This Is For The Birds
I always loved seeing birds in the woods on my walks since I was a child. My dad thought me the common ones, the robins, blue jays, and sparrows. And I purchased a field guide while in college and learned some new species I encountered on my hikes.
I have now discovered, with my camera and zoom lens, and the help of some new friends who are birding enthusiasts, how many different birds species live in our woods here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. It is truly amazing.
Often I would hear a bird singing , glance at it and assume it is a sparrow or black capped chickadee. Now, I am learning that it could be any number of beautiful species of birds which live in, or migrate through our area. I have been spending more time trying to find, identify and photograph them.
I have feeders in my yard, when the bear doesn’t take them down or the squirrels find a way to get to them, all year round. But Spring is when they attract the most visitors. The rose breasted grosbeaks, a Spring favorite, have left my backyard on their migration, but I was excited to see this beautiful bird, one of my favorites, the indigo bunting, show up at my feeders this past Friday. .
And I was even more surprised to see this bird share this limb with a house sparrow. I guess sometimes birds don’t have to be of the same feather to flock together. Like the rose breasted grosbeaks, these birds don’t nest in our area so I will only enjoy them for a few days while they are passing through.
The Winter residents are now joined by many species, such as the brown headed cowbirds, the goldfinches, many species of sparrows and of course the robins. Here is a mommy with teaching her baby how to find dinner.
I always have a large flock of turkeys in my backyard. They hang out in the woods behind my house all day and spend hours at my feeders, eating the seeds that fall to the ground. These two old gobblers are always strutting around, trying to impress the hens and keeping the young jakes away. They are gobbling as I write this early in the morning.
Yesterday I was able to get a few photographs of them while they were actually gobbling. I gobble at them and they gobble back. Well a lot of folks called me a big turkey over the years, I guess they were right. Here is a link to more photographs of the turkeys. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/gobbling-turkeys-may-12-2016
I also got to see a lot of birds on my walks in some wetlands near my house. I ran into a pair of mallard ducks that I believe are nesting there . They flew out in unison a few days ago as shown in the photograph above.
And I scared them again yesterday. This drake is doing a count Dracula pose as he takes off of the pond. Here is a link to some more photographs of the mallards.https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/ducks-greenridge-may-12-2016
I was surprised to find this bird wading on one of the ponds. It is a solitary sandpiper. I only saw my first one at the PPL Wetlands last week, and never knew they lived this close to my house. They are beautiful birds. I am not sure what he/she is eating but kind of looks like a leech or tadpole.
On my way home from one of my walks I heard what I thought was a catbird. In the past I would have kept walking but this time I decided to have a look and discovered it was a great crested crested flycatcher. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/birds-of-pennsylvania/nggallery/birds-of-pennsylvania/great-crested-flycatcher
I am really enjoying this birding hobby, almost as much as my love for searching for, and eating wild mushrooms. Well almost but not quite, mushrooming is still my favorite and I will be looking for some oyster mushrooms soon. But I’ll probably take my camera along, and look for birds too. Here is a link to some more photographs of the birds I saw in my backyard and near my home this past week. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/birds-greenridge-feeder-and-walks-may-10-to-13-2016
“There is an unreasonable joy to be had from the observation of small birds going about their bright, oblivious business”
― Grant Hutchison,