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The Amateur Birder's Journal - Stories & Photographs by J R Compton
The Current Journal is always Here  All Contents Copyright 2012 and before by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved.   
DO NOT USE photos without permission.   Bird Rescue Advice  Cameras & Lenses Used. Cam Journals::D7000  G2 
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Emory Eagle Fest    Please help me identifying birds I have not yet identified here.  contact me.

White Rock Lake

June 29 2012

Adult Female Wood Duck - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.  

Adult Female Wood Duck

It's gotta be one of my favorite things. To stand around Bird Squad Beach and photograph — well any bird who shows up, really — but especially Wood Ducks. And especially right now, in the early days of official summer, when there's such a variety of looks available in your basic Wood Duck. This one's deep red brown with the usual touches of white around the beak and eyes and flashes at wingtips near her tail.

Adult Nonbreeding Male Wood Duck - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Adult Nonbreeding Male Wood Duck

White around cheek and jowl is the giveaway. These Wood Ducks are in the minority late evenings at Sunset Bay — there's always lots more mallards than woodies, but they're easy enough to pick out of the mass of squabbling ducks along the rows of fresh-poured corn grain on the ground where Charles pours it.

Juvenile Wood Duck - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Juvenile Wood Duck

No white jowl markers and the spectacles around its eye has not yet grown. Might be a male or a female. A few more weeks will tell. A little plain yet, but rich in the red of sunset.

Adult Female Wood Duck - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Adult Female Wood Duck

For a big change, I'm pretty sure about these identifications. I've got The National Audubon Society's The Sibley Guide to Birds opened to page 81 looking at the four most distinctive versions of Wood Ducks. I like this shot, because it's got plenty of detail — thanks to my recently bumped but not injured 300mm lens — and because it shows the usually more subtle blues, browns, purples and reds of their wings. White sawtooth shapes too, all on a smorgasbord of brown tones. Gorgeous.

Adult Female Wood Duck Walking - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Adult Female Wood Duck Walking on Shore

More blues here and more clumps of white along the side. With places to go and things go do.

Adult Female Wood Duck on Branch - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Adult Female Wood Duck on Branch

Fewer sunset colors here. Must have been a little earlier. Nice shot of her feet, silken, webbed and flexed. Nice to get that halo of setting sun along her front and lower edges, too.

Adult Female Wood Duck - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Adult Female Wood Duck

I keep having to sort through all the shots I've already posted in today's journal, to be sure not to duplicate any. Back and forth, up and down. They manifest such a wide variety within a fairly narrow spectrum of possibilities this early yet in summer. But the variety within those categories is just short of amazing. Love the little puffs of brown and near-white here.

Adult Nonbreeding Male Wood Duck - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Adult Nonbreeding Male Wood Duck

I don't know whose wing that was. I was paying most of my attention staring into the dark side of duck silhouettes just out from Bird Squad Beach, sometimes, as here, using my built-in camera flash to lighten that dark side and brighten anybody's wings that get in the way. Probably another duck's. Not, I think, a Wood Duck.

June 28 early & late

Great Blue Heron heading for Hidden Creeks - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

A Great Blue Heron Headed for Hidden Creek

Sometimes I feel like it's just hot, right? And other times, like it's the end of the world. Usually, it's some of both here in Dallas. But the birds. The birds don't seem to mind it as much as I do. They just go on. Even the cold-air-loving big white birds like pelicans, all of whose friends are back in southern Idaho now, nesting and breeding and whatever.

Two Mallards in Summer plummage - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Mallards in Varying Stages of summer Plumage

I've been to the lake three times today, and I didn't feel cooler any of those except early, and i want to go there even earlier tomorrow, then just leave it be the rest of the scorcher. The second time was without a camera, after an appointment nearby. That's when I saw a bright, nearly glowing gray Great Blue Heron up much closer to Bird Squad Beach. I just looked, then watched without the need to pick up a camera, as it gathered air beneath its wide wings and magically took to the sky, flapping those big wings away.

The image atop today's entry was from early this morning, a long way off. Behind it in the pic, is Dreyfus. I was standing in Sunset across the bay.

Pelicans Fishing in the AFternoon - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

American White Pelicans Fishing in the late afternoon

And these guys, featured below, were out swimming in the bay on my third visit to the lake today, chasing dreams of cool breezes. The closest I got to that was in The Slider, AC on high.

Monk Parakeet Gathering Nutrition - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Adult Monk Parakeet Gathering Nutrition

I did not know what it was up to. I'd pulled The Slider close to a gathering of parakeets on a sidewalk near the Winfrey Building, and was — for the first time in a long, long time — able to focus in on the elusive and colorful birds. Clickity-click.  I know they don't have teeth, but it seemed to chew it awhile after ingesting this part of this vegetation.

Juvenile Parakeet Indicates Need - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Juvenile Parakeet Flaps Tiny Wings and Leans Back, Indicating Need Food

Like any bird who can not yet feed itself, it makes its parental unit aware of its hunger. Almost a universal bird signal. The parent or feeding adult appears to be matching head angle to the already-fledged juvenile so transfer can take place.

Adult Disgorges Partially Digested Nutrient into Juvenile's Beak - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Adult Parakeet Disgorges Nutrients into Juvenile's Beak

It didn't seem like much in there or transferred, but it seemed to hit the spot for the little one. I know it's already fledged, because moments after this simple act was complete, most of the 'keets flew away.

STanding Monk Parakeet - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Standing Monk Parakeet

I assume this is an adult. It's got those deep blue feathers, and nobody was feeding it. Within seconds of this shot, they all flew away to some nearby trees, where I could easily hear their chatter, but I couldn't see any of them to photograph them. That's why, when I saw them on the sidewalk, I zoomed in and started photographing soon as I could.

Inquisitive looking female grackle - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Inquisiteve-looking Female Great-tailed Grackle

Of course, grackles are everywhere. But I've been testing an old camera after my new one dropped last week, and I've been wondering my old Nikon D300 could render images as sharp as my now-seriously-damaged D7000. The resounding answer is no, but this ain't bad.

Front of the Goose Line This Morning - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Front of the Goose Line This Morning

I was just getting to the pier at Sunset Bay this early morning when the gooses were wending their way to Sunset Bay. Since former goose leader Wilbur got highjacked awhile ago, I've been wondering who was leading them wherever they go at night and back in the mornings. I was too late to photo the whole line from afar, and with the telephoto set at 600mm, I couldn't get them all in. So these are the front four. The white duck in third place here, went to the front as they got closer to shore. So, basically, I still don't know who's in charge.

Middle and End of the Goose Line - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Middle and End of the Goose Line

I know that Wilbur always led the flock across the water, but I don't know if the second and third, etc. places were always the same ducks. That is, if there's any usual order. But I do note with some humor and pathos, who is the last duck in the longish line.

Blue Goose at the End - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Blue Goose at the End of the Line

It's our lost little Blue Goose. Whom Charles freed from a mess of fishing line some time ago. Who apparently cannot fly away from here, and who sometimes seems barely tolerated by the other species of tame gooses in residence at White Rock Lake. And at other times, it seems almost a part of their group.

To which, Annette Abbott adds: "I was just looking at your latest goose pics and thought I could provide you with a little info. The white goose who moved up to the head of the line ... is Dee. He has been asserting his authority and taking on Wilbur characteristics since Wilbur was taken. While he isn't always the leader, he is determined. And he is still goosing women! Much to Charles' delight, Dee got me good tonight! Then, that goose proudly flapped his wings and strutted off!

There is more to the little blue goose than most people know. Little Blue has been encouraging the four new geese to become a part of the group. When two of them stayed at the Bath House, Blue often swam over to be with them. He has been encouraging them and sticking near them. In your picture, I believe he is acting as their escort. We see him hanging out with the new guys a lot.

Speaking of the new ones, they are assimilating into the group and doing much better.

 Bunny Wabbit - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Bunny Wabbit

Now, we have a new evening visitor. Every night after sunset, a bunny comes out of the vegetation and checks out all the bird commotion. He gets ever closer to us. Definitely not afraid of the mallards."

Great Egret, Coot and Stump - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Great Egret, Coot and Sump on this side of Sunset Bay

I've been afraid to go outside, because I keep getting big, itchy bumps on my exposed and unexposed skin. Today, I wore long pants and nearly went swimming in DEET. It seems to have helped. Soon as I got home, I bathed off the DEET. I'm sure it's not helping me in any other way. But it's lovely not to have another new nest of big nasty bumps today.

June 24

 Two Pelicans in Sunset Bay - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Two Pelicans in Sunset Bay

Avid Bird Squadder and friend Annette Abbot emailed me today saying she had "spotted two pelicans at Sunset Bay last night, happily fishing together. Perhaps Rogers (Wildlife Rehabilitation) realized another one?!! I am glad the lone pelican has a companion, at least for a little while." Me, too. I've been worried about that lone pelican for awhile now.

I don't know which one is the one that's been here all year and more and which was the new visitor. Annette said they were fishing last night, and I was probably too early for that. But I've been fighting biting bugs, so I doused myself with DEET and made the best of evening cool, shot this and a couple other pictures — I couldn't really get very close, and the pier was packed with people, and the pelicans didn't seem interested in both looking my way at the same time.

If they stay, I'll be back soon and get more shots. Maybe of them synchronized swimming fishing.

The Fort Worth Solid Wastes Drying Beds

June 23

 White Ibis - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

White Ibis

I'm way too busy this week on sixteen other projects to go birding every day like I'm used to. Besides, I've been being bitten unmercifully by bump-inducing bugs that make me itch and scratch like a zombie all day every day. Three White Ibis — among dozens others — tromping through this pond snuffling up whatever Ibis eat. They were eating them fast and furious, almost running through the water.

Three Ibis - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Three Ibis in the Swamp

Keeping those long, curved beaks busy busy capturing little bitty bits of food.

Three Ibis Flying Away - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Three Ibis Flying Away

Then flying away when I inadvertently scared them off by standing on the far side of the car and aiming my camera at them. They were okay as long as I stayed in the car, even if I couldn't see them through the tall grass. But sneak outside the car, and zap, they're in the air and soon gone.

The Chase - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Two Nutria Actively Chase a Female Mallard

Here's a little adventure I never expected to see. In fact, we hadn't seen any nutria on our Dry Beds trips all this year. Then these two nutria appeared. Being very malevolent.

The Chase II - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

The Chase - II

Not sure what they planned to do with the duck if they caught it, but they seemed very intent on catching it. These nutria were the most active ones we've ever seen.

The Chase III - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

The Chase III

I don't know if they ever caught up with the duck. She never flew very far, and they kept getting closer. After awhile, though, I just lost interest.

FOS Green Heron - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

FOS - First of SEason Green Heron

In photographs, especially those in focus, Green Herons tend to look several times as big as they really are. But they are tiny. I always look for shadows that move. That's Green Herons. Beautiful, stealthy and anything but green.

June 22

Black-necked Stilt standing - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.  

Black-necked Stilt standing

Chunked the doubler onto the revivified 300 yesterday, and we drove off toward the Fort Worth end of North Arlington for the Solid Waste Drying Beds with the newish sign warning us that's what we were doing, at our own risk, which we all but ignore, except to wonder if it would stink this time, and it didn't, at all. It was a beautiful morning, not terribly hot yet, and lots of interesting birds willing to pose briefly for us, and a few that flew us over or by, taunting us and our cameras.

Black-necked Stilt Nesting - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Black-necked Stilt Nesting?

Including these two stilts, which are tiny little birds about 15 inches long. The other one looks normal. This one looks like it's sitting a nest. Otherwise, it's a pose we haven't ever seen a Stilt hold this long. I don't know where they usually nest.

The Lone Pine edition of Texas Birds says they nest "in a shallow depression on slightly raised ground near water, nest is lined with shells, pebbles or vegetative debris; pair incubates 4 darkly blotched, buff eggs for about 25 days, pair tends the prcocial young."You suppose there's any chance whatsoever they could be doing that here?

Splotch Morph Little Blue Heron - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Splotch Morph Little Blue Heron

Of course, it's not really called a "splotch morph," we just liked saying that. These may be the bluest transitional juvenile Little Blue Herons we've seen, and they were out in numbers today. We saw them in the dozens at a couple pans.

Well, It's Got Yellow Legs - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Well, It's Got Yellow Legs

Yup. It's a Greater Yellowlegs, and it was the only one we saw, although who knows where its mate might be hiding.

Bushy-tailed Brown Bird with Stipes in the Grass - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Bushy-tailed Brown Bird with Stripes

I saw a little brown and tan blob moving around in the weeds.

Black Vulture on Electric Pole - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Black Vulture on Electric Pole

We almost extect to see one or two or a dozen of these amiable carcass-cleaners at or on our way to the dyring beds, and if they're comfortable, they won't get up for us, posting pleasantly.

Another Pole-top Sitter - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Another Pole-top Sitter

Holds its wings like a swallow. I'm guessing it's a Purple Martin, but by now you know about my guesses, that many of them aren't even particularly educated. More birds from that shoot later. I've got way too much to do to spend much more time tracking it through my sundry bird I.D books. Anybody out there confirm or deny my 'dentification?

Lots more pix to show from that Thursday morning shoot before my Computer died for a day, then came back as if nothing had happened to it, except gnashing teeth and trying every trick in the book to revivify it. For about 11 hours into the night, nothing happened. Then it did.

White Rock Lake in Dallas, Texas, USA

June 20

 Great Egret Flyover - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Great Egret Flyover

Today was the first day I'm shooting my 300mm after it dropped on the floor, bounced a couple times, and sheared my camera mount right off. So I'm using my recently factory-refurbished Nikon D300, and I'm learning and re-learning some old lessons with it. First one was that over-exposure is to the left in the viewfinder here, not on the right, as is the D7000.

Ducks in the Old Boathouse - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Ducks in the Old Boathouse

Another lesson has to do with focus. It doesn't seem to either focus as well or as quickly as the D7000. But that might be my settings. I'm still fooling with those.

FleEgret - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Fleegret

Fleeing Egret, that is. Snowy Egret in particular. My d7k would automatically adjust ISO to maintain whatever base shutter speed I set. It would do a lot of my thinking for me. This D300 doesn't, so this shot is a little more blurred than I would like.

Red-winged Blackbird in Dappled Shade - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Red-winged Blackbird in Dappled Sunlight

There's some cute little berries hanging from the top of where the frame would have been if I'd wanted to include a lot more of the tree and less of this bird. Black birds are often more of a challenge to get the exposure right, and this time was no exception. I'm surprised by the blue below his red and yellow chevrons.

Great Blue Heron in the Lagoon - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Great Blue Heron in the Old Boathouse Lagoon

On another stop on my way around the lake today, some women on bikes slowed to tell me there was a Great Blue Heron on the path back always. I laughed and thanked them. Hardly a rare sighting at White Rock, where I suspect a couple dozen Great Blue Herons live. Nice and social of them, they usually don't bother to hide. This one was clearly fishing, staring stoically into space, waiting implacable for something to move, so it could get caught.

Yellow-crowned Night-heron - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

I won't go into my usual spiel about where these used to rook and don't anymore because of the stink, but we see them commonly around here these days. I was hoping for a Green Heron, and was happy to accept this one instead. When I first saw it, it was a dark splotch in the weeds. The weeds along the side of the path didn't used to be so high. Now they block a lot of the angles I used to use. Right here, is where I have often found Green Herons right about at the beginning of summer. This was great, though I had to wait for it to raise its head from the incessant preening.

Lil Guy in a Grid - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Lil' Guy in a Grid

A little brown bird on the new wood bridge behind The Old Boat House.

Red-winged Blackbird with Gloves On - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Red-winged Blackbird with Gloves On

Birds today must have been startled by the first day of spring. They don't usually but today, they often let me get pretty close. It looks like this one has gloves on. More detail visible up close — and with a sharp lens. All today's shots are without the doubler, so they are all at 300mm. Amazing detail.

Juvenile Eastern Kingbird - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Juvenile Eastern Kingbird

Eastern Kingbirds! It must be spring.

Juvenile Eastern Kingbird - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Juvenile Eastern Kingbird

If one of these last two shots for today is a juvenile Eastern Kingbird, then both of them are, because it's the only E. Kingbirditus I photographed today.

June 18

 New Player in Heron Aerial Ballet - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

New Player in the Heron Aerial Ballet / Fights

Saw several species of small heron-egrets playing under the walking bridge over the Lower Steps on the Spillway today driving by, so I turned on Winstead, parked in the new lot, and walked back to the Lower Steps. Hot as it was, I love photographing their sometimes strange ballet, and I had been photographing the usual Snowy Egret (left above) dancing, when I saw and began photographing what I first thought might be a Little Blue or an immature Great Blue Heron as unwilling unwilling participant as chasee.

Rounding Scat Bend - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Rounding Scat Bend

Once it had turned around, I realized it was the Tricolored Heron who has been seen and photographed in Sunset Bay a lot recently, so I paid special attention. I've never seen but that one at White Rock, although I've seen and photographed others at the Medical Center Rookery, where they nest, and near the Trinity River where both adult Tricolored Herons and juveniles hunt.

Tri Flies - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Tri Flies — Snowy Watches

The chase was on. In these photographs, the Snowy Egret  (Length 22 - 26 inches, Wingspan  3.5 feet) rooks considerably larger than the Tricolored Heron (L 26 inches, W 3 feet), which may well be true. But I've always thought of Snowies as small — considerably smaller than Great Egrets. (L 3 - 3.5 feet, W 4 feet). All sizes from the Lone Pine Birds of Texas book that I cherish.

Snowy Chasing Tricolor "Like Vengeance" - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Snowy Chasing Tricolor "like Vengeance"

Snowies are combative, seem to often be picking fights with any bird it seems to think is in its territory or that appears to have better fishing skills than they.

Ticolor Looking Back - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Looking Back, Tricolor Sees the Snowy is Catching Up

I'll repeat what I said the other day when I was photographing Snowies chasing snowies and other birds in the same place, I've never seen them draw blood, but they put on a great display, feathers all puffed up and occipital plumes bouffanted out.

Quick Walk Down the Beach - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Quick Walk Down the Beach

The slightly larger Snowy is almost always the aggressor. Today, I saw it aggress Little Blue Herons, other Snowies, but never Great Egrets or the Great Blue Heron down there catching fish, too. Usually, it does not attack birds bigger than it is.

Tri Fly & Snowy Chases - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Tri Flies & Snowy Thinks About Chasing Some More

Eventually, the Snowy gave up chasing the Tricolored, but both will be back.

Meanwhile, my cat knocked my camera and that lens off my desk mangling the connection between them, and I thought surely it would be out of commission for awhile, so I took it to Robert Ferraro at Archinal Camera Repair at 203 West Main in Richardson (in business since 1954) to see what the damage was.

In a few moments, he diagnosed it. The camera had lost its lens mount, which completely sheared off when the two hit my carpeted floor, but the lens was stronger than that little, amateur Nikon D7000 camera that only lets me shoot a frame every few seconds, so it lost — and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I'll send the d7k back to Nikon's Melville, New York facility (better service than their L.A. facility) for repair, which means I'll have to go back to my recently completely Nikon refurbished D300, which I probably should have been using anyway, although it's at least a semi-pro cam, and I'm not sure which end would have won a drop-down with it, cam or lens. But I'm a much happier and less nervous camper today.

The Seventh Inning Rouse - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

The Seventh Inning Rouse

When birds stretch most parts of their body — they can do them all together or each individual feather — it's called a "rouse." I have a growing page of Rouses so you see what all is entailed in a good rouse by various species. And if you enjoy that, you might like my page of The Several Strange Things Pelicans Do With Their Beaks.

San Antonio, Texas — Last Month

June 16

Little Blue Heron Gathering Sticks for Its Nest - crpy

Little Blue Heron Gathering Sticks for Its Nest

This is the one photograph I've been wanting for more than a month to get around to working up for this page. Shot  in the rookery island behind the Catholic college whose name escapes me, well more than a month ago. I keep stumbling over this shot and promising myself I'll show it to you guys, then I get lost on some other project — several of which are still ganging up on me as I type this.

Tricolored Heron in San Antonio - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Tricolored Heron in Full Breeding Colors

And this is the third most worthy shot from that triplet of images from our San Antonio trip that I've been wanting to show you, and now I finally am.

Wings-up Tricolored Heron in San Antonio Rookery - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Tricolored Heron at the Rookery in San Antonio

And this is the second most worthy one.

Full Breeding Colored Cattle Egret in the San Antonio Rookery - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Feathers Down, But Adult Cattle Egret in Full Breeding Colors

Vivid red and orange beak, big brown spots on the front and pink legs. And that big chunk of wood in its beak is for the nest.

Snowy Egret with Three Blue Eggs - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Snowy Egret on Nest with Three Big Blue Eggs

There's several more shots — especially a detailed shot of two of them mating — that I need to clear my vision for, so I can choose the absolute closest one shot of them doing the deed, that I'll show you later this weekend or week, when I can once again see straight. These shots were utterly simple to work up — they call it PP, as in Post Production, although I always thought PP was the production. Taking them is comparatively far easier. It's a little more complex than just "going click," but not that much.

White Rock Lake

June 13

 The Last Pelican - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

The Lest Pelican

Most of our American White Pelican contingent left in April. Apparently, they even took with them the eight pelicans who spent last summer here. I knew one was left. I just hadn't seen it for about a month. It was easy to convince myself that that late visiting other bunch of pelicans reported to have stopped at White Rock Lake a couple weeks ago to do some synchronized-swimming fishing, had spirited this last one off with it, when they flew off to the cooler northwest territories — Idaho is where the only American White Pelicans we've found with leg bands was traced back to.

Profile of the Last Pelican - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Still The Last Pelican

I liked thinking that so much that when I nearly stumbled on this one in Sunset Bay today, I was startled. It seems to have some black fuzz growing on its upper beak — and I wonder about that, as I wonder about most things pelican — but it must be lonely till October when the flock arrives back for its annual autumn-winter stayover.

Mr. & Mrs. Summer Mallard - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Mr. & Mrs. Summer Mallard

Tattered where he's breast bumped other mallards earlier, and browner overall, the Mallards are our most populous duck, although I remember somebody asking if we ever saw any Mallards around here. I had to laugh at that one.

June 11

 Dance of the Snowy Egrets - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved.

Dance of the Snowy Egrets 1

Of course, it's not really a dance. Except that, of course it is a dance. It's a ritualized fight. This one is very probably over fishing rights to a particular parcel of waterfront property. It could be over one particular fish. Like dancers, they adopt poses and patterns, rhythms even, in pursuit of their goals — to dominate the other and keep moving. The one on the right seems puffed up, as if to appear larger and formidable.

Dance of the Snowy Egrets - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved.

Dance of the Snowy Egrets 2

Driving back from The Y (the one in Lake Highlands, where they have a great, indoor swimming pool that stays open all year and has a bright, light, pleasant place that's comfortable and clean), I always look down under the walking bridge over The Lower Steps, and this time was surprised to see about two dozen egrets down there.

Dance of the Snowy Egrets - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved.

Dance of the Snowy Egrets 3

So, tired as I was — and I was exhausted, I turned the corner past The Spillway, parked in the new parking lot, exactly where I usually park down there, trundled my un doubled telephoto lens (only 300mm and wide-apertured for fast focus) over to the grassy area overlooking the Lower Steps below the dam at White Rock Lake.

Dance of the Snowy Egrets - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved.

Dance of the Snowy Egrets 4

And later moved to the place on the Walking Bridge over all that where one section ends and the other begins, so the quivering, jellifying steps by every runner, walker or kiddie-pushing adult promenader doesn't shake me and my camera so thoroughly, we can't take pictures for whole minutes or more.

Dance of the Snowy Egrets - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved.

Dance of the Snowy Egrets 5

I shot the usual Great Egrets just standing there looking for fish along the slanted concrete edges and along the top of The Steps. Many times, I attempted to rest my shirt-sleeveless arm on the bright hot top steel of the balustrade — it never worked. That thing is hot. Especially hot on a hot, hot day like today.

Dance of the Snowy Egrets - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved.

Dance of the Snowy Egrets 6

And I photographed the egrets doing what egrets do — catch and swallow fishes whole, search for fish, and mock-battle each other. Only very rarely do two of them feign battle with each other. And even then, it's usually over within a few short seconds.

Dance of the Snowy Egrets - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved.

Dance of the Snowy Egrets 7

But this one time, it kept going, and going. Their feathers would flop up or fly back blat, bounce, ruffle or flail. As would the swirling substance of white feathers. They would grow suddenly larger and wilt into tiny versions of themselves.

Dance of the Snowy Egrets - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved.

Dance of the Snowy Egrets 8

They danced and flailed and flung each other at the other. If any damage was dealt in any of these pictures, it would have been here. We can't see the one on the right's extended feet and claws, but it's not difficult to imagine they might be extended towards the one on the left — and sharp.

Dance of the Snowy Egrets - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved.

Dance of the Snowy Egrets 9

Never once actually injuring each other. I've seen that happen, and it did not happen in those long seconds when I photographed this dance today.

The Dance of the Snowy Egrets - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Dance of the Snowy Egrets 10

I originally posted this image right here. Then I realized it's not the same two breeding (indicated by all the flowing fine feathers and colored feathers in strategic places) Snowy Egrets as in most of the other photographs in this series. In fact, the one on the right  appears — from what little we can see — not to be a Snowy (Notice that its legs and feet are both yellow.).

More likely, it's a Great Egret. It's not like this "dance" is one great, flowing moment or series of moments in time. They are arranged strictly chronologically. When I can, I generally do that. So this truly fits between the last shot and the next one. But this image is not the same two as most of the others with just two. But I have no doubt it belongs right here in the progression and abstraction of the dance.

Dance of the Snowy Egrets - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved.

Dance of the Snowy Egrets 11

In the end, they tired of the strum, drang and chase, and one walked away. Probably, they had worked up an appetite, and went back to finding fresh food..

June 9

Fuzzy Duckling - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.  

Fuzzy Duckling

Things were purring along, and I was able to make it to the lake or somewhere where birds were, almost every day, then zapp! I was too busy to turn around or up to see any birds. Busy, busy, busy. Had to turn down an iffy-anyway board of directors position, 'cause I didn't want to have to work for somebody else's cause, when I barely had time for my own. Then I remembered a piece of art due later this month that I'd thought about profusely, but hadn't done anything about, and that's gonna take several more days of struggle.

Flight - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Sudden Flight of the Female Red-winged Blackbird

So hurrier though I have got, behinder I continue. I'd just snuck up on this little bird, was all composed and in focus, when whoosh it became the wind, and although I love in-flight photo opportunities, this one didn't work out quite like I'd liked. The human condition.

Adult Male Breeding House Sparrow - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Adult Male Breeding House Sparrow in the Green of a Tree

I and all my neighbors have an abundance of House Sparrows these days. But usually, they're not green like this one, deep in a low branching tree at the lake is.

Grackle in the Jungle - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Adult Female Great-tailed Grackle in the Jungle

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Female Redwinged Blackbird - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

I think this is a female Red-winged Blackbird

When I don't think it is a female Red-winged Blackbird, it usually is, but I think this is one, so it may just not be. Sometimes bird identification is perverse like that.

And Who Be This? - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

And Who Be This?

When I shot this last week, I assumed it was a Red-winged Blackbird, but then I wasn't at all sure, because they usually aren't yellow like this. Then I didn't put it up because I did not know who it could possibly be, and now I don't care. She or he is a handsome and pretty bird.

Drying Off the Tail - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Drying Off the Body, Especially that Long Tail

Any bird about this size and configuration comes along, and I assume I'm photographing yet another Red-winged Blackbird, again. Now I'm not so sure. Anybody out there know for sure who this is? I'm pretty sure it had just taken a bath.

Flying Duck - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Duck Comes Flying By, I Go Click

Then try to figure out who it is later — if I manage to get it in focus. I think this is a summer eclipse male Mallard. But what do I know?

Red-winged Blackbird Diggin in the Dirt for Food - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Male Red-winged Blackbird Digging in the Dirt for Food

I know this one. I know this one. I guess by now I really ought to. Good to know one every once in a while, though. Even if it's this obvious.

And Who's This? - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

And Who's This?

Looks a lot like a duck, but the pattern on the back doesn't seem Mallardish to me. Or its neck, either. Oh, who, who, who be this?

 

San Antonio, Texas & White Rock Lake in Dallas, Texas, USA

June 5

 Martins - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Purple Martins in Purple Martin House in San Antonio

Vaguely I am remembering that I shot a lot more images in San Antonio than I ever got around to showing you last month, when we did our last Gulf Coast Trip, and I liked these especially, so I'll mix them into this week's journal as the heat gets to me. Since this is the artsiest of the bunch, it goes first.

Purple Martins Magesty - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.  

Purple Martin's Majesty

I think what reminded me of these 300-miles-more-southern martins is that I shot more martins in Dallas yesterday, (not far below), and I suddenly (It's always sudden when we remember long lost memories, birds or otherwise) remembered getting a few really good shots (the two above) of them in San Antonio, where the martin house was right outside our temporary back door. The door was permanent. Our stay there wes just a few days. Nice digs, though.

Blue Martins - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Blue Martins on their House

And now this, rather slowly and subtly is reminding me that there were a bunch of photographs of the big Catholic college in inner-San Antonio whose rookery we always try to attend. And I don't think I've ever even gone through those pictures, which means I really should. This shot actually shows Purple Martins on a martin house, a rare enough occasion to mark and remark about.

Starling on a Martin House - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

European Starling on a Martin House

And this is the European Starling, who has no natural enemies here in North America, to which it was introduced eons ago, because they were mentioned in Shakespeare, and some idiot thought it would be wonderful to have all the birds William Shakespeare mentioned here in the U.S.

Martins on the Roof - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Female Purple Martin with Male in the background

These were shot in San Tone just a tad more than one month ago, but they could rather more easily have been taken in Dallas today. Although maybe the birds' colors have changed now that it's summer. Although it seems like it's always summer in San Tone.

Dallas Martin Yesterday - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.  

Male Purple Martin Overlooking White Rock Lake in Dallas Yesterday

Not as artsy as my San Antonio martins, but lots of detail, and this one was so hot, it had its beak open. Hot. Hot. Hot. Read Birds Don't Sweat to learn the several ways birds cool themselves.

More Hot Martins Here - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

More Hot Martins Here

Gathering on the shady side of the house. Dallas female martins a month later seem to have more fine-line stripes in front than splotches.

June 4

 Black-crowned Night-Heron in Liquid Gold - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Black-crowned Night-Heron in Liquid Gold

Stopped by the Lower Steps down from the Spillway under the dam. Apparently to see some Black-crowns standing there waiting for food to manifest itself.

Black-crowned Night-Heron Waiting for Food - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Black-crowned Night-Heron Waiting for Food

This time standing on the slanted concrete apron tapering down to the foam rushing through the lower steps, making the corner, to escape out into one of our many White Rock Creeks. It just stood there waiting. Sometimes, when I wasn't paying near enough attention, it would jut its big beak into the sloshing foam and pull out a morsel of food, swallow it, and wait for some more.

Waiting, Too, Was a Pretzeled GBH - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Waiting, Too, Was a Pretzeled Great Blue Heron

I watched it twist, turning its head around, coiling its long thin neck, and drooping its wing, till it looked like a pretzel. Still, it watched and waited and hoped to find some food. That's what it's usually about around the lower steps. Breeding was more than a month ago for Great Blue Herons, so now, it's just food.

Oh, Boy! I Know That Feeling - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Oh, Boy! I Know That Feeling.

This youngish Great blue Heron looks like it was, as they say entirely too often already, "rode hard and put away wet." I know the feeling. But, actually, it's just done a rather thorough rouse that I missed photographing and just barely saw.

Great Egret - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Great Egret Neck

Long-neck, Texas-Style.

June 2

 Rag Mop House Sparrow Taking a Bath - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Rag Mop House Sparrow Taking A Bath in Sunset Bay

It's a common, ordinary House Sparrow in the big middle of taking a bath, therefore a spectacular, gorgeous House Sparrow, right? Right. And it's one of many more common birds I've been photographing lately. Especially the fast, small ones. I need the practice keeping up with them with my telephoto lens, and sometimes I manage that, and sometimes not.

Coat of Many Colors - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Coat of Many Colors

To get these and more to come soon enough, I crept slowly toward the shore of Sunset Bay — inching my way, quietly and carefully not to scare any birds away. Then I just stood there long enough for them to get used to me being there, so they'd do what needed doing. If they weren't transversing much territory or doing that very fast, I sometimes managed to get them exposed, focused, composed, etc. just about right. Often not, but I won't show you those.

Taking A Bath - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Ablutions

The whole deal today was me tunneling into individual, small birds — ordinary birds — whom I'd ordinarily overlook looking for bigger and more beautiful birds, but these certainly qualify for beautiful. And they're clean.

June 1

 Very Young Unfledged Oriole - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Very Young, Unfledged and Very Hungry Baltimore Oriole Waits for Food

A friend called saying she knew where was an oriole nest, and would I like to meet and photograph the evening feeding by both parents, and of course I did. Hungry babies want food, and J R always needs more photographs of local birds.

Mom Delivers - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Female Baltimore Oriole Delivers Fresh Food for Her Chicks

So both parental units took turns, about every five or so minutes while we watched and photographed, delivering food substances to the chicks, who looked very small when just their little triangular beaks and heads were visible above the thick fishing line and other long, thin nest materials.

Dad Arrives with a Luscious Green Morsel - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Dad Arrives with a Luscious Green Morsel

Each time they brought something, they'd first visit the closest other tree, then come over to the tree with the nest we were watching and deliver their goods. We liked the advanced notice for the unfolding feeding. All the nicer, since I don't often use a tripod — I actually do have one, but it's a clunker and it's not much good for field or any other work (although before the Leitz Brothers sold their company and the new guys made a superb tripod into a clunk, my previous Leitz tripod had lasted forty especially helpful years. Since I had to hoist the bazooka each time one or the other parent would hove into view, the double swooping was a great early warning system.

Daddy Delivery - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Male Baltimore Oriole Delivers a Luscious Green Thing to One of His Chicks

I know I shot four hundred and thirty-odd frames this evening, because I formatted both cards in the D7000 that morning before I went out, and I didn't take any of anything else till after we documented the nest routine. I mostly just stood there hoping for something of interest to be in good enough focus — and talking about birds and stuff — for a few minutes short of an hour.

Sometimes the Chicks Would Come Out - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

When the Parents Were Gone, Sometimes the Chicks Came Out and Flapped Wings or Something

So we were waiting for the parents to come back each time and for the chicks to come out between parental visits. Actually, quite a lot to do. Plus the friend and I hadn't got to photograph birds together for awhile, so we caught up a little, but mostly we talked about birds, and there were little yellow ones of those flitting about pretty regularly as we watched that section of tree sometimes waving in the evening breeze. It was a pleasant time on a pleasant day and the hour went quickly. Essentially, a pretty busy shoot, even if we had narrowed our telephoto attentions on just a few cubic feet of treeside action.

Mom in Close - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Mom Feeding Two Widely Opened Beaks

These Baltimore Oriole chicks looked so tiny with just their heads stretched up through the leaves, bigger the more of them we could see  on top of their nest area, and remarkably big and well-fed when the parents were making another fly to wherever luscious morsels of chick food comes from. I didn't notice the perceptual size variations then, — they all looked pretty tiny except through the viewfinder, but I've been looking pretty carefully through all those shots to pare them down to these few.

Male Baltimore Oriole Watching Over His Chicks - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Male Baltimore Oriole Watching Over His Chicks

We also saw a Western Kingbird nest in the tree the oriole parents visited every time before feeding the chicks in the tree we were so carefully documenting, but there wasn't much action while we waited and watched. I wasn't disappointed. I was plenty busy talking and waiting and photographing.

Male Oriole Eying the Photographers - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Male Baltimore Oriole Eyeing the PHhtographers

This guy looks as fascinated with us as we were with them. They had to be interested in what we were up to watching and photographing what they were up to, but I especially liked this shot of that handsome and brilliantly colored little critter.

Female Oriole Watching Her Chicks - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Female Oriole Watching Over Her Chicks

When the adult orioles weren't actually feeding their two or three chicks — we were never quite sure how many little ones there were among the thick leaves and stringy nest, they watched over them carefully for a few quick seconds before they fed them and again before they flitted off for more food.

Male Oriole Feeding Deep - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Male Oriole Sticking Something Deep Into His Chick's Gullet

Since we were only there about an hour, I don't really know how long the oriole pair kept up the constant feeding routine. It seemed like a forever job.

Female Oriole Feed Young - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Female Oriole Feeds Young

Okay, a few notes about Icterids, Orioles and especially Baltimore Orioles from The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior, which is often helpful about the behavioral aspects even if I am woefully ignorant of much of its vocabulary: "Pairs are seasonally monogamous, and both sexes help raise the young, although the female does most of the work." They build pendant nests up to two feet long. They fly back and forth from the Neotropics — South and Central America, the Mexican lowlands, the Caribbean islands, and southern Florida. Although not officially endangered, they are in significant decline in recent years. [Book published in 2001.]

Mom Feeds One Chick - Photograph Copyright 2012 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Baltimore Oriole Chick with Adult Female

Then back to my trusty Lone Pine Birds of Texas, which says they nest "high in deciduous trees. The female builds a hanging pouch of grass, bark shreds and grapevines" (or the much more locally plentiful fishing line), "incubates four or five darkly marked, pale gray eggs for twelve to fourteen days ... gleans canopy vegetation and shrubs for caterpillars, wasps and other invertebrates, eats some fruit and nectar, visits hummingbird feeders and takes orange halves."

 

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All text and photographs copyright 2011 by J R Compton.
All Rights Reserved. No reproduction in any medium without
specific written permission from and payment to
the writer or photographer.

My favorite answer is, "I don't know." I am, after all, an amateur.
I'm not kidding. I've only been birding for three years,
although I've been photographing professionally since 1964.

Thanks always to Anna.

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