Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Ultimate Challenge: Finding the Birds of Paradise in Papua New Guinea and Australia

Natural selection is what drives our birds.  They must find the best mate possible in order to proliferate. It is the female that decides who is the best, the strongest, the fastest, and the most good-looking.  These are the attributes that will determine the best offspring possible, as well as the healthiest.  She wants a mate that will feed her and her offspring well.  He must be the best of the best, with top quality genetics.  This is the secret to the life of mating birds, a strong genetic presence.

Most of the Birds of Paradise are only located in Papua New Guinea.  The other few are in Australia, namely the Satin Bowerbird, who builds an extravagant love nest.

This is also an Australian Bird of Paradise, the Superb Lyrebird, but he is one up on the average bird.  He is a remarkable mimic that can make some very interesting sounds, including the human voice.

Meet Victoria's Riflebird of north Queensland, Australia.  These are young males, given instruction by an adult male.  They don't come out of the egg and know what they are doing with displays.  It takes several years to perfect this dance that will be attractive to females, and takes a lot of hard work.

The remarkable colors of these birds changes with the infiltration of light.  The birds also have uncharacteristic moves and are masters at shape shifting.  Additionally, they time their moves to a science and practice, indeed, makes perfect.

And here, we have all 39 Birds of Paradise.  These are truly the birds of wonder that are one of the best kept secrets of the natural world in all its glory.  It has taken many years for this video to be made, through a great deal of hard work through my current school, Cornell University.  I wish to personally thank the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, who has awakened in me, this group of beautiful birds to study and appreciate.

Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Saturday August 30, 2014

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Secret of The Northern Reaches

                                                            Great Blue Heron, Daybreak

                                                            Green Heron Adult, Family #2


                                                                      Ditto, On Alert

                                                         Ditto, Thinking About Fishing

                                                                       Ditto, Disturbed

                                                                       Mallard Hen

                                                            Mississippi Kite in Flight

                                                                Turkey Vulture in Flight

                                                              Northern Reaches, #1

                                                                Northern Reaches, #2

                                                               Great Blue Heron Sunning

                                                            Gulf Fritillary on Sunflower

0715-0930/partly cloudy/light and variable winds/74-82 degrees

Numerous birds were at the Northern Reaches, including two Belted Kingfishes, an assortment of woodpeckers, several Eastern Kingbirds.  Now is the time to build up weight and get ready for migration.  The Kites were calling and everywhere they went a drove of ducks came toward me.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Songbirds Are Coming Through Boomer Lake Region

                                                               Green Heron Portrait

                                                                     Ditto, Hunting

                                                                    Ditto, Hiding

                                                                     Great Egret


                                                  Great Egret with Green Heron(Left)

                                                                     Great Egret

                                                                   "Balancing Act"

                                                            Great Egret "Steady"

                                                        Mottled Duck(Note the Bill)

                                                                     Great Egret


                                                             Great Egret(Turtle on Left)

                                                                 Savannah Sparrow

                                                                     Yellow Warbler

0715-0920/Mostly Cloudy/Light and Variable Winds/74 degrees

This was my first time out in a good eight days.  Sad, isn't it?  In the midst of migration, I hope that the remainder of the week is better.  I considered myself lucky to get the last two birds.  The last time that I saw the Yellow Warbler, I was unable to get a good photo, so the dark day today was a blessing in disguise.  Wish me luck for better pictures over the next few days.

Friday, August 22, 2014

An Open and Shut Case of Youth

0715-0825/partly cloudy/15 mph winds/76-78 degrees

It seems so long ago since I took these photos, but it was just this morning.  As the day gets ready to come to an end, and darkness begins to fall, I consider myself lucky.  If it wasn't for nature, where would we be?  There is no concrete jungle on my stomping ground, and for that I am thankful.  I hope that these pictures leave you in awe of the natural world and make you smile.  If that happens, I have done my job.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Wednesday August 20, 2014

Southern Cove Breathes Life Into the Area

                                                                Green Heron Fledgling

                                                                    In Flight


                                                          Beaver Working on Residence

                                                             Green Heron Youngster


                                                           Great Blue Heron Settles In


                                                              Green Heron in Flight

                                                             Double-crested Cormorant

Clear and Sunny/Light and Variable Winds/0715-0900/76-82 degrees

The young crop of Green Herons are doing well and are still very active.  There was a lot going on in the Southern Cove this morning, and the area residents are happy in this weather.  More people were out than usual on this fine weekday, enjoying what the area has to offer.  It is a pleasure to see the area in such high traffic.