–simple things–you can do to help birds:

  • Drink shade-grown coffee
  • Citizen science (e.g., eBird, iNaturalist)
  • Reduce plastic use (good for the entire planet)
  • Make windows safer
  • Keep cats indoors
  • Plant natives
  • Avoid pesticides

And it is vitally important to do these things because we have lost almost 3 billion birds, just since 1970. For more information about these measures and about why we should care about birds, visit the 3 billion birds website.

Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa)

This and much more we learned last Saturday from Terri Maness, instructor for LMN-NE’s birds certification workshop. BTW, did you know that although a few particular points about the evolution of birds are still debated, most experts agree that birds are dinosaurs. Well, direct descendants. Think flying reptiles.

The rain quit by noon Saturday, so we piled on layers against the dropping temp and blustery winds and went out looking for birds at Black Bayou Lake NWR. We quickly learned that in open areas, the birds were hunkered down. Those with better hearing than I could hear them but we didn’t get many glimpses of them.

However, twice we went into wooded areas, where trees broke the back of the wind, and immediately began seeing the little birds. What a delight to be surrounded by ruby-crowned and golden-crowned kinglets! We heard song sparrows and saw white-throated and swamp sparrows.

White-throated Sparrow(Zonotrichia albicollis)

Out on the open water of the lake we saw a few ducks but mostly lots of pied-billed grebes–which we learned from Terri’s lecture are not ducks, but a different family of the Avian line. (I feel so smart knowing that now!)

And then there was the red-tailed hawk, perched on a tree overlooking the prairie out in front of the visitor center at BBLNWR. See it in my photo? No, you don’t. Because I never spotted it. I thought sure I was looking in the right place and I clicked away, but… in vain. Others saw it. I know because they have posted photos in our Facebook group. So go there, please, to see the red-tailed hawk.

Black Bayou Lake NWR

One day I’m going to publish a collection of my photos of clumps of leaves, sticks, shadows, etc.–all kinds of things that were supposed to be birds and weren’t! So goes bird photography.

See the Events list in the right hand column of this website to see what’s upcoming and I’ll blog about it as quickly as I can get to it.

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