Friday, May 31, 2013


Scarlet Tanagers... on my last birding trip to my favorite migrant trap this beautiful Scarlet Tanager was there. They migrate through my area on there way to Canada an the North  Eastern United States. A very noticeable bird with it's Orange Red feathers and black wing and tail. They usually don't stick around very long with a warm southern wind they are gone. This particular bird I beleive was looking for  Stone flys where he is perched right below is a stream. I got a glimpse of this action but wasn't quick enough to get a photo.
This curious bird  a first year male I believe came very close,  right here he is under 2 feet. If you use a recording of Tanager songs they will come close to you.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Lots of birds...

Lots of color.... in the migrant traps 
 today. This Chestnut sided Warbler one of many Chestnuts  I saw today May 16th.
    He was actually curious of me and OK with letting me take his photo. They are very distinct with the gold cap, black eye stripe, and that chestnut color really stands out against the white. Another one of my favorites.

This  strikingly marked Magnolia was most cooperative. He keep his eye on me but was more interested in finding food . Magnolias seem to be in the middle  canopy range . I always seem to be able find them foraging about 6-10 feet off the ground or lower.

      This Warbler the Black -throated Green was very active right above me. He found the food source of the day. This tree was loaded with little green caterpillars or larvae, he struck the mother load. He worked this tree from right above me to the top he was still working that tree when I left,  he must have been  one hungry Warbler.


This colorful Male Blackburnian was high in the canopy at least 20 feet. His bright orange throat was easy to spot against the blue sky. They are warblers  that range high in the canopy.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Thanks Tom....

Here is a study of a particular  Carolina Wren, I was made aware of  by Tom S. a good bidder in Northeast Iowa .  He  spotted this bird at the Hartman Reserve in December of 2010 he kept tabs on it and said it took off in January. Thank you Tom for the tip.

Fall out....

I thought I might check out a small park near my house to see if any new arrivals flew in with the warm southern winds. I'm sure glad I did! A cold front  came last night and it is the next mourning May 10th and in the 40's, a scenario I was hoping for, should see some new birds...

 I was checking out these Nashville Warblers when all of a sudden this striking Gold Wing hoped down into view . All right what a nice bird.

Second wave....

Palm Warblers were the next ones to show. They are in the group of birds that feed on the lower canopy. I see them  often on the ground looking for food, they have a bright yellow throat , rump and yellow under tail coverts.

 They to are an earlier arrival also. I have seen them with Yellow Rumps  but not this year. You can get close to them if you move slow and no quick movements . Pishing will bring them close also for that all so important camera shot.


Migration is under way .....
This Male Yellow Rump was the first species I spotted this Warbler migration season. They led the way this year. Even though the temperatures were in the thirties, these little hardy birds were in the migrant traps I frequent. Looking for what ever food they could find.  I saw several Butter Rumps at the Hartman Reserve April 22 on a cold mid mourning looking in craves of trees for insects.  When I can't see them, I listen for their soft little one note call they do in their small migration groups , to help  locate them. Although this beautiful marked bird it is a common Warbler  it is one of my favorites.

I also seen a lot of Ruby Crowned Kinglets.
They were Very active our smallest little
bird  looking for food.
 They were close  to  the ground this cold mid mourning, they didn't mind my presence. If I stayed still I could get a couple of feet away. They were fun to watch, as there little Ruby crowns would shine like a jewel when the sun showed briefly on this cold April day.