Daily Archives: November 2, 2018

Little bird flying to the Amazon basin

Just going back through some photos from mid-October, I found this little guy in the banyan in our front yard, spotted around noon on October 13th, and I thought it might be a new bird for me.

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I googled and guessed a vireo, maybe a Red-eyed Vireo, and posted to What’s This Bird for confirmation.

Confirmed!

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A tireless songster, the Red-eyed Vireo is one of the most common summer residents of Eastern forests. These neat, olive-green and white songbirds have a crisp head pattern of gray, black, and white. Their brief but incessant songs—sometimes more than 20,000 per day by a single male—contribute to the characteristic sound of an Eastern forest in summer. When fall arrives, they head for the Amazon basin, fueled by a summer of plucking caterpillars from leaves in the treetops.

And…

The red iris that gives the Red-eyed Vireo its name doesn’t develop until the end of the birds’ first winter. Then the brown iris the birds were born with becomes dull brick red to bright crimson in different individuals.

Blogged bird number 193!

Boat-tailed grackles by the lagoon

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On display, male Boat-tailed Grackles at the Jensen Beach bridge west causeway park, Indian River Lagoon in the background.

There are always lots of grackles in the two causeway parks under the bridge, in case you have an urge to observe these noisy and charismatic blackbirds.

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Three females in grass nearby.

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When you smell saltwater on the East Coast, it’s time to look out for Boat-tailed Grackles. The glossy blue-black males are hard to miss as they haul their ridiculously long tails around or display from marsh grasses or telephone wires. The rich, dark-brown females are half the size of males and look almost like a different species. Boat-tailed Grackles take advantage of human activity along our increasingly developed coast, scavenging trash and hanging out in busy urban areas away from predators.