2024 Pix
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© 2024 - All Rights Reserved

These are the 2024 bird news weekly update photo breaks. Often filling in blanks of species we had not posted yet. Sometimes documenting something seen. Occasional reruns used to show something being seen or just seen recently. They are point-and-shoot study material or documentation grab-shots from the hip. Generally overly tight crops to reduce file sizes, and merely for illustration. They are in reverse chronological order as used in bird news weekly photo break. Most recently used in late Dec., at top; first in Jan. at bottom-end. They were mostly taken with a Canon Powershot SX40, some may have been chisled onto a floppy disk with a Sony Mavica.

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The 2024 pix


Our local pair of Carolina Chickadee in birdbath.


The compulsory annual photo of a male Painted Bunting in the bird bath. No better way to attract more birds than watering them. Even a sprinkler in bushes or a tree can be very effective. This bath is a large garden pot drain dish. Change the water daily if using a bath.


This is a Nashville Warbler this spring. Usually our most common migrant warbler in spring. Yellow underparts including throat, olive upperparts, gray head, big white eyering, no wingbars or tailspots, and sometimes you can see the rufous in the central crown feathers.


This is a male Yellow-breasted Chat. They sing all day and night, but the noises are often not very 'song-like'. Honks, chatters, whistles, squawks, all sorts of sounds, many not very avian sounding. They are in their own family, related to nothing closely, a one-off gene pool. Can be nearly common in riparian habitats along the river corridor. Upperparts are olive, this photo in shade under overcast. They are the only species I have seen take Red Harvester or Leaf-cutter ants here. We sometimes have duelling counter-singing constests, one on either side of yard, because one is not enough of a racket.


Here is a male Northern Cardinal head to compare with the Summer Tanager pic a couple weeks ago. They do molt the crest once a year for a month or so. In fact their whole heads can be without feathers, showing almost purple skin. Learn the big red conical or triangular bill. Also the black surrounding bill, including chin, face, lores and extending over bill. A bird-bander said you never forget getting bit.

My entry for the impossible shot category: 2 golden warblers

I know it is not a great photograph. Except for that it might be the only one of its type. At the upper right is a departing male Golden-cheeked Warbler, at left edge of bath a Golden-winged Warbler. There was only a second or two to get them in one frame together. They are both threatened species, with very little range overlap. Golden-winged is very rare in spring in the range of Golden-cheeked.


Male Summer Tanager, head. Besides male Cardinal, the other all red bird here. Vermilion Flycatcher and Painted Bunting are not red on upperparts. Note lack of crest or large red triangular bill. Note bill is not surrounded by black. Not often seen on ground, forages in trees. Females are mustard olive.


Male Yellow Warbler showing the red streaks of breeding plumage on underparts. Which can be more extensive and brighter than this. Quite the beauty!


Here is my compulsory annual photograph of a male Golden-cheeked Warbler in our birdbath. Got one frame before the Golden-winged flushed it! Probably what it is looking at, thinking, holy warbler!

after that dull pic last week...

This is a male Golden-winged Warbler, at our birdbath on April 30. A male Golden-cheeked Warbler flushed out of the bath upon its arrival! These are very rare here, some springs one or two get turned up by the army of birders in Uvalde and Bandera Counties in April and May. As of 2002 there was no UvCo record, and maybe one at Lost Maples. It is also a threatened species in decline. And a great yard bird! Sylvia Hilbig had one May 2012. My only prior sighting was one at the Utopia Park woods on ... April 30 (!), 2021.


Well darn if it isn't a new species photo for the site. Of one of the dullest most non-descript and furtive birds here, a House Wren. A quintessential LBJ - little brown job. Note no bold eyeline as our common Bewick's and Carolina Wren have, which are non-migratory residents. The House Wren is strictly a passage transient here in spring and fall. Two came into our bath at once, April 20. When you can sing like a wren, you don't need fancy apparel.


This is the female Pyrrhuloxia that visited the birdbath April 14. Suggests female Cardinal but is mousey (slightly brown-tinged) gray, not warm brown of base color. Note orange-yellow very curved bill. Cardinal bill is red, without strong curvature, and surrounded by black feathers. Often the bill is just a dull yellow and not this orange, presumably breeding season related. Also note very long crest and narrow red eyering. The dark on side of face below eye is disheveled feathers, not any field mark or character.


This is a lichen of some sort. I only see it on tree bark here. Can't seem to get a good picture of it, sorry.


This is methinks Lazy Daisy. The flowers of Prairie Fleabane look about the same. Pretty sure this is Lazy Daisy, as they do not open until later morning (their lazy trait). They are a low ground cover, often in patches of a hundred or two, in sunny somewhat dusturbed ground.


This is Mealy Sage. Deer ate our biggest one, all 3 dozen flower stalks!


This is a photo of no significance whatsoever.


This is a Mountain Laurel. Now is the time to take a whiff of that sweetest smell. Some are done already, but some are still going. To my admittedly somewhat unrefined sniffer it is as if a cross of Rose and Sweet Pea.


This is another unknown (to me) moth species.


This is an Anemone (Anemone heterophylla) which is called Wind-Flower if you like that sort of common Name. They are mostly white here, but in some spots there are violet ones, and rarely a magenta pink color variety. Black-chinned Hummingbirds use the fuzzy seed cotton to line their nests here.


This is a closeup of the central hindwing area of the
male Black Swallowtail which is still around the yard.


This is a male Black Swallowtail. The first butterfly that is a new emergence I have seen this year, on Feb. 11. It led me to my first flower, but which is non-native. Henbit is European, but naturalized throughout America.

This is Texas Bindweed, which is in the Morning Glory family.

This is a Scrub-Jay. Often called Blue Jay but that is a crested jay with white spots on wings and tail. Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay is the proper correct name currently, which hopefully won't last too long. The Texas subspecies, texana, is unique and in several ways obviously different from other Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay of the interior mountain west. It should be called Texas Scrub-Jay as this subspecies is found nowhere else, and is an Edwards Plateau endemic subspecies. One day it may get its due.

sorry about the repeat... since had one lately...

This is Say's Phoebe. Usually on a fenceline at edge of pasture, present only in winter (late fall to early spring). Note no streaking on underparts as female or imm. Vermilion Flycatcher, though Say's is mostly here when those are not.


Here we have some ribbon ice, from when the Frostweed burst due to cold on Jan. 15. Unfortunately I had cut ours as it looks a bit ratty as it dries, so we only got little stubs left. I knew I should have waited to see if we would get a 20F morning. It takes extreme cold to get it to pop out. Being white it is incredibly hard to photograph.


This is a Common Raven. Too bad about the branch, eh? The white is wet or something, it looks disheveled, and is shiny reflection. It is not a White-necked (now Chihuahuan) Raven.

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Berteau House

Just to give an idea, here is a pic showing part of the yard, house and cottage, so you can get an idea of where much of the stuff being written about is being seen. This pic was May 2013, barely two months after we moved into this place. Now there are butterfly flowers around the porch and in flower beds. The yard lists are: 45 species of odes (dragons-damsels), 99 sps. of butterflies, 7 sps. of frogs & toads, 7 sps. of native lizards, 9 sps. of native snakes (two more out on the road), 20 sps. of native mammals, about 100 sps. of plants (mostly native wildflowers), and now at the 9 year point, about 230 native species of birds.

Quick links to the last few years ...

2023 pix

2022 pix

2021 pix

2020 pix

2019 pix

2018 pix

2017 pix

2016 pix

2015 pix

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