Mariton: Birds and Fred Astaire

May 31, 2017

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager.  Photos by Carole Mebus.

Mariton’s last Tuesday Bird Walk of the season was drizzly, but they make rain gear for that.  We went to Haycock Mountain, and Lake Nockamixon State Park for our last outing.  Rebekah Sheeler, an Environmental Educator with the State Park, joined us for the walk, and I learned new things about a place I visit regularly.

We were hoping to see some Red-headed Woodpeckers, and the birds did not disappoint.  We not only saw them flying, but we also saw them going in and out of their nest hole.  When I looked at Carole’s photos from last year, I realized they are in the same nest as last year.  Which answers the question:  “Do wood peckers re-use their nest cavities?”  At least in this situation, they do.  While we didn’t hear their calls, we did get to see the bright flashes of white when they fly.  Red-headed Woodpeckers are truly spectacular and they were definitely the “worth the price of admission” bird.  (We also found the nest hole of a pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers.  These woodpeckers have a lot of red on their head, but their heads aren’t all red.)

Eastern Towhee singing in the rain.

The Eastern Towhee was singing and even perched on a stump where everyone could watch him sing.  This is an easy song to learn, and Towhees are fairly common.  The one caveat is that they don’t always sing the whole song.  Watching them sing does reinforce the song in your memory.

This Eastern Bluebird has food for its young.  Some of the other birds seen on Tuesdays were Baltimore Orioles, Indigo Buntings, Red-eyed Vireos, Black and White Warblers, and Blue-winged Warblers.

While the Tuesday Bird Walks are over for the season, we have the Nesting Bird Census this Saturday.  The weekly Butterfly Walks start next Tuesday, but we always make time to watch birds on these walks.