Eastern Kingbirds or tyrannus tyrannus are fairly common flycatchers of East of the Rockies. Kingbirds have an awesome black and white contrast going on. Their key look is their white chest and the white tip to their tail. They seem to enjoy wet habitats. Its probably good for cultivating their main food source, flies. They are pretty adaptable birds as you find them across different habitats and they have such a huge range. Kingbirds, like most flycatchers, have their song programmed and don't learn them like warbler do.
Just a few facts about your friendly neighborhood Kingbird...
Personally, I am a fan of Wrens. A big fan. They are awesome little birds that are adaptable, tough, and easy on the eyes. I have a print of a Carolina Wren in my living room actually. It is a nice print and enjoy seeing it everyday. But back to wrens. Marsh Wrens are another of the wrens we get in the Northeast and they live in... well... marshes. They are very vocal and territorial. They are often seen bounding between reeds, grasses, and other marsh plants trying to get food, protect their boundaries, and building nests. Long story short, they work hard. Their songs are also loud and pretty easy to hear if you are near a marsh.
I had a close encounter with a very active and vocal Marsh Wren recently. I took advantage of his singing to take several photos of him. His singing set off some of the other birds around the marsh too. Red-Winged Blackbirds, Seaside and Saltmarsh Sparrows, and other birds all joined in after the Marsh Wren began singing. He did not seem to care much that I was there for the show either. Half a dozen other people either listened in as well, or walked right by him. It was a great moment to share with the little critter and I wish those walking by would listen a bit more to the world around them.
Sorry that the Posts have been so infrequent. I will explain more in the next few post.
I recently had a close-ish encounter with an American Bittern. Bitterns are usually heard and not seen. Sometimes I feel that there are too many birds that we get to hear and not seen frequently. I love seeing Robins, Towhees, Titmice, and Cardinals, but would it hurt to see a Nightjar or Owl or something. Well, I guess to those birds it might. Plus it just adds to their mystique.
In any case, I left my home at 5:30 in the morning to get to the marsh where the American Bittern was being seen. As I got to the marsh, there was still fog over the whole site. I could barely see a thing. Since the Sun had just risen, I decided to wait for the rays to burn off the moisture and that might lead to a success spotting of the Bittern. I still surveyed and monitored the marsh. I noticed there as a brown thing sitting amongst the grasses...
I was curious but I wasn't going to get too excited. They say the early bird gets the worm. But at this marsh, I got the American Bittern, Virginia Rails, Wood Ducks, Green Herons, Mallards, Willow Flycatchers, Eastern Phoebes, and Common Yellowthroats were all out and about. It was a true pleasure to sit and share a moment with an oft hidden bird as it stalked, feed, and even called a few times.
Any good sightings or thoughts out there recently? Share in the comments below and until the next time, get out and go birding!