Friday, June 1, 2012

Oatka Creek Park • May 18

Yellow Warbler. This was my getaway hike before heading downstate to spend the weekend in Olean and speaking at a meeting of the Cattaraugus County Bird Study Club on my Oatka adventures.

Yellow Warbler. This is a male that is most easily identified by the red streaking in its underparts.

Yellow Warbler. This is a female. Note how the forehead and crown are a darker yellow-green than the underparts. There are also faint red streaks on the breast, with the operative word being "faint". Also, whereas all the males were singing, this female was quiet, as is typical for females during nesting season. 

Wood Thrush. I had to thread the needle through a few different layers of foliage to spot and photograph this bird. I was lucky enough to get my shots and leave without interrupting this thrush's singing.

Wood Thrush. A couple of weeks after this shot was taken I saw a Wood Thrush in this area carrying a bill full of worms, just like a robin would. (Robins are member of the thrush family, too.) So, a nest might be in the vicinity of where this bird is perched.

Red-bellied Woodpecker. The subdued red on the belly of this woodpecker is evident here.

Great Blue Heron. I see fish "jump" (rise to the surface to grab an insect) a lot as I walk along the creek, so there is no reason this heron should go hungry!

Juvenile Eastern Bluebird. While the terms "fledgling", "juvenile", and "immature" might casually be used interchangeably, they actually have separate and specific meanings when referring to a young bird. An immature bird is any bird that is not an adult. That one is easy enough. A fledgling is a bird that has just left the nest and is still under the care of the adult, e.g., is still being fed by the adult. For songbirds this is a fairly clear distinction, though with shorebirds the concept of a fledgling becomes a bit more subtle. I have seen an adult bluebird still feeding at least some of the juveniles, so I think the term fledgling is still applicable. Juveniles are in their first set of vaned feathers, as opposed to their previous downy feathers. The upper feathers here in the picture are clearly not downy. Be as precise, or not, as you wish!