Around the Yard – #1

Please consider all images as copyrighted and ask permission to use or reproduce them in any way. Thank you; David Clapp.

Well it is spring here in the northeast and I/we have been out birding most every day – hence a big gap in blog posts and I’m a bit sorry for that. In a way of apologizing and trying to make up for it I’m going to share a cluster of local images and observations; hopefully a post every few days for a while. Nothing exciting in the works mind you but at least an attempt to stay current and share a bit of our New England spring time.

Our New England spring time has been pretty nice much of the time. Out here on the Cape we had week after week of coldish winds from some aspect of north to them all through March and April. It was cool and bird migration was pretty slow. I saw red foxes, eastern coyotes, and river otter along with both red and gray squirrels but few birds. Finally in May we had less troublesome (for the migrating birds that is) winds and we started to get some neotropical migrants. Our herring and elvers returned to our tidal creeks and streams from the Sargasso Sea and Atlantic Ocean and the striped bass were on time as well. It seemed that the birds were kind of late and we never had a huge big push of arriving birds.

But soon there were orioles, tanagers, warblers, grosbeaks, vireos, and flycatchers in the trees. Here is a collection of images from the deck and a bit about each bird. The next post, “Around the Yard – #2”, will continue this theme with both more yard birds and a few from the shore. I’ll try not to depend on images or creatures that you have seen in previous posts; nuthatches, cardinals, chickadees, song sparrows, and eastern bluebird and so on, but there may be a few repeats.

The header image that leads this post is of another Mourning Dove. They are, as you can see, just a kind of pigeon or a pigeon is a large stocky dove. In the US we separate pigeons and doves in our language and that semantic use implies a biological difference where there really is none. The study of genomics has opened the door to some really odd (possible) relationships. It seems, at least by early studies, that pigeons are related most closely to Tropicbirds and then in another step to ducks and geese and grouse and quail. That may seem unlikely but adaptation and the demands of survival have often caused twists and turns as plants and animals do what is necessary to reproduce and survive.

Look up (Google) tropicbirds and compare the three species to pigeons and doves. Tropicbirds are oceanic and rarely seen from land but they do actually fly with strong pigeon-like wing strokes. Most bird guides have placed the tropicbirds near the cormorants and boobies. Who would have thought that they might be salt water adapted pigeons……

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