Search This Blog

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Here They Come! Warblers Are Arriving!

Magnolia Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Golden-winged Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Northern Parula
Bay-breasted Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler

Warblers are the crown jewels of the avian world. They are some of the most exquisitely colored of all the birds, especially when they are in their spring breeding plumages. There are many places to go see warblers, check with your local nature center for spots near you. One place to see lots of warblers is during The Biggest Week in American Birding at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area/Crane Creek State Park and Ottawa NWR, where I took these photos. Since it was cold, rainy and windy, many of the warblers were down low in the trees which made for great photo ops. Not so good for the warblers, who were searching for insects, made inactive by the weather.

What I like is the intimate quality of images, showing real birds as they went about their serious business of foraging for food, the fuel to take them to their breeding grounds. Other good places to see warblers are Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA and Central Park, NY.
Also, don't forget to BUY NOW,
The New Stokes Field Guide To Birds, eastern region 
The New Stokes Field Guide To Birds western region
for easy identification and complete photos of all North American warblers!

All warbler photos © Lillian Stokes, 2006

Monday, April 22, 2019

Earth Day 2019, Protect Our Species!

Honey Bee

Today is Earth Day 2019 and the theme is Protect Our Species
Honey Bees and other species are in decline or face extinction. Here's how you can help save honey bees.

Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrows are back! Such an adorable and overlooked little sparrow that happily lives in your yard and nests in shrubs and dense smaller evergreen trees. Celebrate the nature around you on this Earth Day. Enhance your own property to be bird-friendly. Build it and they will come. Support the organizations and people who are working to protect the earth!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Hummingbirds Are Arriving Are You Ready?

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been arriving in the South since Feb. but they do not reach northern areas until mid to end of April. Will you be ready? Here's how to attract them.

Hummingbirds are attracted to the color red. That's because the flowers they favor in nature are mainly red tubular flowers. These flowers have their own adaptations to be attractive to hummingbirds, such as they have just the right nectar concentrations and long tubes so bees cannot access the nectar. Thus they give the hummers nectar and in turn the hummingbirds carry pollen on their foreheads from one flower to another, thus pollinating the flowers.

We roll out the red welcome mat by,

- Putting up lots of hummingbird feeders with red 
- Putting up hanging baskets of early red flowers such as hanging fuschia, etc. as most annuals and perennials are not blooming yet. Later we plant those flowers
- Tying red bows to the posts the hummingbird feeders hang from
- Keep feeders filled with fresh hummingbird nectar, change nectar every 2 days in hot weather.

Get the early hummingbirds and you may have some remain and breed. You will also attract lots of migrants that are passing through on their way to their previous breeding grounds. Even though these do not breed near you, they will remember you as a good stopping place on their next migrations.
If you live in the West, you may have had hummingbirds all year and/or lots of hummingbirds that have returned already, lucky you.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Cerulean Warblers migrating now!

Cerulean Warbler, male
Cerulean Warbler, female

Beautiful Cerulean Warblers are migrating through the Gulf of Mexico now. This rare warbler is a declining species and its population has dropped 70% since 1966. They prefer large dense forests to nest and the majority of them breed in the Appalachians where loss of their breeding habitat occurs because of mining and land reclamation. They winter in South America in the Andes and face migration challenges of wind farms on the Gulf Coast. Enjoy them when you see them. The photo of the female I took at Magee Marsh at The Biggest Week in American Birding festival in May. It appears in our Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America as well as multiple photos of each species of North American warbler and all the other species.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Attract Nesting Eastern Bluebirds!

Yard happenings this morning in the dim morning light. Male Eastern Bluebird stands guard, while his mate builds the nest. They like resting on the fencepost before they enter the nest. Attract bluebirds with a good nest box and mealworms. They are such a joy to watch and the soft light brings out to blue of his back. Of the bluebird Henry David Thoreau wrote (March 1859) "Princes and magistrates are often styled serene, but what is their turbid serenity to that ethereal serenity which the bluebird embodies."

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Two Billion Migrant Birds are coming soon!!

Two billion birds migrate across the Gulf of Mexico. Peak migration is April 19 - May 7, according to a new study. Migrants such as this male Baltimore Oriole, are coming soon! Attract orioles with oranges, grape jelly and mealworms. Read more,

Monday, April 01, 2019

FOY (first of year) Chipping Sparrow just arrived!!

FOY (first of year) Chipping Sparrow just arrived yesterday. Migrants are returning! Attract this cute native sparrow to your feeders with sunflower or a quality mixed seed. They like platform feeders and to feed off the ground. They nest in dense shrubs or small trees.