Three Birds – Three Lifers


My campground selection for our week’s stay in Iowa was spot-on awesome.Β  Not only were the sites spacious and surrounded a pretty lake, there were also wonderful nature trails directly on the campground’s massive property.

And those nature trails were definitely inviting…..


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Campground trail entrance


To fulfill my excitement to share πŸ˜‰, this post is of three birds, all new lifers for me, that I captured my first day on these trails, which was the day after photographing my ‘new’ Dickcissel (last post).

I wish my photos were better on the first two, but they’re clear enough to ID these birds, so good enough for my lifer list personal prerequisite.Β  Woot woot!


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Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Lifer #225


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Indigo Bunting, Lifer #226


The funny thing about the above two birds, I’ve seen both of these several times in past years back home in Maryland at Blackwater NWR; but I was never successful in getting a decent photo.Β  Who knew I needed to go to Iowa to finally score. 😏

There is also a small wetlands area around the lake where I found my next new lifer.Β  And for this bird, I did have to go West to capture; we don’t see it along the East Coast.


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Yellow-headed Blackbird, Lifer #227


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Yellow-headed Blackbird


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Yellow-headed Blackbird


I sure have enjoyed being on Cloud 9 lately!  😊

More to come from Iowa…..


69 thoughts on “Three Birds – Three Lifers

  1. This confirms what I told you yesterday, You are on a roll! Triple Congratulations. Donna! 🍷 Cheers!

  2. Wow! Three lifers in one day. You sure know how to pick the right spots to camp! I give you A+ not only for your birds and ID but for your campground research!

    • Thank you, Susan, I couldn’t believe in capturing three that day, I couldn’t stop talking about it with Rick, lol. So far so good on my picks, I hope we’re on a roll with great campgrounds too for the rest of the summer. πŸ™‚

  3. Congrats cubed! I’ve never seen or even heard of the yellow-headed blackbird. Since Missouri and Illinois, the two states I’ve lived in, both border Iowa I wondered why. The SE arc of habitat curves just north of me. Such a shame, I’d really like to see that bird in person.

    • Thank you, David!!! I’d seen this bird in a blog before but never in person. With being so used to seeing blackbirds all “black”, this bird really stands out as odd yet fascinating to me. I’m thrilled with capturing this unique looking bird, I’ve not seen it since. Darn on you just missing the habitat curve….I think you’d enjoy watching this bird.

  4. Once again I’m enjoying the chance to see these birds within their environmental context, and the Yellow-headed Blackbird is outstanding! Thank you Donna.

  5. Wow, Donna you are racking up the lifers! Love your Yellow-headed Blackbird. I’ve been trying to see them this year but they are staying too far away in the drought. Aren’t they magnificent, though? They’re so big!

    • Thank you, Lisa! I’m still on Cloud 9 πŸ˜‰ Getting to see the YHBB was wonderful! With not seeing this bird back home, it really looks strange to see a blackbird with a yellow head. So happy I spotted it. πŸ™‚

  6. The trail entrance looks so inviting! Congratulations on the three lifers! πŸ™‚ It’s amazing how many different kinds of birds there are, especially when you can travel to find them. You will never be bored, that’s for sure. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you, Barbara, that day was a wowza day! I can remember being around 150 count some time ago and thinking I’ll never make it to 200. Can’t believe where I am to date. πŸ™‚

  7. I know excited you are and were about these beauties!! I hiked a new trail last week and got 3 lifers! One was an awful image, but it was good enough for Merlin to make the ID. It was a female Lazuli Bunting.

    A birder I know says we need to travel to get our bird count and sightings up and he’s right, and you’re on the right path to getting your bird count up, up, up!!

    That campsite looks beautiful!

    I had a laugh when you showed the Yellow-headed Blackbird. They spend Spring and most of the summer here. They’re so pretty, but man, do they have a terrible sounding call. I never saw them before moving here.

    • Woohoo, Deborah, us finding three lifers recently on one day is pretty cool! I don’t know the Lazuli Bunting and just looked it up. WOW!! Congrats, such a beautifully colored bird! Oh, I hope to ‘run into’ this one this summer when we continue our trip further west.

      I laughed with your YHB comment, and yes they do have a noisy call. They almost look like two birds combined to one with the two tone colors. There was a Killdeer and RWBlackbird alongside him, all three were trying to state that little area theirs. Lots of noise! πŸ™‚

  8. That’s amazing to see 3 lifers in one day/photographic session! My wife, Jude, tells me she saw a Yellow-headed Blackbird in Central Park (NY). Is that possible? She visited a few years ago and tells me quite a big percentage of US birds can be seen there.

    • Thank you, Mike! Although the YHBB breeds and migrates west of the Mississippi River, there are sightings on occasion along the east coast, just like any other bird that drifts out of range. For some reason, NYCP is a magnet for rare bird sightings!! And there’s not another bird that looks similar so Jude did I’m sure. I bet that YHBB was ‘famous’ while there!

  9. How delightful! One year I saw lots of Yellow-headeds, but think the Red-wings chased them away because they didn’t come back until next year. I love their raucious call-makes me laugh! I saw my first Rose-breasted Grosbeak in years. congrats as well on the bunting. The song birds are coming further north in the spring , judging from the reports I have heard.

    • Thank you, Jane! There was actually a RWBB and a Killdeer in the same area, they were all trying to voice the space was theirs. Both kept chasing the YHBB, so I’m guessing the YHBB was ‘visiting’ the spot. But he let everyone know he was there before flying away, lol. :-

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