Welcome to Week #5 of the Bird Weekly Photo Challenge. Week #5 challenge is Feathers of Blue. Upcoming challenges can be found on my Bird Weekly Challenge Page.
The feature image is a close up of a Black-crowned Night Heron taken at Lettuce Lake Park in Tampa, Florida. There was no cropping of this photo. He was that close, but keep in mind, I had my 200mm lens trained on him!
One of the most elusive birds ever! The Florida Scrub-Jay can only be found in…guess where? You got it! FLORIDA! Not all of Florida either. There are certain hotspots where you can find this beautiful shy bird. This photo was taken at Canaveral National Seashore that butts up to Cape Canaveral where it meets the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. They do not migrate and almost never travel more than a few miles from where they hatched. They can be found in low-growing scrub oak in sandy soils or perched up high with their long tail hanging down like in my photo. The Florida Scrub-Jay is on the federal endangered species list.
Black-throated blue warbler male and female are totally different in looks. The female is more of a buff colored with some light grayish blue tones in the wings and around the head. The photo above was taken in my backyard. The first time we’ve ever seen one in our yard was in April, 2020. They migrate through Florida and much of the Southeast. They breed in parts of Tennessee and northward in the United States.
This photo was taken 2 nights ago. It’s not a great photo as it was almost dark when this female landed on our manmade perch attached to our feeders. The male was just above on the electrical line going to the house. Did you know the male behavior seems to take on the 1950’s tradition. He chooses where they will make a home for their brood by bringing nest material to the nest cavity, wave his wings while perched above it for the female to see. That’s it! He leaves it to her to build the nest and incubate the eggs. What a guy?
The Blue Jay is one of the noisiest birds there are around ones backyard. They are found in a large part of the United States and in the southern part of Canada. Afterall, Toronto named their Major League Baseball team the Blue Jays. If you are trying to attract them to your feeder, they prefer tray feeders with peanuts, sunflower seed and suet. I will watch them come to our feeder, pick out the peanut and fly off. On occasion, Blue Jays are known to take and eat eggs and nestlings of other birds, but scientist have no evidence of how common it is.
The Black-crowned night heron will brood any chick that is placed in its nest. Their young will often disgorge their stomach contents when approached…YUCK! These young will leave the nest in about a month but are unable to fly until they are 6 weeks old.
The Little Blue Heron often appears to have gray feathers that are considered to be a dark slaty-blue. The one above posed up nicely for me and is an adult. When they are feeding, they are patient eaters and will stand and wait for their food to get closer to them. You will often see them with other herons, egrets and woodstorks, plus they will build their nests in trees where these species are building or have built a nest.
Meet Tweety! He was our beloved Lovebird. For his short life, he was quite spoiled and imprinted on Frank. He tolerated me! Isn’t he beautiful? Unfortunately, Tweety met his untimely death at the grips of a Red-shouldered Hawk shortly after I had given him a bath. It happened within a matter of seconds before I could place him back into his cage. Devastated, I was and is an understatement! I WAS DISTRAUGHT! I would never get another as I didn’t like the caged part of the lifestyle. Plus, they are a commitment. They are in the parrot family, but unlike a Macaw who will live 50 years, lovebirds will still live 12-15 years as long as you can keep them away from getting snatched by a bird of prey.
Until next week…Week #5 – Feathers of Blue.