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Monday, June 27, 2022

Summertime Bird Baths!

Summer is bath time. Birds need to drink and keep their one set of clothes (until they molt again) clean, so a good bird bath can help them and entertain you. Choose a shallow bath with a NON-SLIP surface, birds need firm footing and a gradual water level. So bypass all those pretty ceramic ones sold in every garden and gift store. A bird bath need not be expensive, I have often used just a plastic saucer that goes under a garden pot. Yes, dripping water is a magnet too. This stone bath is my favorite, I received it as a gift for helping design the Massachusetts Audubon Butterfly Garden many years ago.

Sunday, June 19, 2022


 Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there (whether you are the Dad of a two-legged, four-legged, winged, or whoever being!) Enjoy your special day!

(Male Hairy Woodpecker feeding his fledgling).

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks - the male's red patch varies, notice it!!

Notice that the red breast patch of the male Rose-breasted Grosbeak varies from one male to the next, making them individually identifiable. Look at these photos and you can see. The female is also beautiful in her camouflaged brown streaks, making her camouflaged from predators while she incubates on the nest. Watching and looking closely at birds in a mindful, attentive way brings health benefits. It draws you deeper into their world and out of yours. So notice the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks you see, and even draw a little sketch of their red patch. I had three different males visit my feeders this spring, I could tell by their different patches. Very cool!

Wednesday, June 08, 2022

Puffin Love!!

Puffin Love. These adorable Atlantic Puffins breed on rocky islands in Maine and one of the best ways to get to them is on one of the chartered tours, which fill up fast. I photographed these on Machias Seal Island a spectacular spot to see puffins. You land on the island and are in a blind and puffins are feet away. charter company goes there but is filled for the season. However, there are numerous coastal boat tours in Maine that offer puffin and other watching from the boats, just google it if you go to Maine this summer.


Saturday, June 04, 2022

Red-eyed Vireos Never Stop Singing, (well almost).

I opened the door this morning and heard a familiar sound, a Red-eyed Vireo singing in the woods behind my deck. This is one of the most common sounds you hear all summer long in woods and as you hike. There's reason –
Red-eyed Vireos are abundant in about the eastern two-thirds of the country and much of Canada. Unlike many male birds who stop singing after they pair up, the male Red-eyed Vireo sings almost constantly, even after getting a mate.
From Stokes Guide to Bird Behavior, Vol. 1,
"At some point, he will stop singing and you will notice an immediate change in the female's behavior. She begins to look in all directions, move about on the nest, and may even give one of her calls. In a minute or two, she flies off to meet the male and is either fed by him or feeds on her own. After about five minutes the male will be singing from the treetops again and, possibly without your even noticing, the female will have come back to the nest and resumed incubating. From this will be clear to you that the male's song is being closely listened to by the female and is a continual aural contact that helps the pair coordinate this phase of their lives." This is an intimate look into the secret life of Red-eyed Vireos. We wrote our behavior guides to create holistic birding, in which you go beyond mere identification and get a deeper appreciation and respect for the amazing lives of birds. (Always observe nests from a safe distance so as not to disturb birds.) Listen to the song of a Red-eyed Vireo here, I guarantee you will hear it if you are in their range.