Injured Black Vulture in yard, and Snowy the albino House Sparrow

This morning when I went out to fill the water bowls with warm water for the birds, I startled a HUGE vulture sitting on the ground in my neighbor’s yard. Thanks to some input and ID help from the JerseyBirds list, it’s confirmed as a BLACK VULTURE. It looks like a big chunk of its tail and/or wing feathers is missing from its rear. I tried to slowly approach to see if it would let me capture it to take it somewhere for help, but it definitely can fly low to the ground for short distances and wouldn’t let me near. Poor thing. Click this to see all 4 photos:

Injured Vulture (young Turkey Vulture?) in yard Dec. 31, 2013

On a lighter note, we have had a partially albino House Sparrow in the yard for a few months now. We named it Snowy and it looks kind of like a Snow Bunting. Click this photo for more pics:

Snowy the albino House Sparrow

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Ruby-crowned Kinglet in the yard on November 28!

I am SO glad I just happened to look out my window, because I noticed quick little movement in my evergreen tree next to my window. The bird was moving like a Kinglet, but I didn’t think I would see one at this late a date. I grabbed my binoculars and immediately saw the bright ruby crown flashing through the evergreen needles. I couldn’t believe it. The bird foraged in the interior of the tree and was not easy to see, but I decided to grab my camera and try for photos. The only shots I could get were these 2 horrible pictures, but hopefully they at least document the bird:

Blob of a Ruby-crowned Kinglet in the yard on November 28, 2013RC Kinglet in yard

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Baby Flickers and Turkeys in the yard!

This afternoon, Bob and I looked out the window, and he spotted something “different” – turned out we had 3 baby boy NORTHERN FLICKERS in the yard with their dad!!! I have never seen baby Flickers, let alone in our yard, so this was very exciting. Bob and I both snapped photos. Click the ones below to take you to the full album:

Four Northern Flickers in the yard - dad with THREE babies! July 20, 2013Daddy feeding a babyIMG_6749.JPGP1110316.JPG

About 2 weeks ago, we had a mamma Turkey in the yard with 7 babies. They were eating under our feeders and chasing the Pigeons away. Two days ago, they all came back for another breakfast! Click on photo for full album:

Also, we had a mom Turkey with SEVEN babies in the yard a couple weeks ago...Then 2 days ago on the 18th, they were back. Here are 5 of the 7 babies with the mom

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Acadia Birding Festival, May 30-June 2, 2013; Maine

We had such a special time at this festival and we met so many wonderful people: birders, trip leaders, and festival organizers alike. You can view our large photo album (all taken by Bob) by starting here at the beginning – just click this photo. Below this photo are special highlights from the trip, which you will see within the album too:

View from our hotel balcony of Frenchman's Bay at the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel, Bar Harbor

Here are some special highlights:

Stunning Blackburnian Warbler - RIGHT ABOVE OUR CAR in the parking lot!"Was it singing?" you ask. Yes, it was

LIFER! This is Bruce Deuce the Spruce GrouseIMG_5588.jpgAmazing Puffin in flightRazorbills. BOOM!...and we saw these stunning beauties up closeAwesome Red-breasted Nuthatch that Marshall called inAwesomely cooperative Alder FlycatcherThen he came in directly over Marshall and posed for a while

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Green Heron hunting at Crystal Lake

I asked Bob to drive the car slowly past Crystal Lake in Englewood today to see what I could spot. Well, my NON-BIRDING husband gets a prize for pointing out the GREEN HERON fishing on the bank of the lake! He was able to snap a wonderful photo. I wonder if they will be nesting here….I have never seen one at this lake before:

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Roxie the Red-tailed Hawk with Pigeon entree

Roxie was lunching directly under my window today. Click on any photo to bring you to the whole gruesome album:

Roxie the Red-tailed Hawk eating a Pigeon right under the window. April 24, 2013.P1110228.jpgP1110232.jpg

On a lighter note, Mary the Groundhog has been seen in my yard nearly every day for the past week or so. Again, click on any photo to bring you to the entire album:

Mary the Groundhog in the yard, April 21, 2013What a face!P1110217.jpg

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Minus one Starling

Our immature Cooper’s Hawk, Lindsay, is at it again. Lindsay dove straight into the top of some shrubs and came out the bottom with this unfortunate Starling. After a few minutes of crushing it to death, Lindsay flew off with it:Killing machine Lindsay the Cooper's Hawk with an unfortunate Starling. In the yard, 4/14/13.P1110204.jpg

Also, we have an Opossum in our yard! Click on this photo for all 4 Opossum photos in the album:

Oh, and we also have THIS in our yard. Opossum!

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Saw-whet Owl life bird, Central Park, 4/1/13

I saw the cutest owl ever today, a Northern Saw-whet Owl, in Central Park. This was one of my most wanted life birds. I had a good spot standing on a bench peering through a gap in the tree about 30 to 35 feet away. I zoomed all the way in, but still these are cropped and maybe just a tad blurry. Click on ANY photo to take you to the full album – more photos than are shown here:

Lifer NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL, 4/1/13, Central ParkIt has apparently been in Central Park for some months nowHello there

I went to the front of the path to snap a few quick ones, but didn’t want to stay and bother it:

P1110174

Then I went back to my original spot:

Back in my original spot. A bit blurry because my camera kept wanting to focus on the branches, but not bad...

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Rose-breasted Grosbeak is back today!

We are happy to report that the little fellow has returned today, so hopefully he will continue to be a regular for a little while. Bob and I both snapped a few pics – click any photo below to take you to the full album from today:

Rose-breasted Grosbeak in the yard again, 3/24/13

We also had quite a show from Harry and Harriet, our Hairy Woodpecker pair. Harry was drumming up a storm, and Harriet responded with sounds I’ve never heard from a Hairy Woodpecker before – many little chip and chirp sounds in rapid succession. ┬áThen they both came in for suet:

Harry the Hairy Woodpecker eating suetHarriet the Hairy Woodpecker going for the upside-down suet feeder

Mr. Led-belly was also ever present today:

The famous Mr- Led-belly (well, he's famous in our yard, at least)

And finally, even though it’s “just a Starling,” the plumage is so gorgeous:

OK, we know. Just a Starling, but look at those feathers! So pretty.

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Holy mackerel – ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK in the yard

I had a funny feeling that I was going to have a great yard bird today, and so it came to pass! As I glanced up and looked out the window, a flash of black wings with big white wing patches came and went within a second. I immediately had the impression of a Grosbeak, but hardly believed it, especially when I saw a Downy Woodpecker in approximately the same place as the bird had flown. But not a minute later, out came the male Rose-breasted Grosbeak to my amazement and delight! I cracked open my back door to snap a few pics (please click on any photo to bring you to the entire album):

Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak in the yard, 3/23/13!

He was eating under the feeders and around the yard

His breast is not a bright, hot pink color, but more a lighter pink. He was happily eating with the Pigeons and House Sparrows – hahahaaa! These pics were taken through the window because I didn’t want to disturb him:

Taken from inside. How funny - Grosbeak with Pigeons!P1110112

In other yard news, my Fox Sparrow is still here – it’s been about a week now:

In other yard news, my Fox Sparrow is still here - been here about 1 week now

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