Category Archives: Birds

Weekly Puzzler Answer #148

Happy Saturday to you! Were you able to identify the handsome bird in last week’s puzzler? Perhaps you’ve seen this bird use a lure to catch a fish?


It’s a Green Heron, though honestly I don’t think this is the best name for the bird as in most lighting situations, it does not look very green.


Check out this video! It’s amazing! (wait for the end, it’s worth it!)

Here is the next puzzler–another bird found in similar habitats as the green heron, yellow-crowned night heron and black-crowned night heron.

Enjoy your weekend! I will see you again soon.

Weekly Puzzler #149: Will Dance for Food

Years ago when I was in Florida on a photography trip I had the chance to photograph this next amazing bird with the help of a long lens that I rented. This bird is fascinating to watch because he runs around in the water as if he is dancing, running this way and then that way, all the while herding fish so he can stab them with his sharp beak. It is fun to watch! In hindsight I should have taken some movies of this.

Do you recognize this bird? (Hint: It is NOT a heron)heron-2-3


heron--6If you want to guess, use the comment box below. All correct guesses will be entered in the quarterly drawing for a free photo prize–the next drawing will be on the first day of summer–in June.

See you again soon!

Weekly Puzzler Answer #147

Did you recognize the handsome red-eyed bird in last week’s puzzler? If you’ve ever gone canoeing, kayaking or spent any time around water, you’ve probably seen this bird. It is called a Yellow-Crowned Night Heron.


Yellow-Crowned Night Herons are 22-28 inches tall with a wing span of a little under 4 feet. They are common in coastal marshes, barrier islands and mangrove forests, but can also be found inland to the Midwest and as far north as Michigan. Despite their name suggesting otherwise, they will hunt at all hours of the day, and night, stalking whatever they can catch but favoring crabs and crustaceans like crayfish.

In the US there are two species of night herons–the Yellow-Crowned Night Heron and the Black-Crowned Night Heron, pictured below. You can see that both were appropriately named!

A Black-Crowned Night Heron

A Black-Crowned Night Heron

Check out the next puzzler–another bird found in similar habitats.

And have a great weekend! See you again soon.


Weekly Puzzler #148: A Bird That Uses a Lure

So last week’s puzzler was a Yellow-Crowned Night Heron–a bird commonly found at the edge of ponds, lakes, marshes, swamps, streamsides and other bodies of water, where it hunts fish, crayfish, frogs and other aquatic animals. I thought I would feature another bird commonly found in the same habitats as the Yellow-Crowned Night Heron. Chances are if you knew the last one, you will know this one too.

This handsome, yellow-eyed bird has the unusual habit of standing on a branch or in grass hanging out over water and dropping sticks and other objects into the water with the intent of luring fish, which it then snatches from the water with its dagger-like bill. This is amazing to watch! Who said animals don’t use tools?

Here are two photos:


Do you know the identity of this bird? Have you seen it in a body of water near you? If so, use the comment box below to offer your guess. All correct responses will be entered in a drawing to win a photo prize.


Have a wonderful weekend and see you again soon! (I will show you a video of this bird using a lure next weekend–it is an amazing display!)

Weekly Puzzler #147: Handsome Red-eyed Bird

Since we’ve been featuring birds for our puzzlers, let’s roll with this theme and do another. This next bird is a favorite of mine, found in wet woods and swamps throughout the southeastern United States.

Check it out:

cbird-3125Do you recognize it? If so, or if you want to guess, give it a try. All correct guesses will be entered in the next drawing for a photo prize–on the first day of summer. The more times your name is entered the better chance you have to win. Good luck!


And see you again soon!

Weekly Puzzler Answer #146

Did you know the answer to last week’s puzzler? Did you recognize the “meow, meow” calls in there that are distinctive to the Gray Catbird? Is this a bird you’ve seen before?


The Gray Catbird, as you can see from its picture, is a plain, dark gray bird with a black cap and a long black tail, that it often cocks, allowing you to see the chestnut under tail coverlets. They are common throughout most of the United States.

Notice the black cap

Notice the black cap

Like Northern Mockingbirds and Brown Thrashers, they are great mimics. Northern Mockingbirds repeat the various sounds for 4-6 times, Brown Thrashers for 2-3 times and then Gray Catbirds, who repeat the different songs in a much less organized fashion, with plenty of their characteristic mews in between.

Here you can see the chestnut under its cocked tail

Here you can see the chestnut under its cocked tail

Ready for another puzzler? Here’s the next one.

Have a great weekend. I will see you again soon!

Check Out These Nesting Birds. Live!

Have you ever watched live streaming of a bird on its nest? Don’t you think it would be interesting to watch a Barred Owl, or a Peregrine Falcon or an Osprey bringing food back to its chicks? You can learn so much from this!

A pair of barred owls in Florida

A pair of barred owls in Florida

I was recently talking to my friend Lisa who lives in Rhode Island and works for the National Audubon Society. She was telling me about the pair of Peregrine falcons nesting on one of the skyscrapers there in Providence. During the past few rainy days, the birds ignored the rain, sitting diligently on the 5 eggs, keeping them warm. She said they should be hatching this week. You can see this here!

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology also has some live bird cams. These are amazing! And they have so many different birds that you can watch. Check out a few of them here: (WARNING: watching these can be totally addictive and you might never get anything else done!)

Barred Owls:

Ospreys: (This one is super cool because you can see the traffic going by as the osprey sits on the nest. It is a great angle!)

and my favorite, because it shows two different angles, Red-tailed hawks in Itaca NY:

Do you want to set up a camera on your property? It’s possible!

My husband and I have two cameras set up in nesting boxes on our property. One is in a blue bird box and the other, in a screech owl box. We can turn on the TV and watch “the bluebird channel,” or the “owl channel.” You can do this too! All you need is a tiny camera that you can mount inside of a nesting box for whatever bird you want. Here is a link for the camera (marked down from $160 to $89) we have and also for a bluebird box, ( I love this one because it is made by Audubon, is easy to clean, has a built in predator guard, has the specific opening for a bluebird and is well-constructed for long last use.) Here are two posts I wrote about this some time ago: Spy cam shows all and spy cam captures hatching eggs.

Happy bird watching! Let me know what you think… and if YOU too got addicted to this amazing  educational opportunity!

See you again soon.