Friday, May 8, 2009

Birds- Did we see 'em?

With all the posts about the hilarity and humor of last week, you might think we forgot to look at birds during the New River Birding and Nature Festival. Nope, we got 'em! Have a peek.

First, sparrows, 'cuz you gotta love the Little Brown Birds:

White-throated Sparrow

Lincoln's Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

Eastern Towhee, female
Yes, she's a sparrow, too

Next, the warblers. Small, fast, hard to shoot, and very colorful (mostly):

Blackburnian Warbler

Let's see that one again.
Blackburnian Warbler,
full frontal bird

Black-throated Green Warbler

also a warbler, tho it looks like a thrush to me

And, we saw bird nests, some of them occupied, some not.

surely the most elaborate Carolina Wren nest ever
The Meadows House at Opossum Creek

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher in a lichen-covered home
also at Opossum Creek

4 eggs of an Eastern Towhee,
along the roadside on the Muddlety trip

an annoyed Broad-winged hawk,
giving us the hairy eyeball on our High Country tour

Finally, my favorite bird photo of the week:
Indigo Bunting, male
Click to enlarge. I double-dog dare you.

Everybody, breathe in the blue. Breathe out, breathe in, breathe out. How can you not be made whole by this incredible color?


Beth said...

I have made this photo of the indigo bunting my screensaver at work. Breathe in, breathe out...


Heron said...

Oh, My ! The "Indiglow" Bunting is some kind of wonderful. Thanks !

Mary said...

Kathi, you win the prize! Your bird shots are fantastic. I still stare at that shade of blue. Beeyouteeful.

Susan Gets Native said...

Oh, yeah. We went to see....birds.

word verification: repulled.
"Susan just couldn't help herself. She felt repulled to W. Va."

Lynne said...

Oh yeah...there WERE birds!

word verif: uphound

holly said...

Ok bird people. Re the nest of sparrows in the hanging basket on our porch (they have the penthouse suite). My son - who has been consumed with curiosity about the birds - gently picked up the basket to look at them. Please note: I have TOLD him not to!!!

The birds flipped and flapped everywhere. As in, out of the nest. We see 2 of them, the other is hidden somewhere. They can kind of get off the ground and move a foot or two forward before hitting ground again. If there is an easy way to catch them (and put them back in the nest), please let me know. When we get near them, they panic and flap and stagger along. And, is that *what* we should do? Or are they near enough to being out and should we just leave 'em alone? Ethan is very upset and has tears in his eyes (and he's a big, brawny 17 year old!) and I told him I knew just the people to ask. Will do whatever you guys say is best.

KatDoc said...

Beth, Heron, Mary: Thanks for the compliments, but the Indigo Bunting is the one who deserves them; I just held the camera and pushed the button. He made all the gorgeous color!

Holly & Ethan: You can look into bird nests, and even touch the little ones (gently!) without causing any problems, right up to the point at which they are about the fledge (leave the nest.) At that time, when you get too close, they explode out of the nest like little balls of fluffy popcorn. This is the stage you just witnessed.

You cannot get them to stay in the nest now, even if you could catch them, which it is highly unlikely. For better or worse, they are out in the world now.

Most birds tend to fledge before they can fly really well - think of young robins hopping around on the ground. (Hummingbirds, swifts, & swallows are the exceptions.) Back off and leave them alone. They will group up and find a place to hide, usually in a low bush, where the parents will find them and feed them till they can fly better.

Keep all cats indoors during this critical time, and monitor your dogs closely. You didn't cause any horrible damage; even if they hadn't fledged a bit early, this is the most difficult time of a bird's life, and a large percentage of newly fledged young don't survive it, so don't beat yourself up too much.

Next time you have a nest, observe from a distance if you aren't sure of the age of the young. If their eyes are opened and they seem to have most of their feathers, they are at the "exploding popcorn ball" stage - then, stay far away!

Luv ya,


holly-the-person said...

Kathi, thank you. Ethan thanks you. He actually left a neighborhood football game to come in and see if we'd gotten an answer and what should we do? He is relieved, so he says "Basically, I just maybe, kinda, speeded things up a little?"

We will watch the dogs closely, our cats are totally indoors, although I can't be responsible for any strays around! We have monitored the nest yearly, over and over again, but we would always stand on a stepstool and just peer into the nest. Ethan happened to take it off the hook one day and said 'There are eggs!' *I* say, then look from the stool but don't take it off the hook anymore. Yanno how kids are though...and he says he hadn't looked for a few days and never dreamed they'd gotten that big, that fast. He also says yeah, explosion is a pretty good description as his heart almost stopped when it happened. He came running in saying they just POPPED EVERYWHERE!

Anyway, not to ramble. I told him I knew just where I could go to get advice. But I think he feels much better now. Thank you!!

Bird Girl said...

I'm still reeling over that last picture - the Indigo bunting at 100% and crystal clear and gorgeous detail - my hearth doth pant!!!
Wow, how neat to see all the different nests - I did see the Carolina wren nest and the cardinal nest - but would have LOVED to see the gnatcatcher nest and the broadwing hawk nest - lucky girl!!! You got some awesome shots!!!

Bird Girl said...

Oh, I almost forgot to thank you for the info about Paulownia! I am such a dipstick - I probably had that written down on one of the many notes I can't find ;-)

dAwN said...

I did the double dog detail!

Kathiesbirds said...

KatDoc, I love your final comment about the blue of the indigo bunting. It is well with my soul.