Sunday, August 28, 2016

Lehigh Valley bird sightings for August 26

Blue Grosbeak (male)
Here are the Lehigh Valley bird sightings for the week ended August 26. The list was compiled by Dave DeReamus, of the Eastern PA Birdline, which is sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Audubon Society.

Williams Township, Northampton County
Blue Grosbeak, 1 on August 22 and 23.
Dickcissel, 1 on August 26 (first-year male).

Leaser Lake, Lehigh County
Black-crowned Night-Heron, 1 on August 23.

Bake Oven Knob, Lehigh County
Bald Eagle, 23 on August 22.
Merlin, 2 on August 22.
Also seen: Common Raven.

Lehigh Gap Nature Center, Carbon County
Blue Grosbeak, 1 on August 20.

Green Lane Reservoir, Montgomery County
(at the Church Road area)
Snowy Egret, 1 to August 21; 2 on August 22; 1 from August 23 to August 25.
Little Blue Heron, 3 to August 22; 1 from August 23 to August 25.
Sanderling, 5 on August 21.
Great Black-backed Gull, 1 on August 21.
Caspian Tern, 8 on August 21.
Also seen: Pectoral and Semipalmated sandpipers.

Deep Creek/Knight Lake, Montgomery County
Glossy Ibis, 1 to at least August 24.

Peace Valley Park, Bucks County
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, 1 on August 24.
Also seen: Red-breasted Nuthatch.

To report bird sightings to Dave DeReamus, send an e-mail to becard@rcn.com with the word "Birdline" in the subject heading.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

End-of-summer tips

One female and three male goldfinches
Labor Day is upon us, kids are going back to school, summer vacations are ending. Here are a few tips to consider as you enjoy your backyard birding at this time of year:

Lots of goldfinches may be at your Nyjer feeders. Provide only fresh Nyjer as the seed is high in oil. When the weather is hot, the seed can spoil in two months. Keep the seed cool and dry when you store it. One solution is to funnel the seed into one-gallon plastic jugs. Make sure the jugs have a lid. Store them in the air-conditioning or in a dry basement.


Hummingbirds are very active. Those in our area are preparing for the flight south and will be eating a lot. Migrants from up north will be stopping by to "fuel up" before continuing south. Be sure your feeders are clean. Replenish nectar frequently. Hummingbird migration should end (for us) by the end of September.


Most birds have finished nesting by now. However you may still see some young sparrows.


Keep bird baths clean and the water fresh. You'll see more activity if you do.


Use a seed mix that is mostly black oil sunflower along with white millet or safflower seed.


Leave seed heads on plants after the flowers fade. Many birds will eat the seed. Do you grow coneflowers in your garden? The seed heads are highly valued by goldfinches. They'll even hang upside down from a stem to grab a seed!


Pick an area of your yard to go natural. Overgrown is good. Those areas are prized for food and for shelter from rain. Leaf litter attracts invertebrates that birds eat. Nobody rakes the forest!


Listen for different sounds in your yard. Some birds are beginning to migrate south and may be stopping in your yard. Keep watching!


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Lehigh Valley bird sightings on Aug. 15

Semipalmated Plover
If you have the opportunity, head to Green Lane Park in Montgomery County. You'll see plenty of birds—and friendly birders—at the reservoir. Several species of shorebirds and waterbirds not frequented in the greater Lehigh Valley area have been spotted at Green Lane Park.

The list of bird sightings for the seven days ended August 15 was compiled by The Bird House through Ebird, the online bird reporting service.


Green Lane Park, Montgomery County
(at Church Road)
Common Merganser, 13 on August and 20 on August 10.
Great Egret; 21 on August 15; 3 on August 13; 25 on August 12; 18 at roost on August 11; and 18 on August 10.
Snowy Egret, 1 through at least August 15.
Little Blue Heron, 3 through at least August 15.
Glossy Ibis, 5 through at least August 15.
Osprey, 1 on August 15.
Peregrine Falcon, 1 on August 13.
Bald Eagle, 1 on August 15, August 13 and August 11.
Least Sandpiper
Semipalmated Plover, 6 on August 15; 5 each on August 13 and August 11; and 12 on August 10.
Stilt Sandpiper, 7 on August 10.
Least Sandpiper, 60 each on August 13 and August 15; 30 on August 11; and approximately 25 on August 10.
Pectoral Sandpiper, 2 on August 15; 8 on August 13; 2 on August 12.
Semipalmated Sandpiper, 8 on August 15; 10 on August 13; 3 on August 12; 10 on August 11; and 3 on August 10.
Solitary Sandpiper, 1 on August 13, August 11 and August 10.
Caspian Tern, 1 on August 15; 4 on August 13; 3 on August 12; 7 on August 11; and 3 on August 10.
Also seen: Spotted Sandpiper; Lesser Yellowlegs, Willow Flycatcher, Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat.

Green Lane Park, Montgomery County

(at Walt Road)
Black-crowned Night Heron, 1 on August 11.
Least Sandpiper, 39 on August 11.
Solitary Sandpiper, 2 on August 11.
Caspian Tern
Caspian Tern, 2 on August 11.
Mourning Dove, at least 163 on August 11.
Also seen: Pectoral Sandpiper and Prairie Warbler.

Monocacy Nature Center, Northampton County
Mute Swan, 1 on August 13.

Green Pond, Northampton County
Common Yellowthroat, 1 on August 14.

Easton, Northampton County
(along North Delaware Drive)
Bald Eagle, 1 on August 12.

Jacobsburg State Park, Northampton County

Cooper's Hawk, 2 on August 11.
Also seen: Broad-winged and Red-tailed hawks; Fish Crow.

Bath, Northampton County

(at Silver Crest Road pond)
Great Egret, 1 on August 10.

Solitary Sandpiper
Pool Wildlife Sanctuary, Lehigh County
Osprey, 1 on August 15.

Dorney Park pond, Lehigh County

Mute Swan, 4 on August 12.

Germansville, Lehigh County

Bobolink, 2 on August 14 at Handwork Road.
American Kestrel, 3 on August 14 at Bachman Road.

Wescosville, Lehigh County

(at the Krocks Road retention pond)
Least Sandpiper, 2 on August 13.
Pectoral Sandpiper, 1 on August 13.

Fogelsville, Lehigh County

(at the Nestlé Way retention ponds)
Least Sandpiper, 1 on August 13.
Lesser Yellowlegs, 1 on August 13.

Leaser Lake, Lehigh County

Black-and-white Warbler, 1 on August 13.
Chipping Sparrow, 20 on August 13.

Whitehall Township, Lehigh County

(along Brynwood Drive and adjacent woods)
Merlin, 1 on August 12.
Great Egret

Peace Valley Park, Bucks County

Great Egret, 1 on August 15 and 2 on August 10.
Osprey, 2 on August 15, August 14 and August 12.
Bald Eagle, 1 on August 15, August 10 and August 8.
Spotted Sandpiper, 4 on August 10.
Ring-billed Gull, 2 on August 15; 8 on August 14; 11 on August 10; and 15 on August 9.
Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 on August 15, August 10 and August 9.
Caspian Tern, 3 on August 15.
Gray Catbird, 25 on August 15.
Blue-winged Warbler, 2 on August 15.
Black-and-white Warbler, 3 on August 15.
American Redstart, 2 on August 15.
Blackburnian Warbler, 1 on August 15.
Chestnut-sided Warbler, 1 on August 15.
Black-throated Green Warbler, 1 on August 15.
Canada Warbler, 1 on August 15.
Purple Martin, at least 60 in a breeding roost on August 10.

Nockamixon State Park, Bucks County

Ring-necked Duck, 1 on August 8.
White-eyed Vireo, 2 on August 9 and 1 on August 8.
Blue-winged Warbler, 1 on August 9.
Prairie Warbler, 4 on August 9.

Monday, August 15, 2016


Falcons

American Kestrel (male)
Falcons are characterized by long, pointed wings and swift, powerful flight. Although members off the order Falconiformes, which includes hawks, falcons are part of the genus Falco, which numbers more than 35 species worldwide. They range in size from 6 inches long to about 24 inches. In true falcons, the female is larger and bolder than the male.

The American Kestrel is the smallest falcon in North America. It is a colorful falcon: The male has a slate colored head and wings contrasting with the rusty red back and tail.

They are often seen perching on telephone wires along roads in deserts, grasslands or alpine meadows.

Kestrels may nest in nest boxes or natural cavities. When nature calls, kestrels back up, raise their tail and squirt feces onto the wall of the cavity. The feces dry on the wall and stay off the nestlings. The nest can get pretty smelly with all the poo on the walls plus uneaten parts of small animals on the floor!

The Peregrine Falcon is a powerful fast-flying hunter which preys on medium-sized birds, dropping down from high above in a spectacular dive, called a sloop. In cities, they feast on doves. Elsewhere they feed on ducks and shorebirds.

Peregrine Falcon
Look for Peregrines perching or nesting on cliffs, skyscrapers and other tall buildings. The Peregrine Falcon is one of the most widespread birds in the world. It is found on all continents except Antarctica.

People have trained falcons for over a thousand years. Falconry is the hunting of wild quarry in its natural habitat by means of a trained bird of prey. The Peregrine Falcon was always one of the most prized birds.

To learn this sport, there is the New Hampshire School of Falconry. It is one of a handful in the nation devoted to explaining and teaching the art and science of the craft.

Falconry is legal everywhere in the United States except Hawaii and the District of Columbia.


Sunday, August 7, 2016

Lehigh Valley bird sightings for August 5

Snowy Egrets: known for the color, not the season!
Here are the Lehigh Valley bird sightings for the week ended August 5. The list was compiled by Dave DeReamus, of the Eastern PA Birdline, which is sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Audubon Society.

Stockertown, Northampton County
(at the Stockertown Rod & Gun Club)
Snow Goose, 1 to at least August 1.

Bethlehem, Lehigh County
(at the Bethlehem Municipal Golf Course)
Red-breasted Nuthatch, 2 on August 4.

Green Lane Reservoir, Montgomery County
(at the Church Road area)
Little Blue Heron, 1 to at least August 4.
Snowy Egret, 1 to at least Aug. 4.

(at Knight Lake)
Also seen: Hooded Merganser.

To report bird sightings to Dave DeReamus, send an e-mail to becard@rcn.com with the word "Birdline" in the subject heading.