Friday, September 23, 2016

Feathers on Friday for 9/23

Black-capped Chickadee and Some More 

Happy Friday and the start of fall!  This chickadee came to visit our deck a few weeks ago.  He was fluffing his feathers when I got this shot.  Here are a few other recent visitors to my yard.   

Here is some "Fur" on Friday!  This mom and her fawn have been visiting my yard a lot lately.  

Stick bugs are just so cool!  It is just so amazing how much they look like a stick.  Happy Birding and enjoy the first official fall weekend.

Don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.  

More Feathers on Friday Posts:

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A Nature Walk

Lewis A. Swyer Preserve at Mill Creek

I recently made two visits to the Lewis A. Swyer Preserve in Stuyvesant, NY.  The preserve has a 1/2 mile boardwalk that starts on the side of route 9J and ends close to the Hudson River.  The Nature Conservancy owns the preserve and it is home to a rare freshwater tidal swamp.  

The boardwalk made the trek easy and also helps to protect the plant-life from being trampled.

On both of my trips, I was greeted by a doe and her fawn.  I believe it was the same two each time.  

A little ways down the trail on my second visit, I spotted a large Snapping Turtle sunning itself on a log.

The birds were numerous and very active on both visits like this Eastern Wood Pee-wee.  

There were many Catbirds "meowing" during both visits.  

Red-wing Blackbird perched near the Hudson River.  

Red-eyed Vireo( I think) foraging in the trees. 

A Song Sparrow(I think) perched near Mill Creek.  

 An Eastern Kingbird perched by the water.  

There is an observation tower at the end of the trail to get a good look of the Hudson River.  I heard Bald Eagles chattering nearby and I saw other water birds like gulls, herons, ducks flying near the Hudson River.  

A tugboat went by during one of my visits.  

A Double-crested Cormorant was taking a nap on a log on Mill Creek on my walk back.  He woke up to give me a good look of him.  

For more information on the Nature Conservancy and areas they protect like this preserve click here.   
Happy Birding and enjoy the great fall weather.  

Thursday, September 8, 2016

A Little Known Mimic

The Blue Jay

Birds are famously known as mimics but most think of Macaws, Parrots, and Mockingbirds.  Another one might be in your backyard and you didn't even know it.  The Blue Jay is part of crow family and like it's big cousin, it also is a pretty good mimic.  The Blue Jays in my yard have tricked me a number of times and their favorite mimic call is...

The Red-shouldered Hawks are their favorite mimic call in my yard.  They have caught me a number of times looking for a hawk when I see a flash of blue in the direction of the call.  It makes a lot of sense for the Blue Jays to mimic very loud, territorial hawks that sounds the alarm if any other predators(including me) are in their territory.  Red-shouldered Hawks don't typically go after Blue Jays but other predators like Cooper's Hawk do.  So, It is probably a little trick to stay alive.  

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Could this be the same one?

I stopped by one of the Bald Eagle nests this weekend to see if there was any eagle activity.  I wasn't disappointed by what I found.  There was at least 4 juvenile/subadult eagles in the area fishing in the river and fighting with each other.   Included in the group was the above first year.   First-years Bald Eagle often get confused with Golden Eagles because of their almost all brown look.  The heavy bill of the Bald Eagle helps to identify them.  See my Which is Which? post for more and the Which is Which?-answers here.

Could this be the same eagle that I watched last season and fledged from the nearby nest?  It is tough to say(without a band) for sure but fledged Bald Eagles, even after the adults leave, often stay in the area for a time during the summer/fall.  Before reaching adulthood, young eagles are usually very nomadic.  Do you blame them?  They have this new skill of flying and they use it to travel a lot before settling down in adulthood.  I guess they have that in common with humans in their late teens and early twenties. 

Read more here and about the drama at this nest during the last breeding season.  Happy fall and birding!  Don't forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.