Thursday, December 2, 2010

Vermilion Flycatcher! Marshall County, IN

Vermilion Flycatcher.... Marshall County, IN. Northern, IN.

I spent Thursday, December 2, on road trip to Northern Indiana in hopes of getting a look at a bird that has only been confirmed in Indiana 2x prior to this recent sighting. This bird, the Vermilion Flycatcher, is slightly out of place in Indiana. Its normal range is Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and south into Latin America - a warm weather bird, it's normally associated with hot days and sunshine. This particular bird must have been tired of the desert heat!

My friend Rob and I arrived to the site at approximately 9:30a
and was lucky to spot the bird within about 30 minutes. It's color against the snow was a huge plus! The bird seemed in good shape and was very active. It wasn't long before we found out its food source. The property had several holes dug for the purpose of discarding carcases of livestock. It was in these open pits of death that the flycatcher was feeding on insects (probably dead maggots) that had died on the rotting flesh as the weather turned cold! I must admit, this wasn't the most attractive site to find such a beautiful bird but I was VERY happy to see the bird had figured out a way to survive - at least for now.

The bird was taking a "bath" in the snow.

Ring-billed Gull... tagged.

After the Vermilion Flycatcher, we decided to head north to Lake Michigan to see what was happening on the lake front. Unfortunately, there wasn't alot of activity but, the few birds that we did see were good ones - Peregrine Falcon, Common Loon, Belted Kingfisher, Horned Grebe, and Pied-billed Grebe. The BIG deal was a new life bird for me that we saw on our way to the Indiana Dunes State Park - Northern Shrike!!!! Congrats to me!

Sand sculpture... Lake Michigan.


Kelly said...

Wow!! A Vermilion Flycatcher in the snow!! Glad you made the road trip and found him, and a Northern Shrike to boot...not bad. (I liked Mama Nature's sand sculpture too.)

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Unbelievable, Chad... You are so lucky to see that Vermillion Flycatcher. What a gorgeous bird.

My son in Texas called today saying that he had seen the Sandhill Cranes down there (Galveston on the gulf coast)... He was so excited... I can understand why.

Thanks for coming back to my blog. I haven't seen you around in a long time.

Indiana State Bird

Indiana State Bird
Northern Cardinal