Tag Archives: Cape Cod Birding

Love The Buffleheads At Rock Harbor On Cape Cod!

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I love watching the black and white Buffleheads as they swim about and dive for food at Rock Harbor during the winter months. They get pretty spooked when you get near them and tend to fly away. (Click on blog link to see other photos.) But if you stand up on the dock at Rock Harbor, you are far enough away so they don’t  even notice you.

Buffleheads are small diving ducks, mostly white with a glossy black head and back. Its head has a large white patch behind its eye. The female has a dark brown head with an white oval patch on its ear.

Buffleheads are fascinating to watch as they continuously dive for food. You can see them getting ready to dive in the 2nd photo. Just as you think you can get a decent photo of them, they are under water again!

 

Mystery Bird At Rock Harbor On Cape Cod!

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We were at Rock Harbor yesterday photographing some of the seabirds that frequent the area. When I took this photograph, I thought it was a Bufflehead… until I enlarged it on by camera. Hmmm… it did not have the markings of a Bufflehead, and why was its eye golden when Buffleheads have black eyes?

Phil and I thought maybe it was a hybrid between a Bufflehead and a Golden Eye, but we didn’t know if birds could be hybrids. We were driving by The Bird Watcher’s General Store later in the afternoon, so I stopped in to ask Mike, the owner, what it was. I was sure that I had a new species! He said it was a hybrid and has been spotted at Rock Harbor for the past 3 winters. Mystery solved…

Pretty cool, don’t you think? Have you seen it at Rock Harbor?

Rescue At Nickerson State Park On Cape Cod!

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With the beautiful weather yesterday, Phil and I thought we’d take a morning hike at Nickerson State Park. As we were driving down Cliff Pond Road we saw a large bird in the middle of the road. It couldn’t fly and was floundering about. (Click on blog link to see other photo and read full story.)

We stopped the car and got out. It was a Thick-Billed Murre which is a sea bird usually found in the Arctic waters but occasionally found in this area during the winter months. What was it doing in Nickerson State Park?

Just as we were deciding what to do, a huge milk truck came barrelling down the hill and right at the bird. Phil stood in the middle of the road and put his hands up as if to say Stop! The truck stopped and, as the driver was getting out, he was putting on a pair of rubber gloves. He asked what happened.

We explained to him that the bird was injured and couldn’t fly and we were trying to catch it to bring to Wild Care in Orleans. Wild Care Cape Cod is an animal rehabilitation facility that helps sick, injured and orphaned wildlife. We had a large towel that we were going to throw over the bird. Just as we had it cornered the driver told us that he was a Falconer, a person who trains falcons, hawks and birds of prey.  What are the chances of that?

I nestled the bird in the towel and held it as we drove to Wild Care. Jennifer, the  Animal Care Coordinator and Wildlife Rehabilitator, helped us get it out of the car and inside. We told her our story and she said that the bird looked dehydrated, hungry and scared.

Jennifer told us that this was their first Thick-billed Murre of the season at Wild Care. I left my phone number and asked that they call me when the Murre was being released. We’d love to be there for that!

What an incredible experience! It couldn’t be in any better care than with the staff at Wild Care Cape Cod which is truly an amazing place!