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June 3, 2009 [LINK / comment]
Sometimes you see the most amazing birds when you least expect it. I was driving home from Waynesboro on Thursday evening, just about dusk, when I noticed a strange bird with an extremely long, floppy tail flying over the road right in front of me. It was medium-sized, about as big as a Robin, but the lighting conditions were too poor to make out colors. I quickly pulled into the next driveway, pulled out my compact binoculars, and got a second look at the bird as it flew in back of a tree. It definitely was not carrying straw or other nesting material, those were its own tail feathers! I talked to one of the residents of the house who was curious what the heck I was looking at. I explained what I was looking for, and the guy confirmed that he too had seen the strange bird with the very long tail. For me, that cinched it, and I have no doubt that it was a Scissor-tailed flycatcher, possibly the same one that was seen just north of Port Republic earlier this month.
Scissor-tailed flycatchers breed primarily in the south-central states, and winter throughout Central America, but they are known to wander far from their usual range. I have seen them in Oklahoma (1998) and in Nicaragua (2005). About ten years ago, I recall, a pair of them was spotted somewhere in Central Virginia, possibly Orange County, and they actually raised a brood of "younguns." None were reported in the following years, however. Anyway, whenever a rare bird like this is spotted, the observer is obliged to submit an official report to the Virginia Avian Records Committee, so I'll do that tomorrow.
Carolina wren nest
A friend of Jacqueline told us she found a bird nest in a decorative basket on her porch, so I went to get a picture before the babies had fledged. For most people, it would be hard to tell what species they are, but I have seen Carolina wren babies before, and the very bulky nest in the strange location is the modus operandi for that species.
Carolina Wren babies, which have since gone on to bigger and better things.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 04 Jun 2009, 12: 53 AM
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January 5, 2009 Illegal immigration: no problem
January 10, 2009 Bush's fiscal profligacy: a recap
January 20, 2009 Inauguration Day 2009
March 13, 2009 Tax revolt in Augusta County!
March 14, 2009 Mexican Army counterattacks
March 27, 2009 Facebook: resistance is futile
April 5, 2009 RPV chair Frederick is removed
April 8, 2009 Fujimori is convicted, again
May 3, 2009 (Very) Big Spring Day, 2009
June 12, 2009 Tiger Stadium memorial update
June 16, 2009 Home runs in New Yankee Stadium
June 28, 2009 Obama's health care proposals
June 29, 2009 House votes to regulate climate
July 7, 2009 R.I.P. Michael Jackson, Superstar
July 9, 2009 Conservative defeat in Mexico
August 16, 2009 Great Baseball Road Trip 2009
August 23, 2009 Road Trip 2009: The Birds of August
August 27, 2009 R.I.P. Edward M. Kennedy
September 7, 2009 Two clutch homers end Nats' skid
October 10, 2009 Republicans reunite in Verona
October 16, 2009 Health care polemics heat up
November 4, 2009 Republicans sweep Virginia races
November 5, 2009 Yankees are the 2009 champions
November 21, 2009 Senate votes on health care
December 23, 2009 Musings on health care "reform"
December 30, 2009 Decade of creation, and destruction
December 30, 2009 Whither the Republican soul?
December 31, 2009 A (half) decade of baseball in D.C.
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The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:
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