Friday, December 21, 2007

Cowbird Nation

This is part of a huge icterid flock that I encountered last Sunday in the boggy grasslands of western Jefferson County. It might have been the largest such flock I've ever seen. Over 90% of them were Brown-headed Cowbirds, which will not come as good news to America's cup-nesting songbirds.

When they are packed like that how do they fly without colliding?

In other news - as if it could be called news - we had an immature male Rufous Hummingbird at our feeders on the 15th (it had enough red splotches on its back to rule out Allen's). On the 17th I saw a big dark raptorish bird flying over I-10 in Beaumont. It was probably a first year Bald Eagle, but I was in a traffic situation and will have to leave that one a tentative maybe.

Tomorrow is the Bolivar Peninsula Christmas Bird Count. On last year's count we had Ross's Goose, White-tailed Hawk, Sandhill Crane, Short-eared Owl, Sprague's Pipit, 6 species of warblers, and LeConte's Sparrow. Can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring!



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