How Birds Stay Cool in the Summer

I watched several Tree Swallows recently and noticed that when they stuck their head out of the hole in the nest box, it looked as if they were panting. After a little research, I found that an open mouth is one sign that a bird might be overheating and working to lower its body temperature. Continue reading How Birds Stay Cool in the Summer

Birding in Maine 5 Year Anniversary

Five years ago today, on July 3rd, 2006, my first blog entry was posted on the Birding in Maine web site. At the time, I had a point and shoot camera and little knowledge of where to bird in Maine. Blogging was new to me and I was not even sure that any one would visit. The first post received a total of 4 views and no comments through the first month of its existence. Continue reading Birding in Maine 5 Year Anniversary

Hairy Woodpecker Fledgling

They are clumsy, curious, and fly with the grace of a wet rag. Waiting in a tree near the feeders, the fledged Hairy Woodpecker vocalizes loudly while waiting for one of its parents to bring it food. Occasionally, it will swoop at the suet feeder, only to miss and tumble to the ground. After a week or two the fledgling begins to get the hang of it, learning how to land on the suet feeder and how to feed itself. It becomes more confident, graceful, and more aware of its surroundings. Continue reading Hairy Woodpecker Fledgling

Photo of the Day: Flaming Gorget

The right time, right place, right angle, right exposure and a lot of patience are all required to capture the full brilliance of a Hummingbird’s gorget. The gorget is the brilliantly colored area on the throat of a male Hummingbird and is a result of iridescence and not color pigments. *The throat feathers on a male Hummingbird contain very thin, film-like layers of platelets, set like tiles in a mosaic against a background that is dark. Light waves reflect and refract off the mosaic and creates the colors that you see [Bird Note]. Changes in the angles from which light strikes the gorget give the effect of different colors. When sunlight is not striking the gorget at the right angle the feathers will appear all black. Continue reading Photo of the Day: Flaming Gorget

Baltimore Oriole Fledgling

UPDATE: It’s been brought to my attention that this bird is not a fledgling but a first year male. Although I watched this bird begging and being fed by an adult male, I assumed it was a fledgling. My bad! You all know what assuming does. Many thanks to @_CabinGirl Tami Vogel for bringing this to my attention. Has anyone ever seen this behavior, where an adult feeds a begging 1st year Oriole? Let me know in the comments.

What a day for a bird to fledge! Today’s weather features on and off heavy rain, gusty winds and very cool temperatures, a day not fit for man nor beast. It would seem that a bird would rethink about leaving the comfort of its nest on a day like today. Continue reading Baltimore Oriole Fledgling

Saltmarsh Sparrow

Saltmarsh Sparrow – Ammodramus caudacutus

The Saltmarsh and Nelson’s Sparrows were once thought to be the same species and were known as the Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow. Upon discovery, through DNA analysis, that the Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow has two distinct populations, each merited status as a full species. Therefore, Ammodramus caudacutus was split into A. caudacutus and A. nelsoni by the AOU in 1998. Continue reading Saltmarsh Sparrow

Photo of the Day: Hovering Hummingbird

I am hoping that you are not getting tired of the Hummingbird photos. There are so many around this year, and because of this, it gives me a chance to hone in on my in-flight photos. The female Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been more or less absent from the nectar feeders, leading me to believe they are on their nests tending to young. Continue reading Photo of the Day: Hovering Hummingbird

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