Eureka Nature

For posting information about natural history events in and around Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Beating the dawn chorus

I was beat from the heat, took a long nap, like seven hours, and up at half past midnite Wednesday morning. Since I'd just finished the Kroodsma book, The Singing Life of Birds, I figured I'd try for the dawn chorus at Lake Leatherwood. Got there about 5 am, dark enough to use a flashlight since the full moon was setting. Watched the day slowly arrive. First big thrill was both Eastern Screech Owls and Barred Owls calling. The first daylight birds were Cardinals, followed by wrens, crows, and woodpeckers. At that point the clouds turned orange, meaning sunrise, though it takes a long time for the light to come over the ridge above the lake and actually hit the ground. By nine o'clock I had nearly forty species, and that with some big misses. Eastern Kingbirds are gone as well as Great Crested Flycatchers. Pewees, Phoebes and Acadians still present. Chipping sparrows gone. But about a dozen Hummers, more than I've ever seen there by a factor of two. Hummer migration is in full swing according to postings on the net as well. This is the beginning of the time of year to watch for some rare vagrant hummers, most likely being Rufous. If anybody finds one around Eureka, please let me know.


At 8:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there,

Speaking of hummingbirds, you sound like an expert. I was just it normal for one to be very possessive of a feeder? We've got a read-headed maniac who buzzes the others away when they come near. He sits perched on a limb near the feeder for almost the entire day, as if standing guard.

He was there for a couple of weeks, but has since moved on. We still see him now and then, though not as often as before.

I had never seen this type of behavior from a hummingbird before.


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