Thursday, May 3, 2018

Work-Life Balance

     I knew yesterday and today would bring an abundance of newly arrived avian migrants. So I planned that I would after work today get out and do some evening birding. I was lucky enough to meet up with my coworker and good friend Molly to enjoy a nice walk with. It was actually really nice to spend some time with her as we don't spend nearly as much time working together as we used to, even though she's just on the other side of my cubicle wall!
     We also got to see a spotted sandpiper today which is featured on the 2018 Feminist Bird Club patch, proceeds from this patch benefit Black Lives Matter- grab one today, they are awesome and support a great cause!
     Our walk resulted in highlights such as hooded warbler, a blue-winged warbler, singing Baltimore Orioles in beautiful flowering trees, also occupied by N. parula and orchard oriole. Glad I got out! Light was fading, here are the best captures...
The vale this time of year never disappoints... blue-winged warbler in an ornamental cherry.
Makes for pretty sights.

This bird was so beautiful and so agile, hunting down hiding insects, caterpillars, grubs, whatever!
Check out that fancy foot and legwork!

Eyes are on the prize...

A small insect larvae, yum!

"Hey so there's a woodpecker here, it's got red on it's head..."
Honestly when random guys start with that line, you never know what is about to happen... but there was a Northern Flicker, right there!

Flickers on this side of the continent are referred to as "yellow-shafted." You can see the shafts of the flight feathers are yellow. On the other side of the states, they are red... and you got it,  they are "red-shafted!"

So, in my experience, flickers make eye contact with you and they are gone and away. This bird was like 15 feet from us and kept doing its thing.
While indeed a woodpecker, they peck wood to make nesting cavities, but it's not unusual to see them pecking on the ground.

The ground is also full of delicious food, like grubs! And check out that woodpecker tongue! Woodpecker tongues are pretty important tools, they are sticky, often barbed and LONG. They help these birds cushion the blows when pecking as their tongue wraps up into their skull around the area where the brain is. Flickers have the longest tongues-- using them much like an anteater... so this fairly common bird is pretty freakin' cool... learn more about woodpecker tongues here!

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