I woke up this morning, and guess what my first thought was? Where's my new Peterson?! That's a sign that I'm obsessed (if you couldn't tell already). So before I even had breakfast (I still haven't) I went and birded outside for about an hour. I can tell spring migration is at its peak, because I saw warblers (I never see them except migration)! Here's my list:
Canada Goose (heard only)
Northern Flicker (heard only)
Carolina Chickadee (possible, identified by call)
Bell's Vireo (a lifer!)
Pine Warbler (a lifer!)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (possible)
I have no idea how many of each species I saw, so I didn't include those numbers. And I didn't get photos of the warblers or vireos, but I must've gotten five feet away from the Pine Warbler! I learned that they like bugs, and they'll glean in the trees or forage on the ground. But it was so exciting because the Pine Warbler and possible that Bell's Vireo were lifers for me.
I can't believe the number of robins that have been in and out of my backyard for the past couple weeks! There have been at least 30 since I started taking photos of them. Here are some photos:
This one had a shiny feather sticking out of his rump.
View from the underside.
"Is that a worm?"
Sitting in a tree in my backyard.
Sometimes there were so many that I couldn't even count! Luckily, I have a park with a field behind my house, so we get to see lots of robins brutally ripping worms out of the ground. If you think about it, it's not a pretty sight. Anyway, these little guys have been invading our yard for weeks now! It's really nice to see them back from their migration.
I went birding again with a friend, and this is what we saw:
1 Turkey Vulture
1 Sharp-shinned/Cooper's Hawk
2 Mourning Doves
1 Downy/Hairy Woodpecker (heard only)
1 American Crow
4 Black-capped Chickadees
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
8 American Robins
1 European Starling
1 Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)
5 Northern Cardinals
1 Common Grackle
4 Brown-headed Cowbirds
5 House Sparrows
I organized an event called the Big Week, based on the Big Year and the Big Day. Basically the same thing, but it lasts for a week. I used a checklist by the North Central Illinois Ornithological Society (NCIOS) to count the species. I'll probably post a list of all the birds I've seen every day this week (but don't count on it).
Hey. Guy here - Sorry about the weird bugs in the post. I can't get rid of them.
Purple Martin, male.
The Purple Martin is easy to recognize because of it's blueish-purple color. Purple Martins eat a variety of insects. Remember to put that in your feeders - if you want to touch bugs, which I don't care much to do.
Purple martin, female.
The female has a duller color, and gray-white underpart but it is mostly purple, though it has less than the male. She has a speckled breast.
Purple Martin range.
The purple finch lives in the eastern US in the summer, so you may be able to see some this year.