Monday, May 20, 2013

New Birds

I JUST SAW A HUMMINGBIRD! She was a ruby throated! And others (no pictures)....... American Redstart, Golden Winged Warbler, Canada Geese CHICKS (I've seen the geese, just not the chicks), Blue Headed Vireo, Wood Thrush (a month ago)......... Wow. That's actually not that much. Oh, but there's this one bird that I haven't seen but I hear it so much It's going to drive me CRAZY if I can't identify it soon! It's song sounds like "ChipChipChipZeeeeee." The whole song takes about four or five seconds. if anyone is a better birder than me (Which is likely), can someone tell me what it is!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


My friend's house has baby robins! I guess I missed out on the eggs and stuff. We have a pair of robins too, but they just keep building nests and then leaving them, so I thought it wasn't time yet. There is also a pair of starlings, and every time I get too close (I don't even know how I can be too close, considering the fact that their nest is a hundred feet in the air), they scold me really harshly! And yesterday my dad found a baby mouse (it had fur, so the mother didn't just abandon it), and he thought we would like to see it, so he brought it home it a jar. With air holes, just so you know. It was so cute! It was at least two inches long including the tail! But we let him go that same day, so the cuteness wasn't for long.
Four baby Robins!

Look at that mouth!

Baby mouse!

He's so CUTE!

Starling's nest is sort of by that hole to the right.

See the stuff hanging from that hole?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mallard eggs

I have some SUPER exiting news to share! I found a nest with FIVE Mallard eggs in it! I was looking at a supposed Great Crested Flycatcher, which I have never seen before, so of course I wanted to look at it, when a female Mallard EXPLODED out from the grass in front of me! She scared me so bad, but I didn't want to step where she was sitting, because I new that ducks DO NOT sit in tall, hidden grass for no reason, so I looked in, and my thoughts were right!
Closeup of Mallard eggs!

I can't wait for ducklings!

This HAS to be her mate.

Male Red-Winged Blackbird. I found his mate, but no pictures.

Great Crested Flycatcher? They have a rufous under-tail.

A pair of geese I also found.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Raccoon River Park

Yesterday, everybody except dad went to Raccoon River Park to have a picnic. But almost all the roads to the park were being worked on! So we got a little lost, and we found a nice state park. It doesn't have a lot of equipment, but it does have some walking trails, and I saw my first Gray Catbird there! There was a park office there (I'm guessing since it was a state park), and we finally got to Raccoon River Park! When we were going to R.R. Park, we saw a Pileated Woodpecker! (new) They're not even in this part of Iowa! While we WERE there, I saw some canada geese, a Killdeer (new bird!), a Snow Goose? (that might not have been what it was, but it was a new bird!) And there is a building with bathrooms in it, and some Barn Swallows are building a nest on it! They must have been doing it there for years, because I went around the bathrooms, and there were other places were swallow nests had been. 
 This is either a poisonous Water Moccasin, or a regular water snake. None of us wanted to find out, just in case.                 
The nest that the Barn Swallows are working on.
Same snake. Notice how it has a fat part, maybe it just ate a frog, or it's about to lay eggs.
A previous nest for the Barn Swallows?
Probably a sparrow nest.
A sand face that mom made.

Yellow Warblers

Yesterday I saw at least three Yellow Warblers! They're one of the newest birds to come to our backyard, and they're only here in summer. The males are bright yellow with olive wings and orange streaks on their chest. The females are a bit duller yellow, and they have very faint streaks on their chest. Also, some robins are building a nest ON our gutter, not in it. First it was the porch light, which they are not using, then it was a tree in the backyard, which they are not using! I hope they don't abandon this one too! And another new bird we're seeing is a Baltimore Oriole! They are beautiful orange and black birds with a whistley "he who who lee." I heard another strange bird this morning, but even though we are WAY out of range for it, I think, think, think, that I heard a Carolina Chickadee.
 I caught this Yellow Warbler at the right time, didn't I? 
 Perching Yellow Warbler.
 Possible mates? One at the top, one at the bottom.
 The Robin nest. They had better keep this one long enough!
 Strange, shiny stones. They almost don't look natural.
Baltimore Oriole! This picture is about as good as it gets.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Lots of birds

My mom and I went on another two-hour walk, and we saw a TON of new birds there! We didn't bring the camera because it was charging, so I don't have any pictures. But I will list the birds we saw. Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, American Coot, Spotted Sandpiper, Rose-Breasted Grosbeak (in our yard), Harris's Sparrow (a couple of days ago), and these aren't new birds, but they're not old birds either. There's Black and White Warbler, and Lesser Yellowlegs. Oh, and we saw a female Red-Bellied Woodpecker. Those aren't new either, but I don't see them often. And when we got back from church, there was a SQUIRREL eating all the goldfinch seed! But I chased him away, and now all the goldfinches are eating happily.