Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Spring Migration Celebration at the Great Dismal Swamp

  If you live in Virginia or North Carolina, or anywhere in the vicinity this weekend, be sure to come by and attend the fourth annual Great Dismal Swamp Birding Festival. The event starts on Thursday the 6th thru Saturday the 8th. There will be bird banding demonstrations, guided bird and nature walks, workshops, and more. And Saturday will be family fun day that includes children activities, music, food, exhibits and tours. I’ve had a great time in the past at this event and looking forward to it again this year.

Here’s a link to the event brochure with schedules for each event (there all free!). Also, be sure to look at the photos along the top of the second page. My daughter's picture is in there! She is the one holding the snake. It was taken at last years event.

Hope to see some of you there!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hiding Out

 One of the most territorial birds in my backyard is the Northern Mockingbird. And when they have a nest nearby they seem to turn it up another notch or two. They aggressively harass birds that intrude on their territories, flying towards them  flaunting their bright white wing patches and squawking like mockingbirds do.

I've noticed some of these turf wars going on in the back corner of my property recently and decided (with caution) to take a closer look. I inspected the area for a nest and what I stumbled upon was even better - little fledglings!

These little mockingbirds were hiding out in my elaeagnus shrubs.


Look closely below and you can see another one buried deep within the shrub.


Here's another...look closely.


Needless to say, they were well protected within the shrub and the parents provided another barrier of protection from outside.


I counted three all together, but there could have been more. I didn't wont to continue stressing mom and dad out or their young. I stepped backed and watched for a while as mom and dad continued to feed them in the shrubs. They will continue to care for their young until they are able to do so for themselves. This is the case with most birds. The parents will continue to feed and watch over their young even after they leave the safety of the nest.

Have a great weekend and be sure to visit Birdfreak's Bird Photography Weekly (#88) to see more bird photos!