Five On The Wing – #20

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Another post of five bird species in flight, sharing their beautiful wingspans!

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Northern Cardinal (male)

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Rock Pigeon

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Golden-crowned Kinglet

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Northern Flicker, Yellow-shafted (male)

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Eastern Bluebird

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“A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because its trust is not on the branch but on its own wings.”  ~ Charlie Wardle

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1-2-3 Cute As Can Be – #6

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Here’s my continuing series of three photos of three of the smaller bird species, being adorably cute!

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Tufted Titmouse
5.5-6.3 inches (14-16 cm)

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Dark-eyed Junco
5.5-6.3 inches (14-16 cm)

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Brown Creeper
4.7-5.5 in (12-14 cm)

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Autumn Color in a Mushroom and an Old Barn

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As our autumn dwindles, I wanted to share these two subjects with autumn coloring that caught my eye.

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Amanita Frostiana or Amanita Flavoconia

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Five On The Wing – #19

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I’ve been waiting on this ‘bonus themed’ post for my series of five bird species in flight for some time and am going to cheat by giving two photos of one bird species to complete it.  😲  I know, tsk tsk!

It’s been weeks, and I’ve not scored that fifth bird species.  🤨

You know, once this posts, I’ll get that fifth species and could have finished the post without cheating, right?  😂

These birds in flight have the added theme, carrying food!

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Blue Jay with its gular pouch also filled
(Blue Jays can carry up to five acorns at once!)

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Common Grackles (four carrying food)

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Another Blue Jay with a packed gular pouch

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American Crow or Fish Crow with a mouthful

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Great Blue Heron with his fishy catch

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Northern Mockingbird

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The Northern Mockingbird is the third most used species for the designated State Bird in five of the U.S.’s fifty states.

Those five states are:  Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas.

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Northern Mockingbirds

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Northern Mockingbird

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Northern Mockingbird

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Northern Mockingbirds are known to sing several hundred different songs.  In addition to mimicking the calls of other birds, Northern Mockingbirds have been known to imitate other animals (dogs, insects, frogs, toads) and manmade noises like music and machinery.

John James Audubon was so in awe of this bird’s singing ability, he wrote of the Northern Mockingbird in Birds of America, “There is probably no bird in the world that possesses all the musical qualifications of this king of song, who has derived all from Nature’s self.” 

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Northern Mockingbird landing

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Northern Mockingbird defending its territory from the sparrows below

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Northern Mockingbird

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Northern Cardinals

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The Northern Cardinal is the most used species for the designated State Bird in seven of the U.S.’s fifty states.

Those seven states are:  Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia.

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Northern Cardinal (male)

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Northern Cardinal (female)

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Contradictory to many other songbirds, Northern Cardinals are mostly a non-migratory species, opting to overwinter in their chosen spring/summer habitat.

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Northern Cardinal (male)

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Northern Cardinal (male)

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Eagle Fly-By Sequence

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To watch a Bald Eagle soaring at a distance and then turn to head your way is super exciting!

When it continues to make its way up and over you, it just blows you away.

Here’s an Eagle that did just that to me.

Feel the fly-by!

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Bald Eagle flying by

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(photos taken from my backyard on November 11, 2021)

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Eagle Perched In A Tree (B&W)

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While a Bald Eagle preened in my last post, its mate was in the same tree, keeping a watchful eye.

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Bald Eagle

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(photo taken at Eastern Neck NWR, Rock Hall, Maryland, on November 11, 2021)

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Eagle Preening Its Feathers

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I don’t think I’ve ever gotten an opportunity to photograph a Bald Eagle preening before…..

Until now.

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Bald Eagle preening its feathers

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Like most birds, Bald Eagles have a uropygial gland, or preen gland, that is essential to their preening.

This gland is found near the base of their tail and produces an oily, waxy substance that helps waterproof feathers and keep them flexible.

While preening, Eagles spread this oil on each of their feathers so they are evenly coated and protected.

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Bald Eagle preening its feathers

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Bald Eagles have approximately 7,000 feathers to keep clean.

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Bald Eagle preening its feathers

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(These were taken at Eastern Neck NWR, Rock Hall, Maryland, on November 11, 2021)

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1-2-3 Cute As Can Be – #5

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Here’s my continuing series of three photos of three small bird species, being adorably cute!

This post has the added bonus theme “sparrows”, with three different sparrows not shared in the past month’s series.  😊

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White-throated Sparrow
6.3-7.1 inches (16-18 cm)

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Swamp Sparrow
4.7-5.9 inches (12-15 cm)

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Song Sparrow
4.7-6.7 inches (12-17 cm)

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