East Texas Naturalist Blog

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Eaglet Update - An Empty Nest

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As storm clouds were moving in and the sky was getting dark, we were able to make a quick check of the nest one day last week.  It was disconcerting because for the first time, we were only able to see one eaglet.  We thought we could also hear Liberty, but were not sure. Both parents were perched and watching from a nearby branch.  Freedom was shrieking, alone in the nest, and I believe that we witnessed one of her first flights.  Seemingly uncomfortable, and as if being coaxed, she finally flew to a nearby dead pine tree, mouth open and screeching the whole way.  Mom followed and sat on the other side, as if to offer moral support. Nature in action is such a beautiful thing.  

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Michael
First, I want to thank you for letting me be a part of the eagle watch. I loved the times I went with you and got photography Lib... Read More
Sunday, 22 May 2016 12:52
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Eaglet Update - Out on a Limb!

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We were able to check on Liberty and Freedom on May 12th; as they are going into their twelfth week, they should be fledging at any time now!  In fact, they were sitting further out on a limb, and in some of the photos seemed to be looking down and at each other as if to say "why don't YOU just go first?"  Mom was sitting close by, as usual, in the top of a dead pine tree.  Two Scissor-tailed Flycatchers were tormenting her unmercifully, as she was clearly invading their territory.  She finally got tired of it and took off, with both of the little flycatchers in tow.  What a sight!  

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"Bugs" and Flowers Instead of Birds

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I really had intended on taking pictures of birds at Caddo Lake today.

Kristi and I taught a photography course to some of the members of the Cypress Basin Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist.  After the classroom portion, we went out by the lake so our class could practice some of the techniques we taught.  We had Prothonotary Warblers zoom past, saw a Summer Tanager, a couple of Parula Warblers and the usual suspects in that area.  I did not manage to photograph any of those, but did enjoy seeing them.  

Kristi and one of the class members, Linda Richtsmeier, spent some time photographing dragonflies and some Cricket Frogs.  The dragonflies were quite cooperative and very plentiful.  That made it a lot of fun and I think we all got some pretty good shots.  

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Cloudy Days Bring Bright Birds

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The morning sunrise was beautiful as usual here on the Lake, but in a few minutes clouds moved in and the light completely changed.  The cloud cover gave a soft but pleasant light.  

My feeders were fairly active with the usual "suspects" of "my" Mockingbird and his new bride, Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, Cardinals, a solitary Mourning Dove, a few Red Wing Blackbirds, a few Brown Headed Cowbirds and a male House Sparrow. 

After watching for a few minutes, I settled down to work on the computer on two upcoming projects that must be done soon. One is to finish the new NETFO website which could be up tomorrow and to add some detail to the photography class that Kristi and I will be teaching next weekend at the Cypress Basin Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist.  

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New Friends, New Birds

Black throated Green Warbler
Northern Parula

Bob Haynes and Dr. Marnie Rout conducted and led the training sessions this past weekend on Ornithology and Taxonomy for the current Cypress Basin Texas Master Naturalist trainees, and what a great weekend it was!  I unfortunately couldn't attend all of the training, but the handouts are so informative and Saturday's bird walk was exciting and productive.  Bob and Marnie are going to be contributing and sharing their knowledge on the ETN site when they can, so that is wonderful news, and Lee Eisenberg has come on board and we will be so fortunate to be hearing from him, as well.  Photos follow of just two of the birds that we were able to see at the Refuge.  The first is a Black-throated Green Warbler, and the second is of a Northern Parula. 

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Michael
I was browsing through my feed drinking my coffee when I saw the photo of the Black Throated Green Warbler. My first thought was ... Read More
Sunday, 08 May 2016 08:55
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