Stillwater News Press

May 17, 2014

Life at Boomer Lake 05-18-14

Migrant birds settling on Boomer Lake

Deb Hirt
Stillwater NewsPress

— The Stillwater area is experiencing a bit of a cool down once again, but nothing unreasonable.

More migrants are settling on Boomer Lake, choosing to reside here for a while. Not only are there large numbers of birds nesting, but they are also with young. Even though the cooler temperatures are not a deterrent to the body clocks of our avian friends, it is still a slight concern that not all of the first clutches will survive to adulthood.

However, we are off to a roaring start and the temperatures will become more seasonable soon.

Many of the deciduous trees are home to nesting American Goldfinches, Orchard Orioles, and the Cedar Waxwing. The group that I observed on the east side of the lake are near an area where there are many weed seeds, as well as an abundance of soon to be thistle plants. There is also a high concentration of insects due to ample water, so it is no surprise that this is such a popular area.

We have a couple of nesting pair of Yellow Warblers. I have also spotted the Northern Parula, the Yellow-rumped, the Yellow-throated, and the Black-and-White Warbler, all on the same day, no less. It is very likely that all of these birds will nest in the area, preferably on the east side of the lake where I do my monitoring.

All of our area fisherfolk will be pleased to know that the catfish are steadily jumping and the crappies are plentiful. Great Blue Heron is definitely the keeper of these hordes, and as you can see in this photo, he wants not for ample supplies. Since we have our own heron rookery in the Northern Reaches, this is especially good news because we have several extra mouths to feed.

There are active nests for the European Starlings, American Robins, and the Northern Mockingbird. All of these birds were procuring food for their nestlings when I observed them.

The Scissor-tailed Flycatchers still appear to be courting, as are the Eastern Kingbirds. Before we know it, we should also have the Western Kingbird nesting off telephone poles, but at this juncture, I have only seen one of these birds.

The Canada goslings and the Mallard families are doing very well. Chances are still spectacular that we’ll have some Blue-winged Teal ducklings, and I also have high hopes for the area Brown Thrashers.

For those of you that are awaiting the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, I hope to see them by the end of the month, though I understand that some of them are actually in the Northern states now. Imagine that!

The Purple Martins are also feeding young, and you will also see them removing fecal sacs quite often from their martin houses. These are very diligent parents, and I’m sure that some of you have noticed that they share their condos with the House Sparrow.

Keep your eyes to 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.