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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Brown Thrasher, imitates other birds songs, repeating phrases twice!

We don't get many Brown Thrashers here in SW NH, so it's always a treat when one shows up. This one arrived yesterday and foraged under our bird feeder. Brown Thrashers have the most extensive breeding range of all the thrashers and breed throughout much of the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. and on into southern Canada. Most of the other thrashers (Long-billed, Bendire's, Curve-billed, California, Crissel, LeConte's, Sage) have breeding ranges that mainly occur in the western half of the country). Brown Thrashers habitat is thickets, shrubs and woodland edges. Thrashers belong to the family Mimidae (including Gray Catbird and Northern Mockingbird) who are know for imitating other birds' songs. The Brown Thrasher sings a long series of musical phrases and harsh notes repeated in pairs, usually containing imitations of other birds. Tell it from a Gray Catbird who usually repeats phrases once and a Northern Mockingbirds who usually repeats phrases three or more times. Fun!
To learn birds' songs get our best-selling Stokes Field Guide to Bird Song CDs, Eastern and Western Region available on

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Wilson's Warbler, yes!

Wilson's Warbler was just singing in our trees just now. This is a rare warbler for us to see on our property here is SW NH. Such a treat!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Bobolinks Returned Today!

Bobolinks returned to our NH property today. These wonderful birds breed in our fields. We make sure our farmer cuts the hay at the end of Aug. so to spare the Bobolink nests.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Orioles have Arrived, Put Our Oranges for Them!

Baltimore Orioles have just arrived here in SW NH and they are hungry! The cool, delayed spring means food is more scarce. You can help them by putting out orange halves which they love. They will also eat suet and grape jelly. When the weather warms their usual food such as insects and blossoms will become available and they may not use feeders as much.

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. 
If you want to learn how to identify the many newly arriving bird species in your area, get our new guides,

The New Stokes Field Guide to Birds, Eastern and Western Regions