More Juvenile Birds

During the past few weeks, I’ve seen several more juvenile birds. They must be from the late broods.

A Titmouse that was a frequent visitor to our feeder for a few days.

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A Carolina Wren at Brookside Gardens. As usual – I heard it before I saw it.

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The same was true with the fuzzy Cardinal. The song was not quite the adult song yet but cardinal-like. It was singing when I walked under the tree – then stopped when I turned around to take a look.

Posts from earlier this summer about young birds:

Fledglings through the window – July 2

Red Bellied and Down Woodpecker Juveniles – July 25

Birding through a Window – March 2019

The birds seem to be moving faster this month – harder to photograph. There are a lot more robins about. Some seem to be looking around for nesting places and others are just passing through.

Flocks of red-winged blackbirds fly through this time of year too. I took some pictures of a flock of birds high up in the tulip poplar trees behind our house one afternoon and discovered there were two types of birds in the group: red-winged blackbirds (black eyes) and rusty blackbirds with yellow rimmed eyes.

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The titmice were too fast for me this month – but I managed to get a picture of a Carolina chickadee.

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A mourning dove preened on the deck railing.


The most startling ‘birding through the window’ event of the month was a mourning dove that bashed itself against my office window. It left some small (about 1/4 inch) down feathers behind on the window.

The bird apparently recovered quickly because it managed to fly to a neighbor’s roof – sat for a few minutes (recovering) – and then flew on as if nothing had happened.

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There was a similar incident a few years ago with a cardinal. I’m glad it doesn’t happen very often.

Familiar Birds in Texas

Grackles and crows and blue jays….common birds in both Maryland and Texas.

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The surprise for me during a recent walk around my parents’ backyard was a Carolina Wren! There must be a nest somewhere in the yard….maybe the woodpile that is inactive this time of year. When I saw them there were clearly two flitting around the yard. My mother said this was the first year she had seen them. Dallas is close to the western edge of the range map in AllAboutBirds.

They are fun birds to watch…if you can find them on the tree trunk or on the ground rustling through the foliage or on the gutter…staying in one place for a few seconds before flittering away. They aren’t showy birds but have lively personalities.

Zooming – May 2018

Sometimes I use the zoom on my camera to capture botanicals that I can’t get close to – like this weathered sycamore seed ball.

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And sometimes I capture an insect on a plant that I don’t see until I look at my ‘take’ on the big screen after I get home. This is a grass seed head I photographed at Belmont while I was waiting for the bus with the students coming for BioBlitz.

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Most of the time I use the zoom to capture things like frogs (yesterday’s post) or birds that would move away if I tried to get closer to them. This month I photographed two birds that were singing: a Grackle in the black walnut and a Caroline Wren on our deck railing.

There was a Mourning Dove with an iridescent patch on its neck near our birdbath

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And a Robin alert to what was happening in our backyard.

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I managed to get one good image of a Chipping Sparrow on a split rail fence at Belmont; it kept flying ahead of me even with the distance the zoom was providing.

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Finally – I got some pictures of Tree Swallows at Belmont. They were protecting their nest along the path to the pond – would dive bomb hikers (to the delight of all the BioBlitz groups) and return to the top of their box between rounds.

Birding through a Window – March 2018

I was out and about more during March than earlier in the year so I wasn’t around to see birds through my office window as much. I did catch the birds that seem to always bee around: the blue jays,

The cardinals,

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The mourning doves,

The juncos (they’ll be leaving for their nesting grounds in the north soon),

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The titmouse, and

The Carolina wren.

There are the ones I see less often – so continue to view them as special:

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the pileated woodpecker and

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The northern flicker.

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There seemed to be more flocks of birds in the yard and around the feeder/bath: cowbirds,


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Starlings, and

Robins of course (I always associate springtime and flocks of robins coming through…some staying for the season and others continuing northward).

All in all – a good number of birds around in March through high winds and snow….the swings of temperature. It’s been a wild weather month.

After the Great Backyard Bird Count

This year was by first time to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count. It started last Friday (see my post from Friday) and ended yesterday…and was a learning experience in several ways.

I was glad I had decided to simply observe from my office window because the weather was not very cooperative. It rained and snowed! There were lots of times I looked out and saw no birds at all. I felt lucky to see 15 species. The pileated woodpecker was not one of them…but the downy woodpecker visited twice.

The juncos and doves were the most frequent visitors.

I didn’t take as many pictures because the light was so poor….but I did capture several ‘personalities: bluebirds (sometimes they look affronted…like they know someone is looking at them).

And a Carolina Wren (it seemed like the bird noticed me through the window and interrupted singing to check…then continued singing).

Birding through a Window – January 2018 (1)

I was at home more in January than December…and saw a lot more birds through the window. I posted about the bluebirds back on the 16th but they have continued to visit our bird bath and deck; most of the time I don’t have my camera but I did manage to photograph one just yesterday – perched on the old weather station pole.

The blue jays are regular visitors too. They come to the bird path, the maple, the sycamore and the tulip poplar…staying still long enough for good pictures.

The cardinals alert me to their presence with their chirps. Both the male and female come to the deck for seed and I often see them in the trees around the yard and into the forest.

When we had the very cold days, the Carolina Wrens were entirely missing; I didn’t see them or hear them. But they have returned now that it is a little warmer. They are heard more often than seen.

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The doves were missing during the cold days as well but now they are back and frequent visitors to our deck.

More birding through the window from this month in tomorrow’s post.

Gleanings of the Week Ending January 20, 2018

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Water-based, eco-friendly and energy-saving air-conditioner: All-weather friendly cooling technology works without mechanical compressors or chemical refrigerants, and generates drinking water -- ScienceDaily – This is one of those technologies I hear about…and hope it lives up to the potential talked about.

New Website Explores the Women in Architecture Your History Books Didn’t Teach You About | Smart News | Smithsonian – A little history.

The Ultimate Winter Wildlife Guide: Enjoy and Understand Creatures in the Cold – Cool Green Science and How Does Extreme Winter Weather Affect Wildlife? – Cool Green Science – It has been a cold January for us. The second article mentions that Carolina Wrens often don’t handle very cold temperatures; I did notice that I didn’t see or hear any on the extremely cold days and have only seen one since it has warmed up a little.

If Birds Left Tracks in the Sky, They’d Look Like This – Another instance where photography allows us to see our world in a way that we can’t do with our eyes.

Archaeologist debunking myth that most people died young prior to modern medicine - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) – Looking at teeth of 300 people buried in Anglo Saxon English cemeteries between 375 and 625 AD…and finding some that were older than 75! It is probably true that average life expectancy was short…but there were some that lived to reach old age.

Frozen Bubble Photos Capture the Amazing Beauty of Ice Crystals – I don’t think I am patient enough for this type of photography – but I can enjoy someone else’s work!

Revelations in the Way Poison Frogs Care for Their Young – National Geographic – There is a video of a parent frog getting tadpoles on its back…taking them to a new pool of water!

Face of Ancient South American Queen Reconstructed – Pictures and short video of the facial reconstruction from the woman’s skull. She was at least 60 years old when she died….and died some 1,200 years ago.

Bones of the victims at Roman Herculaneum - HeritageDaily - Heritage & Archaeology News – Skeletons were found in ‘boat houses’ where they were buried under thin mud….preserving the bones. There are enough of them to understand more about the population of the town…like the frequency of pleural inflammation causing rib lesions, skull depressions from excess irritation and scratching attributed to head lice and age demographics.

DNA confirms the Two Brothers’ relationship | Egypt at the Manchester Museum – I remember the Two Brothers from a course on Ancient Egypt and was interested in the DNA analysis that showed they were half-brothers (same mother, different fathers).

Birding through a Window – December 2017

The high-point of ‘birding through the window’ this month happened too fast for me to photograph! I was working at my PC and looked up to see a bald eagle fly over and then down into the woods behind our house! Awesome…but fleeting.

I’ve seen red-trailed hawks more frequently at the edge our woods – surveying the scene. This month there was a smaller bird – a red-shouldered hawk. Its feathers were fluffed from the cold. While it sat in our tulip poplar, the smaller birds kept their distance.

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Even the crows gave the hawk wider birth. The crows seem to enjoy sorting through the gutters of our neighbor’s house looking for tasty morsels. Their numbers have recovered from the low when West Nile Virus arrived several years ago.

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We had a frustrated chickadee on one of the very cold mornings early in the month. I need to get our heated bird bath out so that this won’t happen again.

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The cheerful song of the Carolina Wren lets me know when the bird is around. I think he stays nearby all through the year.

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The juncos are here for the winter and seem to be the most frequent birds at our feeder although they don’t seem as numerous as in previous years. We have had a small flock that use our feeders (and those of our neighbors) as their winter feeding ground.

The finches have not been as numerous either. I see them occasionally but not every day.

I am savoring the comfort of bird watching from my cozy office on these cold days.

Birding through a window – September 2017

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The goldfinches are enjoying the sunflowers on the deck…making them easier to photograph. The look about after each acrobatic move to pluck a seed.

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A fledgling was making quite a fuss on the deck roof outside my office. I looked around to see what else was going on and discovered the parent in the gutter --- ignoring the noise from the fledgling and enjoying a bath!

A few days later our resident Carolina Wren was out early and singing. There was still water in gutter and it soon took a bath and emerged very wet and bedraggled looking.