Finally no rain! An immature American Redstart male was singing in a low tree by the kayak landing on the West River. Rictal bristles, stiff feathers that project over the gape from above, are present in many insectivorous species, presumably helping in the capture of insects.
This inconspicuous female was foraging along the river bank
After many attempts I finally managed to get some decent images of the Prairie Warbler returning every year to breed in an untended area of low trees and brush in a commercial part of our town.
These views show the red streaking on the back
Several years ago I saw a Waterthrush in some trees along the edge of the West River. Ever since, when walking along the river, I have been on the look-out for one foraging along the bank. I finally saw one, a small bird, difficult to see against a backdrop of gray mud and river debris. Because of the yellow wash and the streaked throat I asssume this is a Northern rather than a Louisiana Waterthrush. Also the location, a stagnant side arm of the river, is in favor of the NW as the LW prefers fast flowing water.
Bobolinks build their nests on the ground near the base of a large forb (broad-leaved herbaceous plant other than grass) providing dense cover. To thrive they need a large undisturbed area and their survival is globally threatened by loss of grassland. Unfortunately grass cut late in the season which allows the nestlings to fledge loses much of its nutrient value for farm animals.
Several male Bobolinks were flying, singing and displaying on a high meadow next to a rarely occupied second home near me. I found this male perched on the top of one of the decorative crab apple trees by the house.
They feed mostly on seeds, grains and insects but apparently, given the opportunity, will also eat fruit.
Bobolinks begin singing early in the morning before dawn and continue with little interruption until mid morning when it becomes more sporadic.
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