Sunday, March 12, 2017

Red-breasted Mergansers and Hawks Visit Boomer Lake


                                                       Red-breasted Merganser males
                                                                in breeding plumage

         
                                                                Red-breasted Merganser


                                                                    Ditto on Species


                                                                Pied-billed Grebe
       

                                                                    Canada Geese


                                                                  Mourning Dove


                                                               Juvenal Cooper's Hawk
                                               

                                                               Juvenal Red-tailed Hawk


                                                                           Ditto                      
         

                                                                          Ditto


                                                                    Male Buffleheads


February to early March 2017

These are the highlights of the month, and I am proud to feature the male Red-breasted Merganser
in breeding plumage.  This is a common water bird found in winter in Oklahoma, but to see the male in its gorgeous breeding plumage was a first for me.  A single male was first seen March 2 and the two males were seen the day after.  They were gone after that, but not until they gave me several wonderful photo ops.

Even though these birds are less common on inland lakes, they do tend to show themselves on Boomer Lake upon occasion.  Even though they summer in Canada, it was nice to be able to get shots of these two in high breeding plumage with their black, shaggy crests, thin red bill and dark breast.

A young Cooper's Hawk (juvenal or juvenile bird) also came to Heron Cove where I captured the likeness of a similar bird almost in the same vicinity drinking water in the winter.  Cooper's Hawks are in the eastern part of the state year round, but they tend to be uncommon.  There will tend to avail themselves on an open perch, though.

Winter is never complete without the tiny Bufflehead, which means Buffalo Head.  These classic
little ducks are easy to identify with the male's large head and the female's classic chocolate color with oval white patched head.