  • **information above taken from Smithsonian handbooks, Birds of North America**

 

~

Enjoy Birdwatching!

It can be entertaining as well as educational!

~

 

~Friday’s Feathered Friend – Killdeer~

 

Friday’s Feathered Friend

 

Killdeer Showy wings and tail
Killdeer
Showy wings and tail

~

Killdeer added to my Birding Life List in April of 1986

(Loveland, CO)

~

Killdeer: 

`largest of the ringed plovers and the only double-banded plover

`probably the most familiar shorebird in North America

`in the summer it is found across (almost) the entire continent south of the tundra

`two black bands across chest

`red eye ring

`slim black bill

`bright rufous-orange rump and upper tail coverts

`white underparts

`long-pointed wings with long white stripe

`loud cry sounding like, kill-dee or kill-deear

`monogamous, solitary nester, often returns to same mate and breeding site

`nests on open ground

`juveniles are similar in appearance, but have only one black band across the chest

  • **information above taken from Smithsonian handbooks, Birds of North America**

 

On April 10th we arrived in Kerrville, Texas staying for three nights at the Buckhorn Lake Resort. Howard and I were out walking the doggies and we heard then spotted a pair of Killdeer. After a few minutes of watching them we discovered they had three babies. These little guys were running all over the place and their parents were going crazy trying to keep track of them. I read that the babies feed themselves, but the parents tend to them. They will fly at around 25 days old.

I was so disappointed I didn’t have my camera with me. I ran back to the coach, picked up my camera and ran back to take a few shots of the babies. Well, I don’t know where they went, but I never did spot them again.

However, I did capture one of the parents faking injury to lure me away from the babies. It was amazing to watch this display. I had only seen this performed once before by a Nighthawk.

I didn’t want to disturb the family too much so I stayed well back from them.

Under behavior in one of my bird books it states the following about this fake injury display and it is very actuate.

Leads intruders away from nest and young with “broken wing” act, rapid calls, one or both wings dragging, tail spread, and often limping or listing to one side.

Killdeer, pretending to be hurt to lure me away from their young
Killdeer, pretending to be hurt to lure me away from young

 

"Come after me, can't you see I have a broken wing!"
“Come after me, can’t you see I have a broken wing!”

 

Tail spread with left wing dragging
Tail spread with left wing dragging

 

Notice the beautiful red eye ring
Notice the beautiful red eye ring

 

They are so well camouflaged
They are so well camouflaged

~

Enjoy Birdwatching!

It can be entertaining as well as educational!

~

 

~Friday’s Feathered Friend – Pileated Woodpecker~

 

The Pileated Woodpecker red crest extending from forehead to nape, large black bill, scarlet mustache, white chin, white line from base of bill crosses face to back of neck and extends down neck to side and has a solid black back.

~

Added to my Birding Life List on 09/21/98

(Beach Number Four, Washington)

~

Pileated Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker (listening to me as I try to get closer to him)

 

Pileated Woodpeckers:

  • drum on trees and logs to claim territory and attract a mate

  • the male roosts in the nesting cavity before the eggs are laid and afterward, incubates them there at night

  • bore deep into trees, dig on the ground and on fallen logs for food

  • eat ants, beetles and a variety of other insects, acorns, beechnuts, seeds of tree cones, other nuts and various fruits

  • are common to fairly common in the Southeast

  • vulnerable to habitat loss and forest fragmentation

  • have adapted to habitat changes

  • compete for excavated nesting cavities with European Starlings

  • **information above taken from Smithsonian handbooks, Birds of North America**
"Now you see me, now you don't!"
“Now you see me, now you don’t!” (This is how I saw him most of the time.)

 

He stopped pounding the log for a second.
He stopped pounding on the log for a second.

 

Stephen F. Austin State Park
Stephen F. Austin State Park

The photo above shows our backyard from April 6th to April 10th. This is a beautiful Texas State Park located in San Felipe, which is about 20 miles west of Katy, Texas and it is a terrific place to see birds.

While there we saw the Tufted Titmouse, Northern Mockingbird, Eastern Bluebird, Carolina Chickadee, Black Vulture, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Common Ground Dove, Wood Duck, Red-winged Blackbird, Chipping Sparrow, Carolina Wren, Mourning Dove, American Crow, Northern Cardinal and Indigo Bunting.

 

Our lovely and very green backyard for a few days.
Our lovely and very green backyard for a few days. (Look close and you can see a few Northern Cardinals.)

Notice the felled trees in the background on the right of the photo above;  this is where the Pileated was when we pulled into our site. It was a nice welcome!

 

 

Just as I am! Every Friday you may participate in Feathers on Friday at Prairie Birder.

Here is Charlotte’s Blog web-site:

http://prairiebirder.wordpress.com

This is another great Blog to learn about Birds!

~

Enjoy Birdwatching!

It can be entertaining as well as educational!

~