Monday, June 29, 2015

Gray Catbird Bookends

Some days are filled with sightings, while others are more quiet and I wonder where everything has gone.  Today was a full day with lots of interesting sightings.  My hike began with Gray Catbirds.

Gray Catbirds

There's a lot of squeaking (baby bird style) in the little woods by the parking area.  A Gray Catbird flew out and landed on a nesting box, followed shortly thereafter by a juvenile.  The juvenile appears to have a bit of a deformed bill.

At the next nesting box (halfway up the hill), a male Eastern Bluebird brought a mouthful of food to his nestlings.  They are so small they aren't even visible at the nest hole.  This box is a bit risky because of the shrub that grows so close to the opening.  I hope they survive!

Swamp Milkweed

Swamp Milkweed is in bloom in the new pollinator garden on the hill.

mystery bird

I was crouched down next to an apple tree, trying to get a photo of the above mysterious yellow bird.  When I got back up again, I was shocked to find a White-Tailed Deer quite near in the meadow behind me.  Of course, it took off running and jumping, and the one photo I got of it jumping I cut off its head.  So it goes with my limited ability to capture something that surprises me!

White-Tailed Deer

Red Milkweed Beetles

Savannah Sparrow (near wetlands)

Red-Winged Blackbird (juvenile)


Eastern Bluebird

 Cedar Waxwing

(one of two seen, both ovipositing)


How can I tell?  It's not nectaring on a flower.  It's underneath the leaves (hiding eggs by laying in safe place).  Body is curved up toward the milkweed.  Milkweed plants are the only plant that Monarchs will lay eggs on because it is the only plant that the monarch caterpillar will eat.  There has been so much press about this in the last year, because of the declining population of the migrating monarchs, that most everyone is probably aware of this!

Great Spangled Fritillary

Eastern Tailed-Blue

Eastern Kingbird

Gray Catbird (juvenile)

My hike also ended with Gray Catbirds.  I peered into the little woods by the parking area to try to isolate the squeaking sound I heard again as I was leaving, and I found the cute little juvenile in the photo above!

1 comment:

  1. Ms. Puliafico,

    First, just want to say I think your nature photograpy is pretty amazing. Thank you for sharing your work online.

    I'd also like to ask your permission to use one of your photos of an Eastern Painted Turtle for an Eagle Scout project I'm doing for a local nature preserve (from this page:

    I'm a Boy Scout with Troop 45 in Clifton Park, New York, and I'm working on an Eagle Scout project at the Dwaas Kill Nature Preserve.
    Part of that work is building a new information kiosk at the preserve and creating informational signage, maps, trail markers and a new website. The kiosk and website will include information to help visitors learn about the importance of nature preserves for native and migrating animals. Three streams converge in the preserve and there are also bogs and marshes that attract many kinds of insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. These include wood turtles and eastern painted turtles.

    I'd like to include a small picture on the kiosk and website to show visitors what a eastern painted turtle looks like, and I think one of your pictures would be great for this. If you agree, I'd include a photo credit with your name and would include a web address if you have a website you want to point people to. I'd also make sure to let you know when the project is completed -- most of the physical construction is done already and I'm hoping to finish work in the next few weeks.

    I'd really appreciate your support for my project, which, like your website, is meant to encourage people to enjoy and preserve nature in their communities.

    I didn't see an email to send this to, so I'm posting this as a comment. If you have any questions or need more information, my contact info is below.

    Thank you,

    Chris Bell
    Troop 45
    Clifton Park, NY
    cbellbits [at] gmail [dot] com