Ruby-throated Hummingbird on garden arborRuby-throated Hummingbird on garden arborOne of many ruby-throated hummingbirds in our garden rests on the garden arbor.

Welcome to our blog! It's all about our discoveries here in our Shady Oaks yard, a Sanctuary for birds and other wildlife. We began to restore habitat for wildlife here in 1996 and gauge our success by the diversity of species we observe and document with our photography. We hope you enjoy our images and come back often to see what's new! 

September, it's a wrap! 9-30-21

October 01, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

 

The last day of September began with wispy cirrus clouds and filtered sun. Lovely!

 

9-22-21 FOS Ruby-crowned Kinglet9-22-21 FOS Ruby-crowned Kinglet 9-24-21 Red-eyed Vireo immature9-24-21 Red-eyed Vireo immature 9-23-21 Magnolia Warbler9-23-21 Magnolia Warbler

 

The first of fall Ruby-crowned Kinglet came in on, what else, the first day of Fall, 9-22-21. An immature Red-eyed Vireo visited the bubbler for the first time. Look closely, it has brown eyes, thus it is a first year bird. Magnolia Warblers have been around the last week, too.

 

9-28-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird9-28-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird 9-28-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird9-28-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird 9-30-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird9-30-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird 9-30-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird9-30-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird

 

A young male Ruby-throated Hummingbird has come in to bathe two days. It has one little red feather below its right eye, so I'm quite sure this is the same bird. It perched and preened in the smooth hydrangea before going back to the jewelweed. 

 

9-28-21 Northern Parula and American Goldfinch9-28-21 Northern Parula and American Goldfinch 9-28-21 Northern Parula and American Goldfinch9-28-21 Northern Parula and American Goldfinch

9-28-21 Northern Parula9-28-21 Northern Parula

 

A female Northern Parula had a bit of trouble getting to the water, the American Goldfinch wasn't having it. It looked at the basin and decided to come back later and it had the place all to itself. Listen for the Red-bellied Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, American Crows and other birds in the background. 

 

9-28-21 Northern Parula in the bubbleNorthern Parula's bubble bath

 

Now, wasn't that fun! 

 

9-30-21 Northern Parula9-30-21 Northern Parula 9-30-21 Northern Parula9-30-21 Northern Parula

 

A strongly marked male Northern Parula was at the bubbler on this last day, 9-30-21. The white belly is much more pronounced when it's all fluffed out!

 

9-28-21 Black-throated Green Warbler9-28-21 Black-throated Green Warbler 9-28-21 Black-throated Green Warbler9-28-21 Black-throated Green Warbler

 

Black-throated Green Warblers have been easy to find, foraging in the viburnums and golden currant.

  9-28-21 Black-throated Green and Tennessee Warblers9-28-21 Black-throated Green and Tennessee Warblers 9-28-21 Black-throated Green and Tennessee Warbler9-28-21 Black-throated Green and Tennessee Warbler 9-28-21 Black-throated Green Warbler9-28-21 Black-throated Green Warbler

 

Black-throated Greens are also frequent visitors to the water features, along with Tennessee Warblers.

 

9-28-21 Nashville Warbler9-28-21 Nashville Warbler 9-28-21 Nashville Warbler and Eurasian Tree Sparrow9-28-21 Nashville Warbler and Eurasian Tree Sparrow

 

A little Nashville Warbler studied the dripper before going in, and then was joined by a Eurasian Tree Sparrow.

 

9-28-21 Coooper's Hawk9-28-21 Coooper's Hawk

 

An adult Cooper's Hawk got in a late dip one evening.

 

9-30-21 FOS Blue-headed Vireo9-30-21 FOS Blue-headed Vireo

 

Our first of Fall Blue-headed Vireo showed up on this last day of the month, too.

 

9-30-12 Two Red-breasted Nuthatches9-30-12 Two Red-breasted Nuthatches

 

I saw a bluish-backed bird flitting around the sump puddle and on closer inspection, there were two female Red-breasted Nuthatches there, getting quick sips of water.

 

9-30-21 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher9-30-21 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

 

Another Yellow-bellied Flycatcher was busy in the woodland. Now, it's on to the last quarter of the year with October's arrival!

 

 

 

 

 

 


Third week of September migrants, 9-21-21

September 21, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

A Change in the Weather!

Without winds from the north to help them move along, warblers have been circling the 'hood, fattening up to be ready for the next frontal push. That front came through overnight, with 2.37" of rain here. The following warblers have been seen in differing groups of 8 or 9 nearly every day.

 

9-16-21 American Redstart9-16-21 American Redstart 9-15-21 American Redstart and Magnolia Warbler9-15-21 American Redstart and Magnolia Warbler

 

American Redstarts and Magnolia Warblers

 

9-15-21 Ovenbird9-15-21 Ovenbird

9-19-21 Bay-breasted Warbler9-19-21 Bay-breasted Warbler

 

Ovenbirds and Bay-breasted Warblers


9-19-21 Chestnut-sided Warbler9-19-21 Chestnut-sided Warbler 9-19-21 Black-throated Green Warbler9-19-21 Black-throated Green Warbler

 

Chestnut-sided and Black-throated Green Warblers

 

9-17-21 Black-and-white Warbler9-17-21 Black-and-white Warbler 9-19-21 Tennessee Warbler9-19-21 Tennessee Warbler 9-17-21 Nashville Warbler9-17-21 Nashville Warbler

 

Black-and-white, Tennessee and Nashville Warblers.

 

9-17-21 Black-and-white Warbler9-17-21 Black-and-white Warbler

 

They are all looking for food in the form of caterpillars and other small insects. Oops! Missed one!

 

9-20-21 Blackburnian Warbler9-20-21 Blackburnian Warbler

 

The second Blackburnian Warbler of fall was seen just yesterday. To add to the mix, there have been new arrivals!

 

9-18-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch9-18-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch 9-18-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch9-18-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch 9-18-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch9-18-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch 9-18-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch9-18-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch

 

A female Red-breasted Nuthatch came in to the Bubbler, becoming Bubbler Bird #87 for the year. She had quite a reach to get a drink, but did this repeatedly. What Olympian strength in those tiny legs! 

 

9-19-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch9-19-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch 9-19-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch9-19-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch 9-19-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch9-19-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch

 

A beautiful male has been coming in, there may actually be two males. We are hoping this irruptive species will be around this winter.

 

9-17-21 Wilson's Warbler, immature9-17-21 Wilson's Warbler, immature 9-17-21 Wilson's Warbler, immature9-17-21 Wilson's Warbler, immature 9-17-21 Wilson's Warbler, immature9-17-21 Wilson's Warbler, immature

 

An immature Wilson's Warbler came in on Friday, 9/17/21. It explored every inch of the bubbler area, cementing this location into its genetic code to pass along to its offspring.The longer they stay, the more information they gather. It's always amazing to watch a young bird when it does this.

 

9-19-21 FOS Northern Parula9-19-21 FOS Northern Parula 9-19-21 FOS Northern Parula9-19-21 FOS Northern Parula

 

Our FOS Northern Parula came in on Sunday, 9/19/21. It was hesitant to get in, the flock had started a splash-fest! 

 

9-19-21 Tennessee Warbler, Ovenbird and Chestnut-sided Warbler9-19-21 Tennessee Warbler, Ovenbird and Chestnut-sided Warbler 9-19-21 Chestnut-sided, House Finch, Ovenbird, Tennessee and Black-and-white Warblers9-19-21 Chestnut-sided, House Finch, Ovenbird, Tennessee and Black-and-white Warblers 9-19-21 House Finch, Tennessee Warblers, and Bay-breasted Warblers9-19-21 House Finch, Tennessee Warblers, and Bay-breasted Warblers 9-19-21 Tennessee and Bay-breasted Warblers9-19-21 Tennessee and Bay-breasted Warblers

 

It was a good time for them and for me, too. Here is my checklist for that 35 minutes:  https://ebird.org/checklist/S94910559

 

To view all the photos since the last post, begin here:  Birds since 9/14/21

 

Enjoy this change in the weather! 

The Autumn Equinox is tomorrow, 9-22-21 at 2:21 p.m. CDT here in St. Louis.

 

 

 

 


Early September migrants and more 9-14-21

September 14, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Birds continue to be on the move.

 

9-8-21 Swainson's Thrush9-8-21 Swainson's Thrush

 

The first Swainson's Thrush of fall showed up on Sunday, 9-5-21. It was a day with six warbler species, too.

 

9-8-21 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher9-8-21 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 9-8-21 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher9-8-21 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

 

A Yellow-bellied Flycatcher was #85 for the year at the Bubbler on 9-8-21. 

 

9-8-21 Bay-breasted Warbler9-8-21 Bay-breasted Warbler 9-8-21 Bay-breasted Warbler9-8-21 Bay-breasted Warbler

 

A Bay-breasted Warbler was a first of fall bird that Wednesday.

  9-8-21 Ovenbird9-8-21 Ovenbird 9-8-21 Ovenbird9-8-21 Ovenbird

 

An Ovenbird walked in "the back door" to enjoy splashing about. Another FOS (first of season) bird was heard and seen, a Red-breasted Nuthatch. It was in too big of a hurry for a photo.

 

9-8-21 Canada Warbler9-8-21 Canada Warbler
 

This Canada Warbler was seen several times throughout that day, bringing the warbler total to seven.

 

9-9-21 FOS Northern Waterthrush9-9-21 FOS Northern Waterthrush

 

On Thursday, 9-9-21 a cool front had moved through making for a delightfully cool day with ten warbler species of 32 in total. This Northern Waterthrush was at the bubbler very early in the morning. 

 

9-9-21 American Redstart9-9-21 American Redstart 9-9-21 Black-and-white Warbler9-9-21 Black-and-white Warbler 9-9-21 Bay-breasted Warbler9-9-21 Bay-breasted Warbler

 

American Redstarts, Black-and-white and Bay-breasted Warblers were present.

 

9-9-21 Magnolia Warbler9-9-21 Magnolia Warbler 9-9-21 Ovenbird9-9-21 Ovenbird 9-9-21 Blue-winged Warbler9-9-21 Blue-winged Warbler

 

Magnolia Warblers, the Ovenbird and a Blue-winged Warbler joined in the activity.

 

9-9-21 Bay-breasted and Blue-winged Warblers9-9-21 Bay-breasted and Blue-winged Warblers 9-9-21 Bay-breasted, Blue-winged and Magnolia Warblers9-9-21 Bay-breasted, Blue-winged and Magnolia Warblers 9-9-21 Bay-breasted and Blue-winged Warblers9-9-21 Bay-breasted and Blue-winged Warblers

 

There was some discussion between the Bay-breasted and Blue-winged, but they worked it out and a Magnolia Warbler came to the party.

 

9-9-21 Chestnut-sided Warbler9-9-21 Chestnut-sided Warbler

 

A Chestnut-sided was added to the warbler list.

 

9-10-21 Scarlet Tanager9-10-21 Scarlet Tanager

 

The female Scarlet Tanager is the second we've seen this fall.

 

9-10-21 Northern Cardinal9-10-21 Northern Cardinal 9-10-21 Golden-winged Warbler9-10-21 Golden-winged Warbler 9-10-21 Chestnut-sided Warbler9-10-21 Chestnut-sided Warbler 9-10-21 Chestnut-sided and Golden-winged Warblers with Northern Cardinal9-10-21 Chestnut-sided and Golden-winged Warblers with Northern Cardinal 9-10-21 Chestnut-sided and Golden-winged Warblers with Northern Cardinal9-10-21 Chestnut-sided and Golden-winged Warblers with Northern Cardinal

 

A young male Northern Cardinal explored the Bubbler area for the first time on its own. Golden-winged and Chestnut-sided Warblers decided the larger bird was no threat to them!

  9-11-21 Chestnut-sided Warbler9-11-21 Chestnut-sided Warbler

 

The Chestnut-sided Warbler returned later and had the "bubble" on the large rock all to itself.

 

To see all the photos:  

Since 9-4-21

 

 

 


A "worm", a "confusion" and a "glittering" of birds! 9-4-21

September 04, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Collective nouns for groups of birds can be very descriptive, especially in migration!

 

It began with a "worm" of nearly 30 American Robins, flying into cover in the woods. Small birds seemed to pop out on branches in every level of the canopy, partially hidden by the fully grown leaves. It was a mini-fallout of migrants on Tuesday, 8-31-21 right about 10:30 a.m. They all had "the hangries!" 

 

8-31-21 Blue-winged Warbler on pawpaw (Asimina triloba)8-31-21 Blue-winged Warbler on pawpaw (Asimina triloba) 8-31-21 Black-and-white Warbler8-31-21 Black-and-white Warbler 8-31-21 Magnolia Warbler8-31-21 Magnolia Warbler 8-31-21 Magnolia Warbler8-31-21 Magnolia Warbler 8-31-21 Tennessee and Magnolia Warblers8-31-21 Tennessee and Magnolia Warblers 8-31-21 Magnolia and Black-and-white Warblers8-31-21 Magnolia and Black-and-white Warblers

 

The "confusion" of warblers was soon revealed. A Blue-winged Warbler grabbed a caterpillar from a pawpaw leaf (Asimina triloba). As their hunger subsided a bit, the birds came to the bubbler. Black-and-white, Magnolia, and Tennessee vied for the choicest spot to bathe.

 

8-31-21 Chestnut-sided Warblers8-31-21 Chestnut-sided Warblers 8-31-21 Blackburnian Warbler and American Robin8-31-21 Blackburnian Warbler and American Robin  

 

A pair of Chestnut-sided Warblers got in while birds were also seen at the sump puddle. Robins were there looking for food under the wet leaves and one chased a Blackburnian Warbler out of its way.

 

8-31-21 Nashville Warbler8-31-21 Nashville Warbler

 

A Nashville Warbler was grabbing insects off of Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)

 

8-31-21 Golden-winged/ Lawrence's Warbler female8-31-21 Golden-winged/ Lawrence's Warbler female 8-31-21 Golden-winged Warbler8-31-21 Golden-winged Warbler 8-31-21 Golden-winged Warbler8-31-21 Golden-winged Warbler 8-31-21 Golden-winged Warbler8-31-21 Golden-winged Warbler

 

A female Golden-winged Warbler was very interested in the small bubbler rock in the basin. The contortions it went through to bathe were impressive!

 

8-31-21 Blue-winged and Golden-winged Warblers8-31-21 Blue-winged and Golden-winged Warblers 8-31-21 Blue-winged and Golden-winged Warblers8-31-21 Blue-winged and Golden-winged Warblers

 

The Blue-winged Warbler just had to get in on this action. It's so tempting to put words in their little mouths, but I'll leave it to your imagination!

 

8-31-21 American Redstart8-31-21 American Redstart 8-31-21 American Redstart8-31-21 American Redstart 8-31-21 Canada Warbler8-31-21 Canada Warbler 8-31-21 Canada Warbler8-31-21 Canada Warbler 8-31-21 Baltimore Oriole immature male8-31-21 Baltimore Oriole immature male

 

That day ended with ten warbler species, including an American Redstart and a Canada Warbler. The Canada brought the Bubbler Bird count to 83 for the year. Another interesting bird that came in was an immature Baltimore Oriole. Wish the robins hadn't chased it off so I could have gotten a better image! What a beautiful, bright russet color it was.

 

9-1-21 Black-and-white Warblers9-1-21 Black-and-white Warblers 9-1-21 Magnolia Warbler9-1-21 Magnolia Warbler 9-1-21 Blue-winged Warbler9-1-21 Blue-winged Warbler 9-1-21 Black-throated Green Warbler9-1-21 Black-throated Green Warbler 9-1-21 Black-throated Green Warbler9-1-21 Black-throated Green Warbler

 

September began with four warbler species on the first. Black-and-white, Magnolias and Blue-winged Warblers were still here. A Black-throated Green Warbler was another FOS (first of season) bird.

 

8-31-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird8-31-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird

 

One cannot speak of migration without some mention of the "glittering" of hummingbirds we've all been seeing! Keep those feeders clean and filled. They need the energy to catch tiny insects and put on some weight. 

 

9-3-21 Eastern Bluebird immature male9-3-21 Eastern Bluebird immature male 9-3-21 Eastern Bluebird immature male9-3-21 Eastern Bluebird immature male

Last but certainly not least, a scruffy, immature Eastern Bluebird had been feeding in the canopy and came to check out the Bubbler yesterday morning. We're glad to know that our restored habitat is supporting this species. Many bluebirds were lost in that last hard freeze in April throughout Missouri. I had seen two young birds in late July, so this bird may be from a second brood, its yellow gape is still visible. 

 

Enjoy the new season!

 Need a review?  Fall Warbler Species

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


What a hoot! 8-25-21

August 25, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

 

Barred Owls in the 'hood

 

5-16-10 Barred Owlet5-16-10 Barred OwletMargy Terpstra

 

The first time we found nesting Barred Owls was in the spring of 2010. This species doesn't build a nest, but will use tree cavities or old hawk or squirrel nests. We had seen a pair actively guarding the crotch of a pin oak tree, chasing squirrels away. On 5-16-10, a young nestling was seen peeking out of the hole.

 

5-17-10 Barred Owlet5-17-10 Barred OwletMargy Terpstra

 

The following day, the young bird climbed up out of the cavity for a better view of the new world it was about to enter. 

 

5-18-10 Barred Owlet5-18-10 Barred OwletMargy Terpstra

 

On 5-18-10, it was time to spread its wings! It would attempt to fly, then ascend another tree by using its bill and talons to grab onto the bark and flap its wings to climb up the trunk. It was quite a memorable evening as we watched this young bird explore the trees.

 

5-18-10 Barred Owl5-18-10 Barred OwlMargy Terpstra

 

The ever watchful female was close by, guarding its offspring. Jump ahead eleven years to this week.

 

8-21-21 Barred Owlet8-21-21 Barred Owlet

 

On Saturday, 8-21-21 around 7:15 a.m., a Barred Owl flew from the maple tree down to the stream bed of the pond. Took this photo through the gazebo screen with my phone to document. It went down to the water and then I was able to go inside without disturbing it. 

 

8-21-21 Barred Owlet8-21-21 Barred Owlet

 

Hmmm, I thought. "He wasn't fuzzy, was he?" Well, its head certainly was.

  8-21-21 Barred Owlet8-21-21 Barred Owlet

 

The bird hunted from the sugar maple and then flew to the east slope, working on low branches. A couple days later, it was back in the pond cypress, shaking water off its feathers and preening. In the comparison photo below, it's pretty clear we have a new kid on the block!

 

8-23-21 Barred Owl composite8-23-21 Barred Owl composite

 

This young owlet was curious and energetically explored our woodland, including the Bubbler area. This all happened just after noon in the brightest part of the day on Monday, 8-23-21. It was hot and humid, but as you'll see in the video, the bird found its own way to cool off!

  8-23-21 Barred Owlet8-23-21 Barred Owlet 8-23-21 Barred Owlet8-23-21 Barred Owlet 8-23-21 Barred Owlet8-23-21 Barred Owlet 8-23-21 Barred Owlet8-23-21 Barred Owlet 8-23-21 Barred Owlet8-23-21 Barred Owlet 8-23-21 Barred Owlet8-23-21 Barred Owlet

Barred Owlet 8-23-21Barred Owlet makes a splash!

 

What a hoot! 

To learn more about Barred Owls, check out this page:

Barred Owl

 

 

 

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