Sunday, May 25, 2008


I wasn't able (for the first time in a while) to go Birding last weekend so I was extremely anxious to get out today! It has been a gorgeous day today, perfect for birding and if you are a Indy 500 fan I'm sure you were equally pleased!

The morning started off with a picturesque look at an immature Bald Eagle (approx. 3 years old) that was working the waters pretty hard directly in front of us! Actually, it was probably the closest I have been to a Bald Eagle to date and as usual, I left my camera at home! Some other lifer highlights for me today were a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Least Flycatcher, Canada Warbler, and Prothonotary Warbler. Although not lifers, some other highlights included Red-eyed Vireo (everywhere), Scarlet Tanager, and Indigo Bunting. A very successful and rewarding morning! Aren't we blessed to have birds?!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Big Day!

Yesterday (5/17) was my first BIG Day ever! I alongside my team of Birdathon (Team Wal-Mart) participants joined forces for what was, I think a good outcome for a group of novice birders - actually, I was the only self-declared "Birder" in the bunch - the remaining members came along for support and a chance to get outside. We birded from about 9a-11a as a team and seen about 20 species! Afterward, I continued on solo for a bit and was later joined by my 7 year old to bird two additional locations. All said and done, I guess I birded for about 11 hours. My total species count was 45! Now, I know this is a shabby number to most BIG Days, BUT, these 45 species wore me out!!! My goal was actually 50 so I didn't fall too short I guess! My highlight birds were a Wilson's Warbler, Red-eyed Vireo, White-eyed Vireo, and a Wood Thrush. All lifers for me! At the end of the day, we raised $1,210 for our local Audubon Society, way below my goal - so hopefully I can bring in some more money prior to the end of the month.

Monday, May 12, 2008

100! +3

My first milestone! Wow, I feel like I have achieved one of the greatest victories ever! My 100th species on 5/10/08! I owe this victory to the Black and White Warbler. What a great bird to hit 100 with! Of course the two additional birds I added on the same day would have been equally as wonderful. I took a short birding break between watching my kids play baseball and was instantly rewarded by an Indigo Bunting AND a Scarlet Tanager within steps of each other.

Finally, after a stressful day at work, I was able to come home and add one more new bird, a White-crowned Sparrow (two actually) one of which can be seen in the picture. Instantly, my stressful day melted away!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Miraculous Mallards!

OK, so this morning, my daughter comes to me in the kitchen with a green balloon and says, "Daddy, make a wish, what kind of bird do you wish you would see at our feeders?" I say, "a Cardinal" she says "No, something different", "how about a Rose-breasted Grosbeak Daddy" and I say, "Yes, that would be awesome!" My 3 year old son then says "How about a Mallard"... (he LOVES Mallards) and I say "Yes, I hope we see a Mallard too!" Later, my wife called and said, "Guess who came to visit today?" I said very skeptically "who?" and she proceeds to tell me that a female mallard (seen in this picture)came to our yard today and feasted on the seeds around the base! Now, I am not sure how many of you out there get Mallards at your feeders but I for one have never had one, especially since we have no creek or pond within any good view from our house! When I say my son loves Mallards, I mean he talks about them constantly! The thing that makes this even crazier is a couple of weeks ago when we were picking up trash as a family at Eagle Creek Park, my son began to cry because he never saw a Mallard (believe it or not) and just as we were finishing up - here comes a Mallard and drops in the water right in front of him - within 5 feet - as if it flew down there specifically for him! So that plus today's event... he wished for a Mallard and one actually showed up in our tiny subdivision yard at OUR bird feeder!!! There is no doubt that these events were miracles! Oh yeah, there was also a male he never made it to the feeders - my son eventually ran out to touch them and they were scared off!

Monday, May 5, 2008

What Species Will Be My 100th Bird! 99!

After yet another great Sunday of Birding (5/4), I was able to come home and give my list another healthy boost upward! In fact, I didn't realize I had added so many new species until I hit the submit button! I have to admit, it was very hard not to pack up and head back out to find just one more bird.... however, I did. I resisted the temptation and called it a day!

This upcoming Thursday (5/8) several co-workers and me are heading out to support our local Audubon Society by participating in the local Birdathon. This will be my first BIG day ever so I am not sure how my list will fair compared to some of the others that will go out this month but, we are excited for the challenge nonetheless. My goal is 60, which I hope is an achievable number! Of course, all I really need it 1 - new bird that is!

Wish us luck!

Indiana State Bird

Indiana State Bird
Northern Cardinal