For the past three years or so, I’ve been hearing an unusual bird singing from somewhere near the edge of the woods behind our house. I have heard it in various places in the yard and across the street as well. I have yet to see this mysterious bird that I have dubbed the Frog-Bird.
You’re probably wondering why I refer to this bird as the Frog-Bird. It’s simple- when it sings, it croaks like a frog and tweets like a bird. It sounds something like this- croak, croak, croak, tweet, tweet, tweet. I have searched online birding sites, googled “bird that sounds like a frog” and cannot find a similar sounding bird or anyone else who has heard one. It’s very good at hiding because I’ve heard it many times over the past few years, but have been unable to locate it. I’m convinced it’s a bird rather than a frog because it tweets after it croaks.
I’d love to know if anyone else has ever heard a bird like this one and what kind it might be. It could be another bird, such as a Catbird, mimicking other sounds, but it’s the same song each time, so I’ve pretty much ruled that out. In the mean time, I will keep listening for and searching out the elusive Frog-Bird.
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Until recently, when someone spoke of Robins, I pictured a mid-sized songbird, grayish-brown in color with an orange-red breast and belly. It wasn’t until I started following other “birders” on Instagram that I found out there is another Robin in the world. This not-so-new Robin is the European Robin! American Robins are actually named after the European Robin because of their red breast, and while both are part of the Thrush family, they are not closely related.
(Photo of European Robin courtesy of Wikipedia; American Robin- Karen Hance)
It seems like an eternity since I’ve had time to post anything to my blog- April and May have been extremely busy months for me. Between my full-time job, my son’s sporting events and his new job, planning and planting my gardens, taking computer and stained glass making classes, and squeezing in a quick trip to Florida, you can see how that would leave little time for blogging. I really miss the writing and sharing my backyard birding stories with you and hope to get back to it regularly. In the meantime, I have been busy taking lots of photos and videos of the bird activity in our yard and around the area to share with you.
Today is Earth Day 2017, a day when we are reminded to reuse, recycle and repurpose everyday items that might otherwise end up in our landfills and further pollute our planet. If everyone did their part to recycle, we could reduce the amount of garbage we produce and lessen the impact it has on our planet. I read an article online today that said the average person throws away approximately 2 1/2 pounds (1.134 kg) of trash per day- that’s a lot of garbage! Just think about all of the items that go in the trash at home, school, and work, then multiply that times the 319 million people that live in the United States or the 7.4 billion people in the world. It’s mind boggling! What are we going to do when we run out of landfill space? And do we really want to continue looking at landfills? Something needs to be done and recycling is a great way to start.
So my boyfriend and I participated in an Owl Prowl sponsored by the Buffalo Audubon Society at the North Tonawanda Nature Preserve this past weekend. Our guide, Naturalist Tom Kerr, took us and a group of about 8 other people on an hour and a half walk through the nature preserve in search of the Eastern Screech Owls that call this area home.
Due to the recent rains, the preserve was a muddy mess, however, this didn’t stop any of us. We came prepared with waterproof boots, binoculars, flashlights, and cameras. I would highly recommend face masks or a scarf for any future walks in the middle of a woods in the dark, as we kept getting whacked in the face with tree branches. Continue reading Owl Prowl a Huge Success | Eastern Screech Owls Spotted
At first glance, how could squirrels be anything but cute & fuzzy? With their bushy tails, cute little noses, big black eyes, and those little paws- picking up and holding food in an almost human-like manner- who wouldn’t see them and instantly fall in love? To watch their acrobatic antics as they chase one another around the yard, scurrying up trees and across fences, branches and wires is just plain cuteness overload.
If you’ve ever seen a Baltimore Oriole, you have witnessed some of natures most profound beauty. With their vibrant orange and black colors, and their distinctive sound, they are almost impossible to mistake. Once they begin showing up in your yard, they may very well become one of your favorite birds.
Baltimore Orioles are members of the Blackbird family, and a sub-species of the Northern Oriole. These beautiful birds are most commonly found in woodlands, parks, suburbs and in backyards. They are one of the last birds to arrive in the Spring here in the Northeast, typically arriving in May, and the first to leave in the Fall, heading to warmer climates as early as September. Orioles migrate to Mexico, Central America and South America.