Tag Archives: Northern Cardinal

Three of Four Seasons

This is the Darden Road Bridge in South Bend, Indiana, over the St. Joseph River. The only known truss bridge in the county, this bridge is noted for its multi-span length and unusual deck placement. It was built in 1884 by P. E. Lane of Chicago, Illinois. I came upon it by accident and it was really pretty.

I just got back from there; my 95 year old mother was in Rehab. She’s fine now and will be released in a couple days. I didn’t have much time for birding, understandably, nor did I take my birding lens but, even so, I got 5 lifers!

These first few photos were taken at St. Patrick’s County Park, also on the river.

Black-capped Chickadee

There is a Bald Eagle nest at this park that has been inhabited for the last couple of years. The eagles took over an existing Red-tailed Hawk nest (I didn’t know they did that). Below is the nest.

And my mom and I saw one of the eagles in a nearby tree! Wish I had my birding lens for that. Here’s their Bald Eagle Live Cam.

On another day, I went to Madeline Bertrand County Park in nearby Niles, Michigan, and that’s where I got 4 lifers in less than an hour! These are birds we don’t see in Arizona.

White-breasted Nuthatch

Tufted Titmouse

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Dark-eyed Junco, Slate-colored

I also saw a beautiful Blue Jay but the photos are pretty blurry.

Northern Cardinal, Indiana State Bird

We have Great-tailed Grackles in AZ but in Indiana, they have these guys all over the place (my 5th lifer):

Common Grackle

The robins were in abundance everywhere, pudgy little things.

American Robin

In the 2 weeks I was there, I experienced all the seasons but summer. The temperatures ranged from 19 to about 65. We had rain, snow, sleet, hail (golf ball-sized), tornados all around us, and a little sun. I prefer Arizona’s 2 seasons, beautiful and hot. I’m fortunate it was “mild” while I was there, for the most part. Bye, snow.

Lookout Park

SJ Lookout 1

SJ Lookout 2

SJ LO 3

As my mother and I left St. Joseph, Michigan, we stopped at another spot along the shore called Lookout Park. This park is along a cliff overlooking the lake and is a beautiful spot for just sitting and gazing out over Lake Michigan. You can park right along there and we saw many locals pulling in and eating dinner in their cars.

There used to be houses along this stretch but, in 1954, after a prolonged rain and previous erosion, the houses started to slide into the lake. I guess a couple of them did. Others were moved to other locations and this park was created to memorialize that event. Fortunately, no lives were lost. Across the street from this park are a lot of beautiful old homes from the same era that overlook the lake, too.

Gull Flying

Another point of interest in St. Joe is this railroad swing bridge that is still in operation a couple of times a day. Years ago, I saw it working.

Swing Bridge 2

Swing Bridge

Here’s a short video of it in operation:

And, to finish off my trip to the midwest, I saw a bird that is seldom seen in Phoenix but all over the midwest:

RobinAmerican Robin

Cardinal BlessingNorthern Cardinal, male

The Northern Cardinal is Indiana’s State Bird and I did see them everywhere…as flashes of red darting through trees. I didn’t get one good photo of any!

Cardinal Silhouette

Cardinal 2

Baby CardinalNorthern Cardinal, fledgling

Woodpecker Holes

I never saw the woodpecker that is often in my mother’s Sweet Gum tree, unfortunately, because it would have been a different kind than we have in Arizona.

Fungus Among Us

Her tree also had a pretty fungus.

Grass

Bye, Indiana and Michigan, where everything is lush and green.

 

Bird Patio, Part 1

GilaGila Woodpecker, male

Gila Female 2

Gila FemaleGila Woodpecker, female

In my last post, I mentioned that I went to a birding friend’s house in Apache Junction after she, two other friends, and I met at Gilbert Riparian Preserve. Well, as fun as Gilbert was and as cool as getting 8 lifers there was, going to Samantha’s house was the icing on the cake and one of the best birding experiences I’ve had.

Samantha's Patio

I didn’t have a wide angle lens with me but this is a photo that Samantha took awhile ago (I have her permission to post it here). She has a phenomenal patio that looks out over a wash with the Superstition Mountains beyond. In the foreground, you can see her hummingbird and bird feeders but what you can’t see are all the beautiful perches she also has for the birds.

Flicker F

Flicker 3Gilded Flicker, female

She hides suet, seed, peanuts, etc. on them and the birds come flying in to search for the food thereby providing attractive and closeup photo opportunities.

Blackjack 1

Blackjack 2

Blackjack 3Curve-billed Thrasher, melanistic

This handsome guy above, Blackjack, is much darker than a typical Curve-billed Thrasher and is a topic of interest among local birding experts.

Cactus WrenCactus Wren, Arizona State Bird

Finch M

3 Finches

Finch CoupleHouse Finches, male and female

Abert's Towhee

Towhee 2Abert’s Towhee

I don’t count birds on my life list unless I’ve seen and photographed them since beginning birding so, although I grew up in Illinois and Indiana and used to see Northern Cardinals (the State Bird of both those states) all the time, I had yet to see them in Arizona. I knew Samantha had them in her yard frequently so I was hoping they would drop in. I got half my wish…and I was excited!

Cardinal 2

Cardinal 5_edited-1

Cardinal 3

Cardinal 1

Cardinal 4Northern Cardinal, female

The males are more timid, unfortunately, but she’s so beautiful anyway. Samantha said the boy showed up later that afternoon after we had left, of course.

Anna'sAnna’s Hummingbird, male

Anna's 2Anna’s Hummingbird, female

Her hummingbird feeders attract a ton of hummers but I was concentrating on the other birds more.

Next time, more birds from this awesome bird patio..

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