Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Orioles like mealworms

Baltimore Oriole (female)

Carolina Wren

Most of you who offer your birds mealworms probably have Carolina Wrens eating 'em......well so do Baltimore Orioles! Mary and Susan have a female oriole who loves to eat mealworms.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

More pictures from Amalia

American Robin

White-breasted Nuthatch eating bark butter

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Carolina Chickadee

Chipping Sparrow

Goldfinches are coming! Siskins as well!

American Goldfinch by Amalia Agramonte, Lake Jackson

American Goldfinches by Carol Miller, Monticello

We have started getting the first reports of goldfinches at thistle feeders. Yesterday we had one backyard birder reporting several Pine Siskins at his feeder.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Scott Weidensaul

Apalachee Audubon Welcomes Scott Weidensaul to Tallahassee!

Enjoy two entertaining evenings on Thursday, Jan 29 and Friday, Jan 30

Mark your January, 2009 calendar for an exciting opportunity to hear Scott Weidensaul, author, naturalist, researcher and Pulitzer Prize finalist. Scott's field research focuses on bird migration, including birds of prey, hummingbirds and the movements of Northern Saw-whet Owls. He lectures widely on conservation and nature. His writing has appeared in Smithsonian, the New York Times, Nature Conservancy, National Wildlife and Audubon. His most recent book, Of a Feather: A Brief History of American Birding (2007), traces 400 years of ornithological history. To learn more about Scott's other interesting books and activities visit his website at

On Jan. 29 join us for wine and hors d'oeurves at a small gathering to welcome Scott to Tallahassee. Attendance will be limited to 30 people, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at a alocation to be determined. The cost will be $50 per person which includes a ticket to his Friday night talk. To reserve a spot, contact Pam Flynn at (850) 383-1238 or Your donation is tax deductible.

On Jan. 30 Scott will be speaking, along with a book signing, on Of a Feather: A Brief History of American Birding. His talk will be at 7PM at Tallahassee Community College, Building 38 (Economics and Workforce Development at SW end of campus).

Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at the Wild Birds Unlimited store as well as by mail. Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope with a check made payable to Apalachee Audubon. Mail the check to: Pam Flynn, 2801 Sterling Dr., Tallahassee, FL 32312. Please indicate an address, phone number or email address where you prefer to be contacted if we need to convey further event details. As a bonus for early ticket buyers, if you purchase your ticket before Jan. 1, your name will be included in a drawing for one of three prizes. Watch for additional event details at the apalachee audubon chapters website

All donations to Apalachee Audubon are tax-deductible under section 501(c)(3) of the internal revenue code. All procedds will go to Apalachee Audubon and to the Operation Migration: Whopping Crane project at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Strange Yard Birds

Glenda writes...

These are ceratinly not great pictures, but wanted to share with you the "new to my yard" yardbirds. In the past couple of weeks, I have seen on a few occasions 2-9 Ibis walking on the street in front of my house and in my yard, foraging in the yard and the rain puddles on the road. This is the first time in over twenty years that I ever recall seeing an Ibis in my yard.

Ruby-crowned Kinglets like Bark Butter

Amalia sent us this picture of a Ruby-crowned Kinglet eating bark butter. We have had several reports at the store of kinglets eating bark butter. It must be winter!

Stoney Bayou

Carol writes....

I took the Bataan Death March around Stoney Bayou II on Monday. Lots of ducks, but almost all way out. Best birds were American Bittern and Snow Geese, three blue and two white.
There were good views of Lesser Scaup on Stoney Bayou I, and Blue-winged Teal in the canals next to it. Marsh Wrens, Swamp Sparrows and Sora were abundant in the same canals.

American Bittern

Snow Geese - White Morph

Snow Geese - Blue Morph

Swamp Sparrow


Marsh Wren

Kim's Birds

Kim writes...

It’s been a while since I’ve sent photos so here are a few photos if you would like to post. All these were taken out of my kitchen window. The female Cardinal was on a very chilly afternoon and she was all fluffed up. The male was just sitting pretty. I finally got a picture of the Carolina Wren who’s been avoiding my camera. Today, I took photos of what I think is a Warbler but when I visited your site it looks like the Ruby-crowned Kinglet. I can’t see the top of this little birds head. He acted like a Hummingbird as he went leaf to leaf getting something from under the leaves.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Carolina Wren

Northern Cardinals

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Tracee Strohman and her friend Beverley were out birding in Jefferson county and had this to report...

Tracee writes...

At Letchworth yesterday I think I (and Beverly) heard at least 2 Limpkins at 4:30 PM in the unseen swampy area to the east of the main mound. Unless another heron or ibis or peacock has a similar "hysterical woman" call then we may have a good limkpin location. There was no guttural quality to the calls and they varied much more than the Cornell and All About Birds sounds online.

Andy writes...
Limpkins are not a common bird in our area anymore but they can be found in several areas. Finding them can sometimes be tricky but they have a very distinctive call that sounds like a murder victims scream! Jefferson County is good for them, especially along the Wacissa River so it is very likely that Tracee heard Limpkins near Letchworth Mounds. In Tallahassee they can be found at Lake Munson Preserve and have recently been sighted along the banks of Lake Talquin. Limpkins are known to wander and a customer from Georgia told us recently how one had shown up not far from her home at a nearby state park river. Birders from all over Georgia went to see it as they don't normally stray into the peach state.
Wakulla Springs was once home to many Limpkins but they disappeared along with thier food source, the apple snail, several years ago. Biologists at the park are reintroducing native apple snails. The unintended introduction of hydrilla, an invasive aquatic plant, to the area is one of the reasons why apple snails disappeared and park staff are working very hard to get rid of it. Hopefully their efforts will allow the apple snail to flourish and therefore entice Limpkins back to the springs.

Limpkin at Lake Munson Preserve, Tallahassee

Limpkin near Orlando

Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers

Here are some more pictures from Amalia Agramontes.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Cooper's Hawk

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Northern Cardinal

Friday, November 21, 2008

Carol's raptor pictures

Bald Eagle

Red-shouldered Hawk eating a caterpillar

Red-shouldered Hawk

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bark Buttter Part 5 - Northern Cardinals

I was pleasantly surprised when I first saw the cardinals visiting the bark butter, mostly because they often find it difficult to cling to the side of a tree trunk and I thought they preferred to eat seed.

A lot of you have been asking whether the squirrels are eating the bark butter. So far, since late August, my birdcam hasn't recorded a single visit from a squirrel!!! I guess my squirrels prefer to eat the sunflowers and peanuts that get dropped below my feeders.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Amalia's Pictures

Wakulla Springs Boat Tour

Carol went on a boat tour at Wakulla Springs and reports that the winter ducks are back. Here are a couple of pics she took of them.

American Wigeon


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lower Rio Grande Valley

Carol Miller took a trip to Texas recently.

she writes...

So many wonderful new birds to see in Texas’ LRGV. We saw 24 NEW to us, and over 100 total in six days.

Great Kiskadee

Green Jays

Least Grebe

Couch's KIngbird

Common Paraque

Buff-bellied Hummingbird

Glenda's Hawks

Cooper's Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk being harassed by a Northern Mockingbird

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Bark Butter Pt 4 - White-breasted Nuthatch

We have a pair of White-breasted Nuthatches that nest in our yard and they had at least 3 youngsters this year. They visit almost all of our feeders espeically ones that have some peanuts in them. I had to wait almost a month before they started visiting the bark butter on a regular basis but now that it is getting colder they seem to be visiting it more often. It is almost a month since I started my project collecting data on the birds visiting the Bark Butter. I have been monitoring activity using my Wingscapes Birdcam and will post the results soon.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Buff-bellied Hummingbird

Glenda Simmons got a big halloween surprise when she spotted this beautiful Buff-bellied Hummingbird in her yard, only the 5th Tallahassee record. Congratulations Glenda!

Glenda writes....

I am very excited that the Buff-bellied Hummingbird that first appeared in my yard, Oct. 27, was banded, shortly after daylight, on Halloween. The day before, Fred Bassett with the Hummer Bird Study Group, arrived from Montgomery, Alabama, assisted by Fred Dietrich of Tallahassee to try to band it. This hummingbird, is not common to our area. It generally resides year round in Mexico and is common in southeast Texas in the lower Rio Grande Valley but some of them migrate along the Gulf coast. This is only the third Buff-bellied hummingbird to ever be banded in Tallahassee and Fred recalls two others being reported, that were not banded. On Oct. 30, at 4pm, they set up two traps, one on my front porch and one in the back yard. While fred and I were standing on the front porch, setting up, the hummer approached, paused and hovered a moment. We both froze and the hummer blasted off. Fred finished setting up and we moved out into the yard, Fred holding the trap door open with fishing line. Ten-twenty minutes later, the hummer reappeared and buzzed all around the trap, but did not fly in. He then went back to the Crape Myrtle tree that is next to the front porch feeder. He perched there and was very vocal, probably cussing us out, and thinking about what his next move would be. He did this another couple of times, then blasted off over the roof of the house. Fred yelled to the other Fred in the back, "COMING YOUR WAY" Fred D. saw the bird go to one of my hummer plants and then flew off, again, without giving that feeder a glance. We waited...and waited until almost dark, but the hummer did not return again. He obviously was finding some other nectar sources, close by. (The majority of my hummer plants were killed by our cold weather that week) Fred was not ready to give up, and they returned the next morning, before daylight and set up one trap in the front. (We took down the feeder in the back, so it would not be availabe) This time, he ran the fishline that holds open the trap door under my front door and we sat in the dark at my dinning room table, watching for the bird. It appeared within twenty minutes and did the same thing as the day before, almost as if it was giving us the finger, (or claw) and laughing in our face. But it was hungry and needing it's morning fix and finally flew in. Whew!! I got a Halloween treat that I will never forget This hummingbird is the largest hummingbird that we see in the east.
The first time, I saw it, I noticed it was a good bit larger than our Ruby-throated and when it flew in to the feeder, it's wings beating, gave it a much heavier sound. Fred determined it was a first year hatchling and was fairly certain it was a male. He says "The bird knows", and that's all that matters.

I did not see the hummer again that day...or the next day and was beginning to think that Fred really ruffled his tailfeathers, but this morning (Sun. Nov.2) he appeared again and I saw him off and on, all day. He is skittish and certainly does not like to pose for my camera. With any luck he will stick around for a while?? Time will tell. At any rate, I will be keeping my fingers crossed that he will return next winter.

Glenda Simmons

(The picture of me holding the hummer was taken by Fred Dietrich and I took the others)