Saturday, August 1, 2009


I'm always amazed when some refer to July and August as the "doldrums" when it comes to birding. I've always found this time of year to be quite the opposite. Let's do some simple math. A couple of birds show up in appropriate habitat, set up a breeding territory and raise a brood of offspring. Their in no hurry to migrate yet, so it stands to reason that there are more birds in a given area in the months of July and August then May or June.
The main factor that has allowed this time of the year to be labeled as "slow" is that our own lives become more involved with things such as picnics, vacations and firewood (it's actually the time of year that I try and get my wood for the winter split and stacked). Hardly seems fair. The dog-days of summer are not as birder friendly as the spring months are.

This female Common Yellowthroat brings home some tasty morsels for some hungry nestlings nearby.

This young Golden-crowned Kinglet was curious as to what I was up to.

It was a nice opportunity to snap a few pictures. Not often that they sit still for long.

No golden crown yet. That will come as the bird matures this fall.

A young Ruby-throated Hummingbird warms itself in the morning sun.

This was probably the most interesting observation of the day. It's a Canada Warbler (on left) and Nashville Warbler (right) travelling together. The nashville was a juvenile bird and was following the adult canada around. The young bird was actually making begging calls as if it was trying to get the canada to find it some food.

Its not that unusual for adult birds of one species to feed a begging fledgling of another species. Instinct is a powerful thing. At least they have matching eyerings.

And here was the surprise of the day. After some morning birding, I went home and was doing some things around the house. I heard something coming from the spruces next to my house that really caught me off guard. Jip, Jip, Jip ...... Jip, Jip, Jip. I ran to a spot where I could scan the top of the spruces from and managed to see a couple of Red Crossbills noisily flying away. Wow! Wasn't expecting that. I headed back out into the field, checking some areas that I thought would be attractive to them. I found some more and was able to snap some pictures.

Red Crossbills are some of the great nomads of the birding world. They can literally show up and nest anytime and anyplace. It will be interesting to see if they stick around.

I had a tough time today considering them winter finches.

August birding is so boring... Yeah right!

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