Archive for August, 2016

Baird’s Sandpiper juvenile 8/31/16


My immediate impression of this sandpiper was that it was a Baird’s, really no other peep has the same golden tones, noticeably warmer than the more common Semipalmated Sandpiper. To confirm, check out how the wingtips extend well beyond the tail, the only other long-winged peep is the similarly sized White-rumped Sandpiper, but that’s a much grayer bird than this. Baird’s Sandpipers migrate to the west coast of South America down the Central Flyway, west of the Mississippi, but every year a few strays wind up coming south down the Atlantic coast, and this is one of them. 



Eastern Bluebird 2nd brood fledglings 8/12/16

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Eastern Bluebird pairs usually have 2 and occasionally even 3 broods per summer. Fledglings from early broods sometimes help their parents raise the young of a later brood, and fledglings from the last brood sometimes stay with their parents through the winter. Populations in southern Canada and Northern US states are entirely migratory while in states not very far south of us they are year round birds. Here in New England we have a mix, most populations migrate short to medium distances and a few year-round residents. Juveniles have white-spotted breasts and are mostly a drab gray on top with just a hint of blue in the wings. These 2 juves on my neighbors chimney had 2 siblings lower down on the roof, and all were being tended to and watched over by their Royal Blue dad.


Ruby-throated Hummingbird juve 8/8/16

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In August my backyard is full of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds visiting the feeder and garden flowers, all diving and chasing each other. This juve among the yucca flowers was chased off by an adult male only moments after my shutter clicked. They are inquisitive but aggressive, and they are peculiarly solitary compared to other birds. For one thing, Ruby-throated hummers don’t form pair bonds. Migrating males arrive early and take the best territories, while females arrive later and set up their own separate territories. Courtship only lasts a few moments and both sexes may mate with several partners in neighboring territories. Females do all the nestbuilding, brooding, and chick-rearing, and can raise several broods in a summer. Males begin migrating south in July, many males you see visiting feeders today are migrants from farther north and many or our summer breeding males are already on their way to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.


Eastern Screech Owl red morph


Eastern Screech Owls are woodland birds that come in either red or gray morphs as well as some intermediary brownish plumages. Mixed pairs do occur. They are stocky ear-tufted owls with yellow eyes and are only about 8 inches tall.