Scarlet & Grey Black

The Scarlet Tanager is not your typical backyard bird, unless you live next to a large forest. Tanagers are not attracted to bird feeders, but might show up to raid your mulberry tree. My yard is heavily forested, but even so I was extremely fortunate to have this Tanager land in a tree right next to me. I was even more fortunate to already have my camera in my hands. As for the annoying twig, what can I say? Take a deep breath, and accept it.

Scarlet Tanager / The Backyard / 2021-05-18

Common Yellowthroat

In the bird world, the male is more likely to have showy colors. Perhaps this is the reason why I’ve seen (and photographed) many more male Common Yellowthroats than female: his bright colors and black mask help him stand out from the shrubs and briars he is normally known to skulk in. So I was pleased to finally get a photograph of the female, who is an attractive bird in her own right.

Female Common Yellowthroat
Female Common Yellowthroat / 2021-05-16 / Kopf Family Reservation

Lake Medina

Lake Medina is a man-made reservoir that was once the primary water source for the city of Medina. Those days are past, and now the lake is a great place to see migratory waterfowl like this Spotted Sandpiper, Blue-winged Teal, and Bonaparte’s Gull.

Spotted Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpiper / Lake Medina / 2021-04-20
Blue-winged Teal
Blue-winged Teal / Medina Lake / 2021-04-20
Bonaparte's Gull
Bonaparte’s Gull / Lake Medina / 2021-04-20

Birding the Kopf Family Reservation

Located in Avon Lake, this forested reservation is very suburban, but also has amazing birding for woodpeckers and other forest birds. People regularly count 10+ redheaded woodpeckers this time of year. This is a rare-encounter bird for me so it was exciting to see them. I easily completed the “Ohio Woodpecker Challenge”, a.k.a. when you see every species of woodpeckers native to Ohio in one outing.

Red-headed Woodpecker, Kopf Family Reservation, 2021-04-13
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Kopf Family Reservation, 2021-04-13
Pileated Woodpecker, Kopf Family Reservation, 2021-04-13

Hybrid Ducks

Waterfowl hybridize more than any other type of bird, and Mallards are some of the most prolific when it comes to this behavior. I saw this bird yesterday, and was confused (for a while) about whether it was a Mallard/American Black Duck hybrid or just an immature/nonbreeding male.

But then he stretched his wings out and I got a clear view of the speculum patch, which was bordered with white: a sure sign of a Mallard and not an American Black Duck, and thus this bird was not a hybrid after all.

Immature Yellow-rumped Warbler

Immature or juvenile birds can be some of the hardest to identify, since they won’t look like anything in a field guide and no single photograph can show all the possible variations you might see. In this case the eye markings and belly streaking are the keys to my identification.

Immature Yellow-rumped Warbler, Bath Nature Preserve, 2020-07-27