Saturday, April 22, 2017

Marsh Wren Song


Marsh Wren singing his little heart out in a song strong enough to dominate the marsh soundscape of the Merced National Wildlife Refugee. This is characteristic habitat for these birds. These amazing little birds always surprise me with their energy and spirit. As far as Wrens go this wren is quite a bit more melodious than our Backyard resident House Wrens who tend to speak in gibberish!

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The thumbnail image of the house wren is in the public domain courtesy of:
https://digitalmedia.fws.gov/cdm/singleitem/collection/natdiglib/id/18493/rec/1

Marsh Wren Song

Western Meadowlark Song


The beautiful sounds of a Western Meadowlark singing it's song at the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge near Merced, California. While visually quite similar to the eastern Meadowlark, the western Meadowlark's song is a little more intricate.
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Western Meadowlark Song

Friday, March 31, 2017

Mockingbird Poops on Cardinal's Food



This is why the Northern Cardinals parents can't have nice things! Northern Mockingbird and Brown Thrasher, two non-seed eaters check out the special Cardinal and Bunting food mix I got just for them and promptly leave their opinion - much to the dismay of Ms. Cardinal - her expression is priceless. I'm not much for poop jokes, but this is too bizarre to be a coincidence - this has to be some sort of Backyard Bird "smack talk". This is also a rare video of all three members of mimids (the bird family mimidae), Mockingbird, Thrasher and Catbird visiting the same spot within a few minutes of each other. At least the Catbird tried a few seeds and left without commenting!

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Mockingbird Poops on Cardinal's Food


Blue Jays and Cardinals - Extreme Close-Up


Close-up looks at gorgeous Northern Cardinals and Blue Jays - two of the most common, but most colorful North American Backyard Birds. Also some nice extended Cardinal Songs - a sure sign of spring!

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Blue Jays and Cardinals


Northern Harrier Hawks Passing Food in Mid-Air!




A pair of Northern Harrier Hawks (Hen Harriers or Marsh Hawks) pass food to each in an amazing aerial acrobatic display!  Harriers (Circus cyaneus)  fly low over the vast expanse of St Johns River Marshland in central Florida searching for prey they catch on the wing. Harrier's faces look a lot like owls and indeed they are one of the few hawks that use their hearing to hear and catch prey in the grass below. This mid-air feeding of the female is typical breeding behavior where the male feeds the female - except that Northern Harriers have not been documented breeding in Florida (see below) so I'm not exactly sure what is going on!

The Northern Harrier, formerly named the Marsh Hawk, breeds throughout much of Canada, the western and northwestern United States, and Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Habitat. The nest is placed on vegetation close to or on the ground, usually in a marsh. Three or 4 pale bluishwhite eggs are incubated 31 to 32 days, and young fledge in 30 to 35 days (Ehrlich et al. 1988).
Northern harriers feed on rodents, small birds, snakes, frogs, and large insects, which they startle or flush as they slowly quarter back and forth a few feet above the vegetation in old fields, pastures, and marshes.
Seasonal Occurrence. In the Big Bend region, Northern Harriers show a definite decrease between May and
June and increase again in July and August; these birds are termed migrants. Layne and Douglas (1976) reviewed a number of midsummer records of Northern Harriers in the extensive
prairie and improved pasture areas in south-central Florida and described them as summer residents or early fall migrants.
Status. The Northern Harrier is an abundant wintering species throughout most of Florida, but a rare summer resident. Howell (1932) reported that it "breeds sporadically in northern Florida" and described 3 nests; 1 on Orange Lake (Marion County) and 1 each at Micanopy and Paynes Prairie (Alachua County) all in the early year of this century. Layne and Douglas (1976) found no evidence of breeding for this species. Likewise, no records of confirmed
breeding were found during the Atlas period. The 4 "possible" and 3 "probable" records in north and central Florida leave unanswered the question, "Are Northern Harriers breeding in Florida"? 
http://legacy.myfwc.com/bba/docs/bba_noha.pdf

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Northern Harrier Hawks Passing Food in Mid-Air!


Mourning Dove Song Coo Call Sounds - Amazing Close-Up


Mourning Dove Cooing Sound - Extreme close-up! Did you know they make these haunting sounds through their nostrils? A gulp of air a big chest expansion and it comes out their nose. One of my favorite sounds in the Backyard this fellow gives us a rare closeup performance! 
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Mourning Dove Song Coo Call Sounds

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Video For Cats To Watch - Backyard Birds!


Backyard Birds for cats and people to enjoy!  North American birds you and your cat will love, Blue Jays, Cardinals, rare Painted Buntings, rare closeups of the Brown Thrasher (State Bird of Georgia) and more.

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Video For Cats To Watch - Backyard Birds!

Osprey Attacks Bald Eagle





Osprey Attacks Bald Eagle


Osprey versus Eagle. Territorial fight between our resident Osprey and encroaching Bald Eagle high above the Backyard. Like a fighter pilot scrambling to defend its territory the Osprey is always on high alert and lords over the conservation area with nest site and the small lake full of fish - he knows an eagle is trouble - so the best defense is a good offense!

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Osprey Attacks Bald Eagle

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Mother Squirrel With Two Babies In Nest!


Mother Gray Squirrel sleeping with her two babies in the Screech Owl Nest Box. They should be opening their eyes any day now!
The video is sped up twice normal time.

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Mother Squirrel With Two Babies In Nest

Northern Cardinal Couple


The Cardinals are having a nice quiet private meal which is unusual in the Backyard Jungle. They are getting ready to start a family - its that time of year!

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Northern Cardinal