Spring has Sprung!

March 16, 2015

Look-at-meeeee!  Ok-a-leeeee!

This hearty fellow belted out a beautiful song this morning with apparent lack of concern for me, my puppy,
or my tripod. Home at last, he flits about with a lusty song. Red-winged blackbirds are polygamous and can
sire up to fifteen nests at a time. His job is to protect his territory while the unobtrusive females
build the nests, lay the eggs, and feed the young.

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Cheer! Cheer! Cheer!

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I love the year round song of the cardinal. This is one of the few species of birds in which both the male
and female sing. The female is even known to sing while sitting on the nest. Contrary to their polygamous
friends, these birds are monogamous which gives the male plenty of time to dote on the female.

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Kill-deer! Kill-deer!

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The prairie is filled with the shrill cry of these long-legged beauties. The killdeer lay their eggs in a hollowed out area on the
ground. After they lay their eggs, they fill the nest with lightly colored pebbles for camouflage. If a predator appears, they will
fake a wing injury to lure the threat away from the nest.

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Another sign of spring is the drumming of the woodpeckers. The downy woodpecker does not
have a song. Instead, they drum on dead trees to establish their territory. Both the males and
females will drum. Once paired they will work together to excavate a hole in a dead tree for the nest.

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Last year, my neighbor put up a wood duck house near the pond. I am hopeful that is why these two showed up.

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They are called buffleheads and are rarely seen on land. They nest in trees and spend the rest of their time in water.
They find their food by diving. Hope (my puppy) and I very much enjoyed their splashy show. Hopefully, they will stay to nest.

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Identifying birds by their sound adds a whole new dimension to walking. If you do not know the birds by their songs, I highly
recommend taking the time to learn. It has brought me much joy.

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Hope enjoyed meeting her first robin. As the prairie echoes with peacock calls, I anticipate the return of my friend, Chester.
Aware of Hope’s enthusiasm for all things new, I hope his return does not prove hopeless!

Thanks for visiting. Happy spring!

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Latest Comments

  1. derrickjknight says:

    Some nice shots here

    Like

  2. oakcoveresort says:

    Beautiful photography. Some camera!! You have a great eye and lots of patience.

    Like

  3. Cynthia says:

    Such great pictures! Red winged blackbirds have always been among my favorites…I didn’t know they were such players

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Penny says:

    Oh! I loved this, Julie! Thank you and Happy Spring!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Rolling Harbour says:

    Lovely post BUT bird phonetics give me brain ache! The eponymous birds such as killdeer don’t say ‘kill-deer’ to me. And the ones that are said to go ‘wichety woo wit glopp’ don’t for me. Nor the linguistic ones where a species is alleged to said ‘please give me another slice of cake’ or whatever. Even field guides don’t agree. Having recently published a bird book – not a field guide – I decided to dispense with all attempts at phonetics… You might say I ducked the issue completely… Maybe I just lack imagination! RH

    Like

    • Julie says:

      I have thought about your response and understand what you are saying, but I hope you don’t miss out on the joy of recognizing birds by their song. If you have not experienced identifying the birds you hear without actually seeing them, you are missing out. You are right it is not necessary to put human words to their song to enjoy them. I admire you for publishing a bird book.

      Like

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