Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Birds at the Dam

During the summer we've been taking morning walks on a dam with some friends. We have been able to identify all kinds of birds there, the most common being the myriad swallows that soar along the the dam walls.  We also collected flowers from here, but I'll write about that in a separate post.

We've seen birds like these Canada geese.  We've been visiting since the goslings were very little.  In this picture they have their adult coloring.  Seven in all, following closely behind their parents.  They often sit in the shade on the shore.

And these mallards, who are relatively new to this small pond.  Maybe we'll see ducklings soon, too.

We've seen bluebirds, goldfinches, great blue herons, and the brilliant orange of Baltimore orioles.  One day I saw a flash of a dull orange, almost brown.  the medium-sized bird perched on the fence at the edge of the water.  It was a new bird to me, and it did not have distinctive marking on its back for me to look up later in my guide.

When we went for our nature walk, though, I brought my camera.  Fortunately the mystery bird stayed around the ranger station, perhaps nesting nearby, and I was able to capture an image.  Its a brown thrasher, and the orange-brown color is known as "rufous."  It has the distinctive yellow eye, barred wings, and curved beak--though a very thick one compared to the images online.

It's a member of the mockingbird family and has one of the largest song repertoire of any North American bird.

Hopefully I will get pictures of the other birds we've spotted and maybe of the kids will even draw one.  It would be great to find a feather for us to look at with the loupes.

1 comment:

  1. We have brown thrashers around here (it's our state bird!) but I have never seen a rufous one! Very interesting!