Field and Swamp: Animals and Their Habitats

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Bird Blog:  March 20-26 2005

March 26

Red-breasted Nuthatch on suet Same bird on the way down Male American Goldfinch in the woods in my neighborhood American Robin on the grass Evidence of a nest at the shopping center Northern Mockingbird on Wild Birds Unlimited birdfeeder House Finch with seed


Front view, same bird Female Eastern Bluebird Male of same species Male American Goldfinch in shopping center tree near Wild Birds Unlimited birdfeeder


Tufted Titmouse in tree waiting to go on feeder Same about to take off. A change of behavior: this Tufted Titmouse is retrieving a seed, and cracking the shell open on the fake branch instead of flying to some faraway tree to do so.  Yellow-rumped Warbler made a surprise appearance after being away.  This species winters in North Carolina (except the far west mountains), so we expect them to go away any day. Tufted Titmouse on another trip to the feeder. Same bird.  Is some trust developing?

March 25

Female American Goldfinch at Wild Birds Unlimited birdfeeder. Male of the species at the same.  Yellow summer plumage is beginning to predominate. This American Robin preferred being in a tree, while this one stayed on the ground.


A Northern Mockingbird found standing on a car in a shopping center Same bird, looking my way A White-throated Sparrow at the foot of  the Wild Birds Unlimited birdfeeder. Another White-throated Sparrow in the woods This Tufted Titmouse came to our birdfeeder and studied me very carefully.


Carolina Chickadee in a tree in the neighborhood. Song Sparrow, Durham

March 24

Tufted Titmouse, with seed, during a rare moment when it wasn't eluding me. Eastern Bluebird on another place in my neighborhood American Robin in a tree in my neighborhood Northern Cardinal

March 23

Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum), Durham.  Mockingbirds have a reputation for variety in their songs, but this species comes in first with 1100 different, mostly original, song varieties.  This bird was clearly a male.

March 22

All were taken in Morehead City, all but the first at the waterfront.

Mourning Dove, near Arendell St. motel. Brown Pelican preening. More Brown Pelican poses, looking down... and at me. Female Boat-tailed Grackle Mystery seagull

March 21

These very tame birds showed up in Morehead City eastward to Harkers Island.

Northern Mockingbird on top of building near Arendell St. motel.    Maybe this was the same mockingbird that I saw being chased by a cat, and stubbornly insisted on hanging around anyway! Mourning Dove in a similar location. House Sparrow in downtown Beaufort.  Very well-fed! Perhaps another House Sparrow in another location in downtown Beaufort. Northern Mockingbird in flight at the Cape Lookout National Seashore office on Harkers Island. Laughing Gull near same office. Ring-billed Gull nearby. Herring Gull also nearby.  Note red bump on lower bill.

These pictures were taken near the ferry dock at Cedar Island, which is part of a National Wildlife Refuge.  Apparently when birds experience no interference from people, European Starlings, Brown-headed Cowbirds and House Sparrows (aka English Sparrows) dominate, while a few House Finches and Northern Mockingbirds make their appearance.  Given the three imported species and the parasitic nature of the cowbirds, this situation shows the potentially grim side of NWRs.

Male House Finch Northern Mockingbird preening Same bird Male House Sparrow Brown-headed Cowbird, one of maybe a dozen in a pine tree. European Starlings definitely run the show around here. A close-up of more of the same.

Copyright © 2005 Dorothy E. Pugh. All pictures copyrighted.