My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Birding around the Lean-to

Dark-eyed Junco
Dark-eyed Junco

We could only found 17 species of birds around the lean-to during our three days of backpacking on the North County Trail. But, do note that they were great birds to watch as our entertainment while at camp. Dark-eyed Juncos and American Robins were the most visual of all the birds we saw. The Juncos appeared to have nest building near the water spring and was protecting a territory!

American Robin
American Robin

The American Robin showed the most territorial agonistic behavior of any of the birds we saw! Two males would literally battle in the air and fall pecking each other all the way to the ground. I wanted to say, “Boys . . . cut it out”! But I knew it is their nature to be fighting like this and just watched in awww!

Brown Creeper
Brown Creeper

It was almost a toss up between the Brown Creeper and Winter Wren in who was the most vocal and loudest bird of the site. I did capture a photo of the Brown Creeper but wasn’t able to capture a picture of the Winter Wren . . . . so I give the metal to the Winter Wren!

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker nest building

We also constantly heard the irregular drumming of the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and luckily Young Naturalist J found this Sapsucker excavating a hole along the North Country Trail. We also had many other Woodpeckers in the area like the Hairy, Downy and Pileated that we would occasionally find. We had only a few visits by the White-breasted Nuthatch.

Blue-headed Vireo.jpg
Blue-headed Vireo

We also had a few migrants moving through the area. At 6am Saturday morning we had a flock of White-Throated Sparrow working their way up the stream (the only time we saw them). Although the Blue-headed Vireo’s were showing territorial behaviors . . . they are still one of our most recent migrants that have arrived into the area! Well that was until Saturday morning when we heard the Zee-Zee-Zee-Zoo-Zeee! calls of the Black-throated Green Warblers (CHECK)! Not just one bird we had multiple birds calling in the trees letting us know that they have returned.

Black-throated Green Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler

Other new birds that have arrived but wasn’t seen on the hiking trip included the arrival of the Northern Rough-winged Swallow (CHECK 18th April) on Red House Lake last Friday and a group of Chimney Swifts (CHECK 21st April) that I saw flying around while leaving work today. I had a possible Barn Swallow on Sunday but not a good enough look for the check! But its only a matter of time till I officially see some flying around! I still have yet to hear or see the Louisiana Waterthrush but I have not had a chance to go searching for them since last Thursday! Many other birders in the area have reported seen them (so I know they are back already). Many great birds are moving through the area! If only I was old enough to retire and spend my days birding!


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14 responses

  1. I completely understand that last sentence. I think something along those lines at least a few times a week.

    21 April 2008 at 7:25 pm

  2. It’s interesting all that you were able to see and hear. This is my vacation week and I’ve been wanting to sleep in, but birds keep waking me up with their beautiful (but annoying at 5:30 a.m.) songs! One this morning sang non-stop for at least two hours until I finally got up. Of course sleeping with my window open doesn’t help. On the other hand, it’s kind of peaceful lying there listening. How can I be mad that they’re singing?!

    21 April 2008 at 8:01 pm

  3. I just finished a weeks vacation, and spent most of it birding. I had the same thought about retirement!

    21 April 2008 at 8:18 pm

  4. If I come into money I will remember you ;-)
    Shouldn’t the Juncos be gone by now? I have several still hanging out in my yard and they were gone by March last year.

    21 April 2008 at 8:19 pm

  5. Lisa at Greenbow

    What fun watching these birds. It is amazing how Robins fight so furiously. It is the cause of several of them to be killed in my neighborhood. They fight out in the streets and get run over. SAD. I just love Brown Creepers. I would love to see ones nest. I bet their babies rival the size of the the hummingbirds they are so small.

    21 April 2008 at 8:43 pm

  6. @ Jeremy – I keep on reminding myself that one day I will retire! LOL
    @ Rondi – Thanks and I keep on wanting to get out to do an early morning walk! Maybe I can pull myself into it tomorrow morning!
    @ Jan M – Great and wouldn’t that be nice to retire early!
    @ Ruth – Thanks and if I ran into money I would do something for all my blogging friends! Regarding the Junco’s . . . we have them here all year round because they breed here!
    @ Lisa – thanks and I have seen robin’s get hit that way also! Actually brown creepers nest under loose bark! It would be neat seeing those little guys! Thanks!

    21 April 2008 at 9:38 pm

  7. The Robin is my favorite. And the Junco too. I saw a lot of Junco’s in the winter but now only a few each day.

    21 April 2008 at 10:46 pm

  8. It is amazing how many birds you saw. I used to hike through the woods and never see the birds. I’m sure they were there, I just didn’t look. Of course I noticed something bright like an Oriole but otherwise, no. Since I got started trying to ID birds (mostly thanks to your blog,) I stop, look, wait and listen and there they are, just waiting to be identified! This year almost every bird is a lifer for me, ha. Your blog is so educational!

    21 April 2008 at 11:55 pm

  9. I agree with Linda your blog is educational.
    It has been so much fun this year identifying migrant birds. And working with Sarah is just pure joy.

    22 April 2008 at 12:06 am

  10. Really great birding page – I loved it! I’m fascinated by your warbler I’ve seen one in the trees twice and both times the shots were unable to produce an image to pick him out. (Seems I’m being teased!) I love the yellow-bellied sap sucker shots. Is he building a nest? I found another sapsucker doing exactly the same thing last sat (it was rednaped tho..) Really neat. It sounds like once again you two had a wonderful time! I cannot think of two who deserve it more! p.s. love seeing the slate dark eye’d junco I’ve never seen one before!!

    22 April 2008 at 12:59 am

  11. Marg

    Me too-the retiring thought!

    Don’t you love this time of year-and it will just keep getting better

    22 April 2008 at 9:01 am

  12. @ Jessica – thanks and maybe you have some local breeders?
    @ Linda – thanks and for sure we heard many more than we saw! But then again when you know where to look (its behavior) after hearing the bird . . . they are easier to find!
    @ Toni – thanks and glad you are learning!
    @ aullori – to be honest when I found the BTGreen, I put an extra effort in making sure I got a picture of it! I only have one other shot of one! They never seem to come low! Sapsuckers are fun for sure and Junco’s are fun birds!
    @ Marg – Lets retire together and go follow Richard?

    22 April 2008 at 10:47 pm

  13. Grace

    Yeah-I wanna retire too! She doesn’t know it yet, but LOB will see a lot of me at RTPI when I do.

    23 April 2008 at 10:17 pm

  14. Just so much beauty and color with those birds, Mon@rch! Interesting about the Robin’s behavior. I’ve watched them do that but never realized they were so aggressive.
    Very nice variety!

    2 May 2008 at 7:43 am

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