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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Pine Warbler Eating Suet!

Wow, this morning saw a newly arrived, beautiful, male Pine Warbler. In past years we have had them eating suet at our bird feeder. Smart bird, as there are fewer insects and other food available at this time of year. Later in the morning he was singing his trilled song from, you guessed it, our pine tree. Yup, Pine Warblers nest in pine trees here in southwest NH.
Also goes to show how suet attracts many species of birds beyond the usual feeder crowd. We have seen Pine Warblers eat suet, hulled sunflower seed and home made suet meal.
This is the first warbler to appear here so far, can't wait to see more.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Warbler Migration and More Happening Now!

Prothonotary Warbler, male

Prothonotary Warbler, female

Hooded Warbler, male

Hooded Warbler, male

Northern Parula Warbler, female

White-eyed Vireo

Cave Swallow

White-eyed Vireo

Red-eyed Vireo

Eye candy migrant warblers and more are coming into TX, FL and other Gulf Coast States. Soon they will come to you..

Spotted Sandpiper - with Spots!

A spotted Sandpiper - with spots! All winter they are missing the spots in their plumage. Now, the spots appear in the breeding plumage. Such a cool bird. They walk while constantly bobbing their tail. They have a breeding strategy called polyandry where the female establishes and defends a territory and mates with up to four males. The male incubates the eggs and cares for the young. Spotted Sandpipers breed across much of North America near rivers, streams and other waterbodies. They winter along the coasts of North America. I photographed this one recently at J.N. Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel, FL. It will migrate soon.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

It's Raining Blue! - Indigo Buntings!

It's raining blue birds - Indigo Buntings. Groups of them kept coming into the Sanibel, FL lighthouse two days ago after migrating across the Gulf of Mexico, quite a feat! We could see 5 and 6 in the same tree at a time. These beautiful birds will continue on their journey north to their breeding grounds mainly in the eastern two-thirds of the country. They nest in early-successional areas with shrubs and small trees, edges, old fields and roadsides. Look for them soon in your area. 
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Monday, March 28, 2016

Gray Kingbirds Have Arrived!!

Gray Kingbird migrants were coming into Sanibel today, a few at the lighthouse and this one was on the wires near the East End Deli. They are  in the flycatcher family of birds, hence the sitting on wires and flying out to catch insects as this one did. This species mainly breeds in coastal FL and a little into coastal AL and GA. What a treat to see these arrive!! Migration is just gearing up, lots more warblers and songbirds to come.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Swainson's Warblers are Migrating, rare bird!

Swainson's Warblers are one of the least commonly seen migrants warblers here on Sanibel, FL. This one was seen today at the Sanibel Lighthouse park, a stopping and refueling place for migrants that cross the Gulf of Mexico. They mainly breed in swampy deciduous woods and, at higher elevations, along rhododendron-lined streams in the southeastern portion of the country. What a thrill to see this unusual warbler.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Barn Swallow Migration is Beginning!

Barn Swallow migration is beginning! I (Lillian) photographed these beauties yesterday at the Sanibel Lighthouse, FL. Strong fliers they feed on aerial insects. They winter in much of Central and South America then return to breed in much of North America. They nest mainly in barns and build a nest of mud and grasses. Look for them soon!
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Monday, March 21, 2016

Why is the Cardinal Attacking My Window or Car Mirror?? Here's Why

Cardinal male attacking his reflection in a parked car mirror. We frequently get asked this time of year "why is the cardinal pecking at my window, or mirror". Birds do not know about reflections so, for a bird defending its territory, it sees its reflection and thinks it is another of its species attacking back. This is not a good thing. The bird wastes energy and could potentially mildly hurt itself. The way to prevent it is to remove the reflection from the birds viewpoint and cover the outside of the window with screening, cloth, or something, or in the case of a car mirror, a paper bag or cloth, or move the car. Once breeding is well underway, a birds territorial defense will wane and this behavior will diminish.