Boiling Springs Birds In Winter

Winter is a great time to photograph birds as they gather into flocks and the lack of leaves makes for more unobstructed views. The following images were made in Boiling Springs State Park from January ninth through March first, 2016.

Click on an image to make them larger and sharper.

Red-shouldered Hawk Pair

Red-shouldered Hawk Pair

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren

Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse

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White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

Male Red-bellied Woodpecker

Male Red-bellied Woodpecker

Female Red-bellied Woodpecker

Female Red-bellied Woodpecker

Male Downy Woodpecker

Male Downy Woodpecker

Female Downy Woodpecker

Female Downy Woodpecker

Male Northern Cardinal

Male Northern Cardinal

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Female Northern Cardinal

Female Northern Cardinal

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Carolina Chickadee

Carolina Chickadee

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Barred Owl

Barred Owl

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Yellow-shafted Northern Flicker

Yellow-shafted Northern Flicker

Male Pileated Woodpecker

Male Pileated Woodpecker

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco

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Female Yellow-rumped Warbler

Female Yellow-rumped Warbler

The Swift Fox

The swift fox is small, weighing only five to seven pounds fully grown and gets it name from its ability to run up to 30 mph. There is some confusion about its relationship to the kit fox, which is slightly smaller, but is almost identical in appearance. Some mammalogists consider them to be separate species, while others consider the kit fox to be a subspecies of the swift fox. To add to the confusion, the term “kit fox” is used to describe the young of any fox species. The swift fox inhabits the Great Plains region from the Texas panhandle northward into Canada, while the kit fox, resides in the desert southwest.

To view images larger and sharper, just click anywhere in a photo and click on sides to move through them. 

Adult swift fox, on the left, and young which are born in March and April and remain with parents until fall.

All of these swift fox photos are of the same family group photographed near their den on the Rita Blanca National Grassland in the northwest corner of the Texas panhandle.

These interesting and beautiful animals were close to extinction in the 1930's due to predator control efforts aimed at wolves and coyotes.

These interesting and beautiful animals were near extinction in the 1930’s due to predator control efforts aimed at wolves and coyotes. They have since recovered nicely and are no longer threatened.

Siblings engaging in a little playful fighting.

Siblings engaging in a little playful fighting.

Unlike most foxes, swift foxes use dens year-round. The dens have several openings, making it easier to escape coyotes, their primary predator, by diving underground.

Unlike most foxes, swift foxes use dens year-round. The dens have several openings, making it easier to escape coyotes, their primary predator, by diving underground.

They are primarily nocturnal, particularly in hot weather, when they may leave their dens only in the evening and return in early morning. In cooler weather they may exit their dens for short periods during the day. They often stretch after exiting their dens as shown in this photo.

They are primarily nocturnal, particularly in hot weather, when they may leave their dens only in the evening and return in early morning. In cooler weather they may exit their dens for short periods during the day. They often stretch after exiting their dens as shown in this photo.

Swift foxes are omnivorous and will eat small mammals, birds, insects, lizards, grasses and fruits.

Swift foxes are omnivorous and will eat small mammals, birds, insects, lizards, grass and berries.

Swift fox pups are born in March or April and stay with their parents until fall.

Swift fox pups are born in March or April and stay with their parents until fall. The warm color in several of these photos results from late afternoon light. This and the preceding images were made on October 8th, 2015, this one just before sunset.

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Swift foxes have very large ears and have excellent night vision. This and the following photos were made mid to late afternoon on October 9th, 2015.

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Even though they have sharp teeth and are themselves predators, they sometimes become prey of larger predators like coyotes, which usually don’t eat them, but probably kill them because they compete for much of the same food.

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Swift foxes usually mate for life, but only live three to six years in the wild. They have been known to live up to 14 years in captivity.

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Stretching And Yawning

All images on this site are copyrighted ©Larry D Brown and may not be used in any manner without permission.

Birds And Butterflies

Birds and butterflies photographed from March through mid September 2015, in Oklahoma and presented in chronological order.

To view images larger and sharper, please click on one to bring up light-box viewer.

Male Northern Cardinal, Selman Ranch, Harper County

Male Northern Cardinal, Selman Ranch, Harper County

Male Red-bellied Woodpecker, Selman Ranch

Male Red-bellied Woodpecker, Selman Ranch

Osprey, Ft.Supply Lake

Osprey, Ft.Supply Lake

White-faced Ibis, Ft. Supply Lake

White-faced Ibis, Ft. Supply Lake

Male Lesser Prairie Chicken Courtship Display, Selman Ranch

Male Lesser Prairie Chicken Courtship Display, Selman Ranch

Common Tern, Ft. Supply Lake

Common Tern, Ft. Supply Lake

Common Nighthawk, Harper County

Common Nighthawk, Harper County

Yellow-headed Blackbird, Ft. Supply Lake

Male Yellow-headed Blackbird, Ft. Supply Lake

Male Northern Bob-white Quail, Cooper Wildlife Management Area

Male Northern Bob-white Quail, Cooper Wildlife Management Area

Black Swallowtail Butterfly on Wavy-leaf Thistle, Cooper Wildlife Management Area

Black Swallowtail Butterfly on Wavy-leaf Thistle, Cooper Wildlife Management Area

Fledgeling Northern Cardinal, Ft. Supply Lake

Fledgeling Northern Cardinal, Ft. Supply Lake

Killdeer, Ft.Supply Lake

Killdeer, Ft.Supply Lake

American Kestrel Chasing Red-tailed Hawk, Cooper Wildlife Management Area

American Kestrel Chasing Red-tailed Hawk, Cooper Wildlife Management Area

Dark Morph Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Boiling Springs State Park

Dark Morph Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Boiling Springs State Park

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Boiling Springs State Park

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Boiling Springs State Park

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Boiling Springs State Park

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Boiling Springs State Park

Dark Morph Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and Two Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, Boiling Springs Stare Park

Dark Morph Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and Two Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, Boiling Springs State Park

Two Dark Morph Eastern Tiger Swallowtails and Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Boiling Springs State Park

Two Dark Morph Eastern Tiger Swallowtails and Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Boiling Springs State Park

Monarch Butterfly on Rocky Mountain Bee Plant, Selman Ranch

Monarch Butterfly on Rocky Mountain Bee Plant, Selman Ranch

Western Oklahoma Wildflowers

The wildflowers of western Oklahoma have been waiting four years for the drought to break and it happened this spring.  They burst forth with a tremendous display of color and beauty. These photos were made between May 21st and June 27th, 2015 and are presented in chronological order.

Click on an image and then on left or right to see them larger and sharper. 

Gaillardia/Indian Blanket, State Wildflower of Oklahoma

Gaillardia/Indian Blanket, State Wildflower of Oklahoma

Purple Poppy Mallow/Wine Cup. Cooper Wildlife Management Area

Purple Poppy Mallow/Wine Cup, Cooper Wildlife Management Area

Pale Purple Coneflower, Harper County, Oklahoma

Pale Purple Coneflower, Harper County, Oklahoma

Pale Purple Coneflower, Harper County, Oklahoma

Pale Purple Coneflower, Harper County, Oklahoma

Upright Prairie Coneflower, Harper County, Oklahoma

Upright Prairie Coneflower, Harper County, Oklahoma

Gaillardia/Indian Blanket And Honeybee, Harper County, Oklahoma

Gaillardia/Indian Blanket And Honeybee, Harper County, Oklahoma

Spiderwort, Fort Supply Wildlife Management Area

Spiderwort, Fort Supply Wildlife Management Area

Gaillardia/Indian Blanket, Near Gage, Oklahoma

Gaillardia/Indian Blanket, Near Gage, Oklahoma

Indian Paintbrush, Wichita Mountains National Wildlife  Refuge

Indian Paintbrush, Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge

Spectacle Pod, Cooper Wildlife Management Area

Spectacle Pod, Cooper Wildlife Management Area

Goat's Rue, Cooper Wildlife Management Area

Goat’s Rue, Cooper Wildlife Management Area

Gaillardia/Indian Blanket, Cooper WMA

Gaillardia/Indian Blanket, Cooper WMA

Pale Purple Coneflower, Harper County, Oklahoma

Pale Purple Coneflower, Harper County, Oklahoma

Upright Prairie Coneflower, Cooper WMA

Upright Prairie Coneflower, Cooper WMA

Lemon Monarda, Cooper WMA

Lemon Monarda, Cooper WMA

Tree Cholla, Cooper WMA   Note: This cactus does not commonly occur this far east and this one may have been transplanted before this area was acquired by the state.

Tree Cholla, Cooper WMA
Note: This cactus does not ordinarially occur this far east and this one may have been transplanted before this area was acquired by the state.

Prairie Lilly, Gloss Mountains State Park

Prairie Lilly, Gloss Mountains State Park

Purple Prairie Clover, Gloss Mountains State Park

Purple Prairie Clover, Gloss Mountains State Park

Prairie Coneflower/Mexican Hat

Prairie Coneflower/Mexican Hat, Cooper WMA

Spring Shorebird Migration

These shorebird photos were made between April 17th and May 12th, 2015 at Fort Supply Lake, Oklahoma. None of them stay at the lake for long, but stop for a few days to rest and re-fuel before continuing northward to their nesting grounds.

To see these images larger and sharper, click anywhere on one and advance using arrow keys or click on sides. 

The beautiful and graceful American Avocets have been visitors to the lake for the last few years.

The beautiful and graceful American Avocets have been visitors to the lake for the last few years.

This male is presenting his courtship display in preparation for the upcoming nesting season.

This male is presenting his courtship display in preparation for the upcoming nesting season.

Avocets feed by sweeping their bills side to side to catch crustaceans , aquatic insects and seeds.

Avocets feed by sweeping their bills from side to side to catch crustaceans , aquatic insects and seeds.

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In winter, the rust colored head and neck area becomes gray.

Avocets have been known to nest in this area, but this flock moved on, probably farther north.

Avocets have been known to nest in this area, but this flock moved on, probably farther north.

Willets are some of the larger members of the sandpiper family.

Willets are some of the larger members of the sandpiper family.

They look similar to the greater  yellowlegs, but have gray legs and their bill is thicker.

They look similar to the greater yellowlegs, but have gray legs and their bill is thicker.

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They can be identified in flight by the black and white wing markings which the yellowlegs lack.

They can be identified in flight by the black and white wing markings which the yellowlegs lack.

Smaller than the willet, the Wilson's phalarope is another member of the sandpiper family.

Smaller than the willet, the Wilson’s phalarope is another member of the sandpiper family.

Believe it or not, this is a female and the bird in the previous photo is a male.

In most bird species the male is the more colorful, however the Wilson’s phalarope is an exception. The more colorful and boldly patterned bird is the female.

After laying eggs, the female Wilson's phalarope deserts her mate and leaves him to care for the young while she seeks another mate and lays more eggs.

After laying eggs, the female Wilson’s phalarope deserts her mate and leaves him to care for the young while she seeks another mate and lays more eggs.

While feeding, they spin in circles to create a whirlpool in the water which draws food to the surface.

While feeding, they spin in circles to create a whirlpool in the water which draws food to the surface.

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The Baird's sandpiper travels an amazing distance during migration. They winter in South America and nest in the high-arctic. Many individuals make the 9,300 mile trip in as little as little as five weeks.

The Baird’s sandpiper travels an amazing distance during migration. They winter in South America and nest in the high-arctic. Many individuals make the 9,300 mile trip in as little as little as five weeks.