Songo Blue Skies

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Barn Swallows

After kayaking in Jamaica Bay on Wednesday with my friend Andrea, we went to Breezy Point, Queens for a quick dip in the ocean.When we returned to the car there were several barn swallows sitting on a wire overhead. I quickly got my camera to see if I could get a few shots before they flew off. Swallows don't generally sit still for long and the light was right to pick up their coloring.

As I viewed them through the lens I noticed some differences. Some had shorter tails, but the most telltale sign were their flanges/beaks. Most of them had yellow flanges rather than the adult all black beak. As most of you know baby bird's mouths and flanges are bright yellow or orange or other color so their parents can see their mouths when they are feeding them especially if light is low inside the nest area. We had a whole slew of juveniles and just a few adults mixed in. Enjoy.

Yellow flanges and notice the shorter tail

Adult - notice the longer tail feathers and how the beak is all black

Friday, August 3, 2012

2 Cutie Fledglings - But What Were They?

I was sitting in my chair on the lawn observing the bird feeder while in Maine. Movement across the yard caught my eye. In the fringe trees from the narrow strip of trees between properties I noticed a small bird land on a branch of a small tree. Putting binoculars to eyes I spied a small fluffy bird. So I moved slowly to get a closer look.

Hum, I wonder what this little bird is I asked myself.  I looked around and low and behold I found another one.

Wow, white eye rings connected to look like spectacles. Buffy to yellow on it's side. And look ma, no tail feathers, well they are beginning to grow. The tail feathers are the last to grow. Two white/yellow wing bars are evident.

Then the racket started. I looked up and saw what I presumed to be the adult. I took a quick picture and backed off so that mom or dad could feed their young.

Do you know what it is yet? It is a Blue-Headed Vireo carrying a treat for one of his or her young.
This was a first for me, life bird.

I also saw red-eyed vireos regularly in the yard as I have in other years.