Here’s a Tufted Titmouse waiting for its turn at the blackoil sunflower seeds. In the winter they form a feeding group with the nuthatch, and chickadees. They will hunt for nuts and fruit together, which is pretty cool to watch.The Belted Kingfishers are everywhere lately. Every time we visit the lake we see at least one. A lot of the time I hear them first, although they have a very distinct shape. The Yellow-rumped Warbler is one of our winter guests. Some people call them butter butts because of the yellow feathers on its rump. In this photo, you can see the yellow on its rump as well as on its side. They flit around the trees looking for insects and any remaining fruit. At Lake Thunderbird, here in Norman OK, there are wild persimmon trees. Not only do the Warblers like them the Cedar Waxwings and Robins find them easy eats in the winter. My sister-in-law is going to try to grow a persimmons tree. I’ll keep you updated on this adventure.
So I have a new term for where I’ve been going birding for years. A local photographer called it the “Cross Timbers”, hell, I was calling it Lake Thunderbird. Cross Timbers sounds so mysterious…So I did a little research. The Cross Timbers stretch from Southeast Kansas through Oklahoma and into North Texas. Washington Irving and other early travelers through this area are credited with giving this area its name. Alrighty then….Here is a Red-headed Woodpecker, it is an immature one. It’s just starting to get its red head. I think it has a piece of wood in its mouth.We’ve been seeing a lot of Northern Flickers (Red-shafted) lately. Here in Oklahoma we get both the red and yellow shafted flickers.This is where we see most of the flickers, on the ground, hunting for treats. They are very photogenic. These are the Yellow-shafted Northern Flickers.
Today I saw a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker for the first time this season. A few years ago we were seeing tons of them on our bird walks. It was actually pretty thrilling.
More from the Cross Timbers soon….
There are Cedar Waxwings everywhere. They are fun to watch and a bit elusive. Often times I see them hanging out withn the robins. I saw them alone (sans Robins) in a group of about 50. Very cool to see them this year. Happy New Year, I am hoping it will be a banner year!
It’s always great to see the sunflowers blooming. It’s the sure sign of summer!
I started a new batch of seeds to replace these flowers once they have gone to seed.
We have had a lot of rain (for the month of July). The last few years we have been in a drought…..A long dry haul.
With all that rain….I mow, mow, mow. But the sunflowers loved all the rain!
Well I’m off to mow!
Blue Herons are amazing birds. They are large birds but only weigh 5-6 lbs.
This is a group of ~30 active nest. There is a group of non-active nest.
Great Blue Herons are here year round. There are some that will migrate here to Oklahoma to nest.
The Great Blue Herons are the largest of the North American herons.
They are easy to photograph because they stand in one spot for so long and walk slowly while hunting for food.
Needless to say I have a lot of photos of these herons.
The Harris’s Sparrow is the largest and heaviest of the sparrows. They do not nest here; they travel to Canada for that. Another tidbit….they get their name from Edward Harris. He was one of John James Audubon’s best friends and most ardent financial supporter. They went on a couple of birding trips together. Harris’s bird collection is now on display at the Smith-Cadbury Mansion by the Historical Society of Moorestown, NJ. The collection (on loan from the Academy of Natural Sciences) went on display this past October and will be there until Feb. It would be soooooo awesome to go see that collection!