Stillwater News Press

Local Columnists

June 14, 2014

Life at Boomer Lake 06-15-14

Fourth Brown Thrasher family nesting

Even though it has been quite rainy over the past week, the lake is once again at very healthy levels. Consequently, avian life in our neck of the woods is thriving.

Without water, there is no life, so we have the best of both worlds, many birds and a beautiful lake for all to enjoy. However, since there has been so much moisture, we are now home to numerous mosquitoes, but I suspect that the Purple Martins and Barn Swallows will be working diligently to handle that little matter. Temperatures will be increasing from the comfortable 80 degrees ranges and climbing back into the 90s this week.

I previously thought that we only had three Brown Thrasher families with babies on the east side of the lake, but I have located a fourth. The young must still be in the nest, as I have not located any fledglings yet. These birds have their nests deep in the trees, making it more difficult for the egg hungry American Crows to satiate their hunger.

Today, the Red-winged Blackbirds, who also have full nests, made it a point to disturb a Great Blue Heron who was flying past on his way to the Southern Cove. The poor heron never made it that far to look for fish, and was impolitely escorted away from his usual turf. Since these herons only weigh about three pounds, they do need regular meals in order to keep up their strength. Hope to see you tomorrow, Great Blue Heron!

There is an additional Mallard duckling in the company of his parents. This young one appears to be about a week old, the only one in his clutch. The original group is nearly full grown, keeping in the general vicinity of Goose Island.

Later this week, I hope to make an extensive trip to the Northern Reaches, mainly in hopes of surveying the area where our local rookery is located. I’d like to see if the Great Egrets and the herons are nesting together, which is a common occurrence in most heronries. It has been seen where spoonbills and all the herons nest together, as safety is in numbers. If I am able to get some evidence of multiple birds nesting together, I can also try to determine what the draw is for all these birds in the food chain. Other localities have been experiencing much less breeding, especially in the northern states, so if we can determine our secret weapon of sorts, perhaps we can help other colonies stay in their home bases.

A few Eastern Kingbird nests are located on the eastern outskirts of the lake.

It also appears that the Western Kingbird is living southeast of the lake proper, too. Their former nests have been taken over by the House Sparrows, but these birds are very adaptable on manmade entities, so even though they have changed their nesting locations, they are not far away.

Keep your eyes on the ground and your head in the clouds. Happy birding!

Deb Hirt is a wild bird rehabilitator and professional photographer living in Stillwater. Half of her wildlife photo sales are returned to the birds via the Payne County Audubon Society. She can be found wandering around Boomer Lake on almost a daily basis monitoring the wild bird population.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Columnists
  • Farmers Market

    The Stillwater Farmers Market is open every Monday at Stillwater Medical Center from 2-5:30 p.m. and every Wednesday and Saturday in Strickland Park at the corner of Hall of Fame Avenue and Main Street from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    What’s at market this week?

    July 23, 2014

  • The Library Shelf 07-22-14

    Payne County gardeners soon will be reaping the benefits of the hard work put into their vegetable gardens all summer long.  
    To help community members maximize their summer harvest, Stillwater Public Library is presenting “Yes We Can,” an introductory class on preserving food at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 7.

    July 22, 2014

  • 1 - PCLC Class 4 Renovation.jpg AND, STILL THE WATERS RUN: The walls come tumbling down

    July 21, 2014 7 Photos

  • LARRY JONES: Remembering a front door in Japan

    July 20, 2014

  • Life at Boomer Lake 07-20-14

    A couple of unusual items made it on the list of notoriety this week, but we’ll hold off on that for the time being.
    Baby birds are still infiltrating the area and are growing quickly.

    July 19, 2014

  • Live Well 07-20-14

    It is way too easy to hit snooze on my alarm clock.
    Exercising in the morning always seems like a good idea until the alarm starts yelling at an ungodly hour.

    July 19, 2014

  • Grow! 07-20-14

    Roses are a beautiful addition to any garden and landscape. They come in a variety of colors that enhance your yard. However, like other plants, roses are susceptible to disease. One that seems to hit roses the hardest is rose rosette disease caused by the rose rosette virus.

    July 19, 2014

  • Seed to Table 07-20-14

    Weed control is an important part of food production. So, I recently undertook an effort to rid my pastures of a particularly noxious weed.

    July 19, 2014

  • Down Home 07-20-14

    No wonder everyone is so smitten with just her voice. She’s smart and precise and I’ve also recently discovered I can’t live without her. Her name is Siri.

    July 19, 2014

  • In the Garden 07-20-14

    Mulch is full of purpose. What it lacks in mystery, it makes up in function. Mulch contributes to healthy gardens. No one ponders or debates it, yet many do not take the time to mulch.

    July 19, 2014

Buy & Share Photos
NewsPress e-Edition
NewsPress Specials
AP Video
Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 U.N. School in Gaza Hit by Israeli Strike Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Officials Warn of Avoidable Death in Hot Cars Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record
Stocks
NDN Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl
Must Read