Friday, December 26, 2008

Birding Maplewood Nature Center

Over the summer I did quite a bit of birding at the Maplewood Nature Center. Near the boardwalk that crosses over the lake there is a small island that always seemed to be teeming with birdlife. On July 31st I stopped in and took the following pics.
I am not 100% sure what type of flycatcher that this is but my guess is that it is an olive-sided flycatcher. It was always pretty easy to find several types of flycatcher perched on the trees, that were growing on the island, waiting for a meal to fly by.
The eastern kingbird is another member of the flycatcher family. An interesting fact about eastern kingbirds, according to the Cornell website, is that when they migrate to South America during the winter they are mostly fruit eaters.
Another bird that eats mainly insects in the summer and fruit in the winter was also hanging around, although cedar waxwing are not members of the flycatcher family.
There was also a consistent amount of waterfowl that hung around the lake through out the summer. These were mainly mallards, wood ducks and female hooded mergansers.
The male hooded merganser are usually no where to be found after the breeding season. Once the eggs are laid the male leaves the female hoody to incubate them on her own, which is why we typically only see the females by late summer. Once the eggs hatch the chicks will be able to swim and catch food with in 24 hours. The female will continue to stay with the young, and show them where to find food, for a few weeks but she will leave them even before they can fly, at about 70 days. I tend to see a good number of hoodies around the parks where I live each summer. This is probably do to the number of wood duck boxes that people have put up in the area. Hoodies are cavity nesters and will often nest in wood duck boxes.


Naturegirl said...

Beautiful images to calm my spirit!

Anonymous said...

Love the waterfowl..Nice that someone is putting up boxes....