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Heron Hang Out

A Great Blue Heron and its habitat.

Great Blue Heron, Wildlife Pond, Wachusett Meadow Audubon, Princeton, MA
It’s common to see a heron on or around the dead tree branches during the summer, especially during the late afternoon.
The water is unusually high due to the record-breaking rain in Central Massachusetts. Plenty of fish here to attract a Great Blue.
It can be easy to miss a heron, as they often blend in so well with their environment, and remain motionless for long periods of time.

Stopover

Summer friends.

Whether these birds perched on bird feeders, fence posts, tree branches, or telephone wires, I’m glad they paused long enough for me to snap a photo during the past two weeks.

Baltimore Oriole
Eastern Bluebird
Eastern Phoebe
European Starling
Gray Catbird
American Goldfinch
Cedar Waxwing
House Sparrow
American Robin
Off to the open skies once more.

All Are Welcome

It’s turkey time at the Wachusett Meadow Audubon in Princeton, MA.

Wachusett Meadow Audubon Sanctuary
A group of thirteen baby turkeys, also called poults, strolled with their mother last evening at the Wachusett Meadow Audubon. Starting at the visitors’ entrance, they ambled across the front porch and over the lawn. Their destination? Bird feeders with fallen seeds underneath.

Pond Party

Canada Geese goslings explore both open water and pond edge environments under the watchful eyes of their parents.

Canada Geese, Princeton, Massachusetts

Another “Bluebird”

Tree Swallows, with their deep-blue iridescent backs, are the first swallows to return to Massachusetts in the Spring. They compete with Eastern Bluebirds for nest boxes. These swallows were perched on the bluebird boxes at Wachusett Meadow Audubon Sanctuary.

Hawk Eyes

Red-tailed hawks have excellent vision; they can spot a mouse from 100 feet in the air. Hawks can see the colors that most humans can, as well as those in the ultraviolet range that humans cannot see.

Young Red-tailed Hawks, like the one pictured, have pale yellow eyes. The eyes darken to brown as the birds get older.

A Real Head-Turner

This Sharp-Shinned Hawk has no problems keeping a look-out in all directions. It can turn its head 180 degrees.

Sharp-Shinned Hawk, Princeton, MA

An Uncommon Visitor

Pine Grosbeaks usually inhabit Canada or the far West of the United States. However, this was an “irruption year”, when large numbers of the birds flew south in search of more available food. This bird took no notice of me as I walked up close to her to take pictures. Instead, she focused on an easy meal of crabapples ripe for the taking.

Eastern Towhee

Towhees usually stay hidden in the undergrowth, but this brave one ventured out to a nearby bird feeder, hopping on both feet to snatch up fallen seeds.

Just Add Bluebirds

Bluebirds arrive in Central Massachusetts during the month of March. Dozens of bluebird boxes in the meadow are ready for occupancy.

Wachusett Meadow Audubon Sanctuary, Princeton, MA

Here’s Looking at You

This brilliantly colored Scarlet Tanager paused outside my window for a short while today, just in time to be added to the bird count of Massachusetts Audubon’s Bird-a-thon.

Mass Audubon explains that “its largest fundraiser brings together supporters from across the state to raise essential funds for nature conservation, education, and advocacy”.

Because of the virus, this year all sightings were completed from the areas right around the participants’ homes.

Oriole Arrival, Part 2

This Baltimore Oriole pair chatter as they flash through the yard, pausing for a drink before heading to the nearby forsythia bush.

Oriole Arrival

The first Baltimore Oriole of the season cautiously checked in at the feeder in between rain showers today.

Work and Leisure

I wasn’t the only one working in my yard yesterday. Fortunately, we all managed to take breaks between our labors on this warm Spring day.

Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Blue Jay
Ruby Throated Hummingbird
Northern Cardinal
Black Capped Chickadee
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