Bird Weekly – Photo Challenge – Birds You Love

Welcome to Week #35 of the Bird Weekly Photo Challenge. Week #35 challenge is Birds you Love! Happy Valentine’s Day!

I LOVE ALL BIRDS, BUT I CHOSE A FEW FOR TODAY THAT COULD BE A VALENTINE
…Or NOT!

The feature image is the baby Blue-gray Gnatcatcher that Frank and I rescued after it fell out of its nest in a high tree during a wind storm at the University of North Florida while on the hiking trails. I fell in love with this bird and was its surrogate mother for a weekend until I could get it to a rescue on Monday. I cried my eyes out when I dropped that baby bird off at the animal hospital. I featured this little bird on another blog last October, telling the story.

Even if you don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, I know you love birds and while out birding, it’s like Valentine’s Day everyday…especially when you see a new or rare bird. You all know what is next. My favorite birds and in particular the Pelican! If I had to choose one bird to be my Valentine, it would be the Brown Pelican!


Brown Pelican

Captured this one in St. Petersburg, Florida in Treasure Island. We had just eaten a wonderful seafood meal when we came out onto the boardwalk and this guy was splashing about. Too bad he wasn’t facing me and good thing I carried my camera into the restaurant.

Brown Pelican juveniles learning how to fish by trying to plunge dive.

These two juveniles were learning to feed in the intercoastal in Melbourne, Florida.

It’s no secret I love the Brown Pelican and it is my favorite bird. Sorry all you other species out there, but the fact is, this prehistoric looking bird is funny and elegant at the same time. They plunge dive from high above using the force of impact to stun small fish. They scoop them up into their pouch. Watching juvenile Brown Pelicans is quite comical. They will prepare to take off and stab at the water moments later. It takes a while for them to develop the full plunge dive technique. For these reasons, the Brown Pelican is my choice for a Valentine!


American White Pelican

American White Pelicans in a group feeding at Viera Wetlands in Viera, Florida.

American White Pelicans feeding together at Viera Wetlands in Viera, Florida. Caught here, swimming together as they often do to drive schooling fish toward the shallows so they can corral them and enjoy lunch together. They would make a fine Valentine because of their social tendencies.

A single American White Pelican trying to figure it out.

“I can do it on my own….I don’t need them”. This will be a lonely Valentine’s Day for this guy!


Florida Scrub Jay

Florida Scrub Jay perched high in a tree at Canaveral National Seashore at Merritt Island, Florida.

One of the hardest birds to find is the Florida Scrub Jay. You know the old adage….”You can’t always get what you want”….okay…so that’s the title of a Rolling Stones song, but it is the theme of the Florida Scrub Jay. They are difficult to find and if you are lucky enough, they will show themselves and play with you. I got lucky with this photo during the day. They will often come out at dusk when it is difficult to photograph them. This bird is a player! Not Valentine material at all!


Gray Catbird

Gray Catbird sits perched in a tree in heavy cover.

Now, if you like the mohawk look, the Gray Catbird is for you. You might have to overlook the scratching call that comes out of this bird unless you love the sound of a screeching cat. If you can get past that nasally voice, you have a very handsome date for Valentine’s Day.


American Oystercatcher

American Oystercatcher fishing for shellfish in Tampa Bay.

Distinguished and Debonaire, the American Oystercatcher is formally dressed all the time. Yes, he has a large snoz, but he is quite colorful. Just look into his beautiful red-yellow eyes. He will wine and dine you at the best Raw Bar around, presenting you with oysters on the half shell. If fancy fresh seafood is to your liking, this might just be your Valentine.


Northern Cardinal

Catch these two before they get paired up. Once they start their courtship, nothing else matters. The male will dance around, turning and twisting his body in front of a perched female. Only 20% of the pairs stay together after winter. This could be your Valentine this year since they are not lifelong monogamous bird species. While putting this post together, I grabbed the wrong female cardinal. It is an honest mistake. This is not mine, but instead of changing it and using my photo, I’d like to keep it and give credit where credit is due. The female cardinal on the right belongs to Lisa with A Day in the Life from a September post. Please visit her site as she loves birds as much as I do.


Lovebird

Tweety the lovebird with beautiful red, peach, green a blue feathers.

Last, but certainly not least, the Lovebird says it all in the name. This, of course is Tweety, our Peach-faced Lovebird that met a horrifying death at the behest of a Red-shouldered Hawk. When matched up, they are the only two birds in the picture. They are very affectionate to one another and could care less about their human pals who feed them. However, if you only have one, they will imprint on one human. Only one human. Tweety imprinted on my hubby, Frank. Tweety tolerated me. I was okay with it except he wouldn’t listen to me and would only listen to Frank. Lovebirds make a great Valentine to either the human companion or another lovebird.


Happy Valentine’s Day everyone and keep your birds close to your heart!


Upcoming challenges can be found on my Bird Weekly Challenge Page.

Next time…Week #36 – Hawks

72 Comments on “Bird Weekly – Photo Challenge – Birds You Love

      • We did. I stayed home off my foot most of the time and he ran the errands. I have only left my house twice in two weeks for drs appt. Ugh! I’m getting cabin fever but I hope that after the rains end at the end of the week, we can go on a birding adventure. Even if it is on a driving trail where I don’t have to walk so much. Hope you had a lovely Valentine’s Day with your family! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • It was just He-Man and I this week-end. We had a nice but chilly hike on a flat trail. I looked for the birds that usually pass through here, but it’s still a bit early for the owl to come to the nest. Another month I think. I saw only crows, and bushtits, but heard a Norther Flicker. Never saw it though. I cleaned and reorganized my closet, but didn’t get rid of nearly enough clothes so, I’ll have to revisit that. I need to drop the 10 pounds I have put on so those clothes fit again!

        It was a good day.

        I hope you can get out at least on the auto route and do some birding and get some fresh air, and get out of the house soon! ❀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sounds like a wonderful Valentine’s Day to me. I’d love to see a bushtit. Another lifer there! All your birds will be coming out soon. We had 3 Purple Finches at the feeder over the weekend. They are uncommon and on the “rare” list for ebird for here. I got confirmation from the audubon society so it was pretty amazing. Birding from my dining room.

        I get the 10 pounds. I’ve struggled with it since covid myself. I’ve never had a problem with my weight and still don’t look like it, but my clothes tell me it’s a problem.

        We are hoping to go on a driving trail on Saturday. Fingers crossed. I did go to Wild Birds Unlimited on Monday so that was something. Saw 19 White Pelicans high in the sky. Today there was a Cooper’s Hawk in our yard, swooped down to try to get the birds on the feeder. I’ve got pics of him coming out on Friday for Bird Weekly. I was eating at the time. So awesome! BTW: didn’t succeed! πŸ™‚

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  2. I love pelicans, but we don’t have any. They are warm weather birds. I sympathize. I’d like to be a warm weather bird TOO right now. It’s the first day of the Great Backyard Bird Count today. If you are interested, the details are on my website. It lasts for four days (from today through Monday). You can spend as little as 15 minutes counting, count multiple times per day, and for any amount of time you find convenient. You can count from a window, take a walk, or stand in your backyard. You can’t count while taking pictures. Fifteen minutes was for me because there are a LOT of birds on my back deck and just trying to count all of those Juncos and Blue Jays made me a little nuts.

    We have catbirds. They are the birds that, no matter WHAT you do, will fly into your windows.

    Today I saw the rarest of bird site: TWO male cardinals on the deck. I think one may be too young to mate and anyway, it’s too early to try.

    Anyway, here’s the link: https://teepee12.com/2021/02/12/a-special-weekend-of-birds/

    Happy birding to you πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

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  7. I had a guess before I looked and the only ones I had right were Pelicans (a no brainer) Oystercatcher and Cardinals. I did two this time but you never know I might do the worlds biggest bird post later πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

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      • πŸ˜‚ we have a cart that we carry chairs, a cooler, camera equipment & umbrellas. Only place sand gets is on our feet. We even carry a sprayer with fresh water to spray out feet’s before putting our sandals back on. The. We spray the cart before it gets put in the car. We have a weather tech rubber mat in the trunk so it doesn’t mess up our car. 😎

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