Friday, April 13, 2012

Where Sky Meets Water

Welkinweir (which means "where sky meets water") provides great habitat for many different bird species.  There are almost always turkey vultures in the sky.  We have around 50 bluebird nesting boxes set up throughout the property which draw many tree swallows and bluebirds this time of year.  In the visitor parking area there is a small marsh where the red-winged blackbirds nest.  Additionally, the large pond that gave the arboretum its name attracts more than just obnoxious Canada geese.  On any given day you might spot osprey, great blue heron, bald eagles, and even canvasbacks.  The song of birds is constant this time of year, and it was this orchestra that inspired the topic of today's blog post.  It has been one of my more difficult photography endeavors.

Have you ever tried to convince a tree swallow or a bluebird to be still so you can take a picture?  Birds are uncooperative creatures.  They hide in the shrubbery or fly out of the lens, so I have to sneak up on them.  This leads to unflattering pictures.  I invite you to play a little game called "find and identify the bird in this photo."  I cropped most of the pictures to make it easier, but if you click on the pictures they will open in a bigger size to make it even easier.

I took the first picture because of all the beautiful colors, but there's a bird in it too! 
Answers at the end of the post. :)  This link will take you to a cool site where you can listen to all the bird songs:

Why would we want all these birds?  Besides their pretty songs, many of them enjoy eating things like this!  Bird H is one of those bird species that thinks these hairy tent caterpillars are delicious.

Be sure to check back in a week. I saved a lot of beautiful blossom pictures from my walk today that I will post next week.  Here is a sneak preview...


Join us for the wildlife walk, Saturday, April 21st, to see and hear more bird species.  This free event is at 8 a.m., and starts in the visitor parking area.  For more information about visiting Welkinweir, see our website: 

Bird Answers: A. Canada goose, B. eastern bluebird, C. brown headed cowbird, D. Pair of eastern towhee. Bonus points if you saw both of them, E. red winged blackbird, F. tree swallow, G. gold finch, H. blue jay.

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