Saturday, May 2, 2009


May is one of my favorite months of the year. For a birder in this part of the country it is a very exciting time of the year. Birds that are going to nest in the area begin to arrive and set up territories. Some birds simply migrate through the area and others are year round residents. There's something for everybody.

The local Raven nestlings are doing just fine. Their feathers continue to grow in and their vision seems to be improving as their eyes develop.

Blue-headed Vireos have been here a while now. It's not unusual to spot them up here when there are still patches of snow on the ground. The first one that I found this year was on April 10 and their numbers have been increasing since then as 6 of them were spotted today.

An Osprey was spotted migrating through the area.

We are fortunate to have a lot of flowing water up here on the state land. This Louisiana Waterthrush was spotted looking for aquatic insects in a stream. Sometimes they can be hard to get a decent look at so I was fortunate to find this one right out in the open.

This Chestnut-sided Warbler seems to be finding plenty to eat. These are probably one of the most numerous species of warblers found here in Partridge Run.

A Spotted Sandpiper was found on one of the water control structures that the DEC built years ago to create one of the ponds. They normally don't stick around in this area so we'll call this one a migrant also.

Solitary Sandpipers are also migrating through the area. This one was breaking tradition as it was joined by another one. Not that unusual.

Another Louisiana Waterthrush was found in a rocky creek. This bird has been in this area for a couple of weeks now singing away. Nothing says spring like the song of a waterthrush.

Always a crowd pleaser, this Black-throated Blue Warbler was singing and setting up territory in an area that they nest every year.

This bird here is a classic example of "if you build it, they will come". Those chestnut streaks on it's back give away it's identity.

A few years ago the DEC cleared an area and left some rows of underbrush behind. They mow between the rows each year and it has created exactly the habitat that these birds are looking for. This Prairie Warbler has set up a territory right in the middle of it.

This is one of the few that I have ever seen on the state land and I really enjoyed hearing it's unique song.

My own nickname for the Prairie Warbler is "the turbo bird". When I worked down at the quarry I realized that it's song sounds exactly like the sound that the turbochargers on a Caterpillar 992G loader make when it is put under full load. I'm sure you all have heard that sound... Right? O.K. maybe I was reaching a bit on that one.

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