Friday, October 18, 2013

Bald Eagles

I live near a small river, and there are at least two bald eagles living there. In the first picture, notice how that looks nothing like an eagle! That's because bald eagles don't get their white head and tail until they are five years old. In first and second years, they have mottled brown and white feathers all over their body. In the third year, their plumage is still mottled, but with more white on the head. In the fourth year, they have a solid brown body, but a thick brown stripe behind their eye, making them look a lot like an osprey. The first time I saw an adult bald eagle at the creek, I didn't have my camera! Of all the things! So I actually ran back home to get it, but just as I was coming back, the eagle left. I knew I would probably see him again, I just didn't know when. But I did see him again, this time with my camera.

The reason this bald eagle's eye looks so strange is because he is showing his nictitating membrane. It's kind of like a third eyelid that goes sideways over the eye to clear debris from the eye, or to protect it's eye while going underwater. I think most birds have it,  even some animals that aren't birds have it!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


So, I was going on a walk (like usual), I saw some nice things, like ruby crowned kinglets. When I going back home, I saw about ten franklin's gulls passing overhead. So I thought, maybe I can get a picture. Well I tried. They are very fast. It's hard. When I looked to see where they were going, I saw a HUGE flock of gulls nearby! There were probably, I don't know, about more birds than I've ever seen in my life? Yeah. It was that many. Also, on the last walk I took, I saw this funny hawk land on a log. It seemed to be around 15 inches. But it didn't have a rusty breast like a red shouldered hawk, and it didn't have a gray back like a sharp shinned hawk. It seemed too small for a red tailed hawk.
Just to give you an idea of many gulls there were, imagine this many........... x5.

Unknown hawk. EDIT: Found out this is an immature Cooper's Hawk.
Orange-crowned Warbler

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Friday, October 4, 2013

Good birds and some mysteries

First off, I've got some mysteries for some better birders than me to solve. On a walk I took a couple days ago, I may have seen a northern parula, a broad winged hawk, and on another walk I took, I think I saw an orange crowned warbler. I have pictures, so could somebody please identify them? In the meantime, I have been seeing a lot of good birds lately! There has been a LOT of kinglets. Yesterday, I probably saw about, say, five. Today I saw about thirty. Tomorrow there's probably gonna be around fifty! Also, a ton of yellow rumped warblers just popped up out of nowhere. And strangely enough, I saw three juvenile cardinals!
Northern parula? (Tuns out this is a young yellow rumped warbler.)

First shot of a song sparrow! (Due to comments(Thank you!), It tuns out that this is a lincoln's sparrow, which was actually the very bird I was looking for!)

First or second year bald eagle! There is an adult in the area too.

Broad winged hawk? I've been seeing them often.

Juvenile cardinal.

Black and white warbler!

Orange crowned warbler? (YES!)