Although I have always enjoyed watching birds, a friend recently told me about a phone app, ebird mobile, that provides a fast and easy way to submit bird sightings in the field or wherever you are at the moment. The app can be downloaded on your phone and you can join people all across the world in contributing to bird sightings that inform bird research and conservation worldwide. In the Golden Isles, we are surrounded by nature which includes being inhabited and visited by thousands of unique and common birds.
Yesterday I spotted a Red-tailed Hawk and a Bald Eagle while driving on St. Simons Island. I also registered a Roseate Spoonbill and the app reminded me of how rare this “pink” bird is. I am really enjoying tracking the different birds I see and can’t wait to see how many different species I see in a year. It reminds me of one of my favorite movies, “The Big Year”, where Jack Black, Owen Wilson, and Steve Martin compete to count the most bird species in 1 year. If you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it.
Today I observed a duck in the creek eating small fish, but I could not remember the name of the bird. Thankfully, there is an app for that too called Merlin Bird ID. I identified it as a male Hooded Merganser. I recall seeing a pair of them last year and wonder if it is the same pair. I am going to keep an eye out for the female. I learned that the Hooded Merganser has an extra eyelid that works like goggles so they can see fish underwater. Once a pair meets, the two stays together until she finds a nest cavity (already built and abandoned nest sites are preferred) to lay her 7 to 15 eggs. The male then moves on while the female incubates the nest for about a month. Once the ducklings hatch they usually leave the nest within 24 hours sometimes leaping from high up in a tree to the ground when only one day old.
People as well as the birds enjoy calling the Golden Isles home. We continue to be experiencing a very busy and escalated housing market. I will do a free evaluation of your home to let you know what I think it is worth today if you are considering selling. Or, if you might be interested in buying, I am extremely diligent about searching and finding your perfect home and will be happy to keep you in the loop of our fast-paced market. Please reach out to me so I can put my unique skills to work for you.
Birds and their nests tend to be more visible this time of year when there aren’t as many leaves on the trees. My dad took this photo of an Osprey Nest at Marshes Edge. He has been observing the nesting pair on a daily basis.