Late(r) Summer Birds

This is the quiet time of year. The birds are done establishing territory, meeting each other, and mating. Now some are looking after young. Other youngsters are off on their own. All are generally staying quiet. They’re laying low, but they are still there. This morning I encountered 25 different species (even though that’s rather unusual for this time of year).

Some of the birds of high-summer have moved on. The Green Herons have departed, along with their young. The Great-crested Flycatchers and Eastern Kingbirds are no longer turning high in the tree tops.

It has been a while since I processed pictures and wrote a post, so this will be a look back over the past couple of months.

Let’s start with a young ‘un: a juvenile Red-bellied Woodpecker. The main thing that marks this as a juvenile is the lack of red on the back of its head.

Next up is a young Cooper’s Hawk. I saw this hawk and one of its parents chasing a gang of American Crows. I’ve read that Cooper’s Hawks will feed on juvenile crows. The young hawk rested on a chimney while the adult continued the chase. A week or so later I saw the same scenario play out again, closer to the pond: two Cooper’s Hawks chasing crows.

Green Herons raise between two and three clutches of eggs each breeding season. These fledglings were probably from a later clutch. I watched the first one preening, then, when it folded its wings, the second appeared behind it. After taking these pictures, I realized a third one was further up the branch.

A few days later, I saw another young Green Heron (below). I don’t think this one is related to the ones above, it’s much further along in gaining its feathers. All that’s left of its fluff is the tuft on top of its head.

While I’m posting pictures of herons on the dock, this Great Blue Heron must have been digesting something. It stayed in place while I took a picture from the parking lot (the new cover picture for this blog) and was still there when I walked around to the dock. I was able to creep down the ramp to take pictures. Another of my walking friends was also able to take pictures. Unflappable. (I think it was still there when I got to the other side of the pond.)

A Tufted Titmouse posed nicely for me. What I find interesting about this picture is that its claws aren’t closed around the branch. In fact they don’t seem to be touching at all. I suppose the fleshy part of its feet provide enough “hold” for it to perch comfortably.

As I’ve written in earlier posts, Hairy Woodpeckers and Downy Woodpeckers can be hard to differentiate. Here are a female Downy on the left and a male Hairy on the right. Note the outer tail feathers and the position of the eye, relative to the length of the head, beak to nape.

Some may be turned off by this next picture. Yes, the Turkey Vulture’s head is decidedly unattractive. Focus instead on the glorious array of feathers it uses to soar for hours on end.

And to wrap things up, here are a Great-crested Flycatcher, a White-breasted Nuthatch,and an Eastern Kingbird (also seen as the featured image on this post).

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