Tag: ducks

Happy World Migratory Bird Day!! Though it is really every day…..

So today is World Migratory Bird Day–at least in the US and Canada. It is celebrated on the second Saturday in May, though if you live in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central or South America it is celebrated on the second Saturday in October.

I decided to look through all the pictures that I have taken over the past two years (give or take six months) and make a collage of all the migratory birds that have passed through the central part of Oklahoma.

So far I have managed to spot 28 different birds.

Those birds include (going from top left to bottom right):

The great (or common) egret, the ruby-throated hummingbird, the yellow-rump warbler, the eastern kingbird, the green heron, the western kingbird, the turkey vulture, and the scissor-tailed flycatcher.

The blue-winged teal, the bufflehead, the black-crowned night heron, the Baltimore oriole, the white-crowned sparrow, and the Mississippi kite.

The laughing gull, the yellow warbler, the purple martin, the spotted sandpiper, the canvasback, the dark-eyed junco, and the white pelican.

The double-crested cormorant, the cedar waxwing, the common loon, the osprey, the ring-billed gull, the northern shoveler, and the sharp-shinned hawk.

Plus the one that I somehow forgot to add to the collage: the cliff swallow.

Cliff swallows flying over Boomer Lake

So, technically then the number of migratory species seen is actually at 29.

Several of these birds already have their own page under the bird tab, and those that don’t will be getting their pages added throughout the year.

I’ve decided that a goal for the late spring/summer season is to see how many other songbirds I can spot at Boomer Lake, and a goal for the fall/winter is to get up there earlier in the day and see how many other duck species I can spot that are only stopping briefly during their migration to their winter grounds.

Did you know that the Oklahoma state bird is only present in the state during late spring to early fall? Do you know what the state bird of Oklahoma is (hint–it’s within the collage)?

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Photography Challenge Day 191: The birds…….

The winners of today’s photography challenge are the birds. Since today was a holiday (no work, :-)) that meant I had the time to go for another zen walk around Boomer Lake this morning. I managed to get several pictures that I will be sharing this week (in addition to other pictures I managed to get over the weekend).

Ducks, egrets, and an heron…oh, my

But today’s picture is of a couple of egrets, some ducks, and a heron (it almost makes me want to think of a bad, corny joke—but I’m currently too tired to do so). Truthfully, I wasn’t expecting the two in the background (the second egret and great blue heron), as I was focused more on the egret and ducks in the foreground.

Closer look at the one egret, and more ducks joined the picture.

As migration season kicks off, the limbs of the different submerged trees become prime spots to both fish from, and just generally sit on—so they’re usually always have something sitting on them—be it egret, heron, or cormorant (and sometimes the terns and gulls).

Currently the cormorants haven’t started migrating though (they should be here within probably two months or so—just as the egrets move further south), so the limbs will be having either egrets or herons sitting on them.

I’m going to have to start keeping a tally record and see who sits on the various branches and logs the most during my walks–the great blue herons or the common egret.

For today–I’d have the say the egrets were on four branches/logs and the herons were on two branches/logs.

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Migrating Northern Shovelers: Photography Challenge Day 35

Four male Northern Shovelers and a single female.

Today’s science Sunday post is brought to you by the migrating northern shoveler (Anas clypeata).

I saw several of these ducks over the weekend while I was walking at Boomer Lake, and was able to get decent pictures of them today. These birds winter in the southern states (especially along the coasts), migrate through the Midwest and summer in the northern states and up into Canada and Alaska. Theses ducks can also be found throughout Europe and Asia (as they breed in the northern areas), and they winter south of the border (where it’s warm—southern Europe, Africa, India, southeast Asia, Central & northern South America).

Though it is hard to tell from the picture, but those dark heads on the ducks with the white bodies are actually a green color. I didn’t have my large zoom lense on me to really get a close up picture of them. But you can see the red patch on the sides of the four males—all of which are trying to court the same female duck for the year.

Some cool facts about the northern shoveler:

Their bills are big (~2.5 inches long) and shaped like a shovel (hence the name). The bill also contains fine hair projections all along the edges that act as a sieve, allowing them to filter out tiny crustaceans, aquatic invertebrates, and seeds from the water.

They are yearly monogamous birds. They form bonds on the wintering grounds and then stay together until it’s time to return to the wintering grounds.

There is usually a clutch of 9-12 eggs that are overseen by the female only for about three to four weeks. The mother will lead them to the water and keep them close to cover of the marsh vegetation, and the young are capable of flight somewhere between fifty-two and sixty days after hatching.

Resources:

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Shoveler/overview

https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/northern-shoveler

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