Sunday, April 18, 2010

Northern Mockingbird Song

The Northern Mockingbird song is truly impressive. I have been observing northern mockingbird habits since I lived in Watertown, MA and had one nesting in the bushes out front. I love encountering mockingbirds in situations where I'm not looking for them- like in Winthrop during Bird-a-Thon.

Today I got to enjoy sitting through a full repertoire of a northern mockingbird song. Mockingbirds are well-known for their imitation of other birds' songs and calls. Watch the video below to hear a short sampling of this Northern Mockingbird's repertoire. Can you name that Mockingbird tune? Comment to let me know which ones you hear in the repertoire!

Burrage Pond Wildlife Management Area

Burrage Pond Wildlife Management Area in Halifax, MA is a very popular spot for birding in Southern Massachusetts. I first discovered it during a South Shore Bird Club trip.

Here are some pictures from my trip there on Good Friday.

Song Sparrow:

Garter Snake:

Eastern Bluebird Nest Site- Burrage Pond

I'm not sure if where the Eastern Bluebird nest sites are at Burrage Pond in Halifax, MA, but they are definitely out in full effect there.

I love spotting Eastern Bluebirds- there are eastern bluebird nest boxes on Bridgewater State College campus. I see them when I'm driving by in the early morning.

Tree Swallow House

There are several tree swallow houses, and many more tree swallows at Burrage Pond Wildlife Management Area in Halifax, MA. These tree swallow pictures were take when I went there on Good Friday. I was introduced to the area during a South Shore Bird Club trip, organized by my neighbor John- Bird Man of Bridgewater.

Eastern Towhee Pictures

When I was home a few weekends ago I got these pictures of an Eastern Towhee. Actually, a lifer for me I believe! My mom yelled to me from the kitchen and said "there's a bird out back that's black on top and brown on underneath and my first instinct was to say that it's just a robin, but she assured me that it wasn't. So I went to look and it was a towhee!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Common Eider - Provincetown, MA

Here are some Common Eider pictures from when I was in Provincetown at low tide. I was really fortunate to have low tide the morning of our trip. This Common Eider duck didn't really spend any time on the sand bar (except on a very narrow peninsula to preen). Mainly it was swimming around in the channel. There was actually a pair, but I don't have any pictures of the common eider female.

Common Eider swimming:

Common Eider in Flight:

Common Eider Bill:

Male Common Eider:

I have another Common Eider photo taken during Bird-a-thon last year, when I went birding in Winthrop with my friend Abbie. But those were taken while the bird was in much rougher waters, although it was cool to see it stretching its neck and standing up as the waves went by.

I think they are beautiful. I would love to see a King Eider sometime. I wonder where my best bets are to see those...

Black Brant Goose

Here are some more pictures from our trip to Provincetown March 20th. These were taken early Saturday morning as I walked out on the flats during low tide. This was my first time really observing black brants- they're pretty cool! Often compared to Canada Geese, I think these are far more interesting probably just because of the short time they're around (winter). Therefore, their friendly disposition, and bugle-like calls were much more appealing by default.

You can hear the Black Brant Call in this video:

They respected my personal space, as I did theirs, when walking around on the flats. Canada Geese on the other hand, would have been much more obnoxious, not moving an inch to let me by. This has been my experience with the Canada Geese monopolizing the Chestnut Hill Reservoir in Brighton, and also the portion of the Charles River in Watertown Square. They're not very obliging when you're trying to carefully pick your way around on the path.
Also, they're far more photogenic- look at this Black Brant posing for me:
Here's a picture of a Black Brant dabbling. What do Black Brants eat? They eat plants- vegetation found in shallow water.
Black Brant Prints:
Black Brants in Flight. They kind of look like B52s coming in for landing.