Today is Saturday, December 20, 2014

Beautiful Birds of Spring

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Beautiful Birds of Spring | Ray Pope, Anthony Gray, Ron Zurawski, Melissa Turrentine, Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak


I really enjoyed showing some of our members at the Lebanon Senior Citizens Center, my program on the Warblers. These birds come through here twice a year, once in the spring time where they wear their finest ensemble of colors and once again during the fall, where their colors take on a dull appearance. You might think that you are looking at something completely different. Early in the morning they may be found singing high in the tree tops. This coming Saturday morning will be a perfect time to look and listen at these beautiful feathered friends passing through at the Cedars of Lebanon State Park. I'll mention more about that in a few minutes.

I hope that you are still putting out food for our favorite songsters. If you have put away your feeders till the late fall, you could be missing out on one of the prettiest birds around. This past Friday, I caught a look at a very dull looking female Rose-breasted Grosbeak, eating her fill on the black oil sunflower seeds that are offered at my feeding station, right outside my kitchen window. I grabbed my camera in hopes of taking a decent picture to share on my Facebook page with my friends. The next morning, lo and behold, the beautiful male Grosbeak made his appearance, just in time for me to get a good photo, see photo. Sunday morning there was a different one that showed up, the red patch on his breast had a totally different look to it. For the ones of you that take your feeders down too early, see what you are most likely missing.

My best friend, Anthony Gray had to babysit for three of his grandchildren this past Saturday, and missed our regular noon time feast at Pekings Chinese restaurant. I didn't miss anything, yum!  We decided to go this past Sunday out looking around at the Cedars of Lebanon State Park, to make up for the other day. I stopped by the park office to see if Wayne (Buddy) Ingram was around. He was and we got to talk about my up-coming program there, more about that in a very few minutes. The clouds turned loose and we had a torrential downpour that lasted a good thirty minutes long.

We drove out toward Norene and turned right on Blue Well Road. There is a wheat field on the right where we saw a huge flock of Goldfinch feeding on the side of the road. Most everything else was just the standard issue of birds, until we turned off of Poplar Hill Road. A Baltimore Oriole flew in front of our car, looking as if he were on fire with all of his bright colors. Many of our good looking birds have returned for the season. The Oriole family can be attracted to special feeders, similar to what is used for our Hummingbirds. I don't see any of these feeders here at our regular bird supply stores, but I'm sure you can find them at a Wild Birds Unlimited store in Nashville, or on the internet. My good friend Carole Young, had a Baltimore Oriole at her home last year here in Lebanon. There are plenty to go around.

This coming Saturday morning at 7:00am, on May 3rd, I will be leading my annual bird walk close by the newly refinished nature center, now called the Cedars of Lebanon State Park Nature Center. This will be my 39th year of doing this program, even though the brochure says the 37th.

There will be wildflower tours all through the day, beginning at 9:00am, lasting till 5:00pm. My good friend, Ron Zurawski, State Geologist, has my favorite walk and talk at 2:30pm on the geology of the cedar forest, especially fossils. My good friend Melissa Turrentine, will be leading a family hike, perfect for families with younger children, at 10:30am. Last but not least, I will be having an Owl program beginning at 7:00pm, lasting about a couple of hours. If owls are not your bag, Danny Bryan will be presenting a Frog Frolic during the same time. Rivit, rivit!

Boy Scout Troop 206 will have Hamburgers and Hotdogs and cold drinks for sale, since there are no restaurants at the park.

I would love to hear from you as to what's lurking about in your neighborhood and at your feeders. You can write me at, 606 Fairview Ave., Lebanon, TN, 37087, or e-mail me at, rpope15@bellsouth.net

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Our Feathered Friends
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Anthony Gray, Melissa Turrentine, Ray Pope, Ron Zurawski, Rose-breasted Grosbeak
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