Bird Update for Summer

During the last few weeks, I have seen an increasing number of new birds. I can’t imagine this is a seasonal occurrence, as most birds are now witnessing their young begin to fledge. Perhaps I’m learning how to see them. With the help of the good pictures from Wiki, I can put the information here.

Every time I go to the lake, I see and hear the Bee Eaters, which I wrote about before. These days, the Thrush Nightingales are being quiet. Instead, I’m learning to hear other birds that perhaps were masked by the songs of the nightingales before.

European Bee-Eater:

European Bee-Eater.jpg

The Black-Eared Wheatear is a very elegant bird, and an insectivore. This is a picture of the male. The female is browner. This one is a common sight these days, even in town:

black-eared-wheatear.jpg
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One morning I saw a flash of solid yellow. It was a showstopper! The whole body was yellow except for the wings. It turns out that it is a Golden Oriole, the male easily identified. The female is green. They eat insects and fruit.

golden oriole.jpgimgres-3.jpg

Another bird, slightly larger than a sparrow, is the Red-Backed Shrike. I usually see it on the top section of tall grasses or on fences, as it keeps a lookout. Apparently this bird is nicknamed the “butcher bird” because it impales beetles, lizards, and frogs on thorns, which it keeps in a “larder” for rough times. The female, as usual is not as sharply colored:

red-backed shrike.jpgimgres-4.jpg

A large-sized resident here is the Hooded Crow, which measure 19 – 20 inches in length. Just like other crows, these birds are very smart. They are scavengers. They can watch another bird hide a stash, and then return to it to raid it when the other bird is gone. Here is my picture of this bird, followed by Wiki’s picture:

IMG_4463.jpg

Hooded Crow.jpg

I’ve been seeing European Goldfinches, too. The males and females are colored very similarly, with the females’ spots of color slightly smaller than the males’. The first picture is of a male. The second of a pair. The difference seems slight.

European Goldfinch.jpg

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A few days ago, I was sure I heard a Kingfisher.  Apparently, the Common Kingfisher, also called the Eurasian Kingfisher, is the size of a sparrow! So small! I didn’t see it. The road I walk is up pretty far from the banks the Kingfisher likes to hang out in. If I had seen it, it would probably have looked like this:

Common_Kingfisher_Alcedo_atthis.jpg

On every walk I take at the lake I meet at least one new bird. This area has amazing variety. It’s very difficult to tell the small brown birds apart, but they are all more distinct than the Little Brown Bird category I’ve known before. I’ll keep trying to identify them, and post them here as I learn.

What joy these little creatures bring me!

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5 thoughts on “Bird Update for Summer

  1. Beautiful pictures, Kathleen. It is so beautiful where you are. Here in Eugene, I see mostly crows and blue jays and I miss the other smaller birds and their songs. Thanks for your thoughtful blogs.

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