Birds of Oswego

This summer I’ve been trying to learn the names of birds. I mean, everyone knows robins, crows, sparrows, bluejays, and the like. But I want to know all of them! The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s app, Merlin, has been a huge help. Here’s what I’ve seen:

Red Winged Blackbirds

I actually knew the male of this species already, because one of them used to dive bomb me every morning when I walked to grad school. You wouldn’t think something that size could be scary but ye gods, I understand the inspiration for The Birds after that summer.

Pro tips: Avoid their nests! Also, be aware that female Red Winged Blackbirds aren’t black and don’t have red wings. Well named, ornithologists.  Well named.

Double-crested Cormorants

I have no memory of seeing them in Oswego before, but the cormorants showed up in late summer and have hung around since. (Or at least, that’s when I noticed them.)

Cormorants are exciting because I’m pretty sure they’re in Island of the Blue Dophins, right? Doesn’t Karana make herself a cape from their feathers, or something?

Belted Kingfisher

I’ve only seen one of these, but its head feathers were every bit as fantastic as in the pictures.  Rock on, Belted Kingfisher!

Downy Woodpecker

Again, I’ve only seen one of these–but I’m very fond of it anyway.  Woodpeckers will always have a special spot in my heart after a childhood that involved plenty of Woody Woodpecker reruns at my grandma’s house.

Great Blue Herons

The Great Blue Herons mostly seem to like to hang out on the east side of the river, away from the river walk and my no-optical-zoom cell phone camera. Still, one of them *was* on my side of the river earlier this week. When I startled it, it flew away and took it out on a poor, unsuspecting duck who had been chilling in mid-river. The duck flew away in a mood.  Poor duck.

Green Heron

This one didn’t stick around long, but that’s ok; I hadn’t known there *were* Green Herons until I met it.

Bald Eagle

I only saw the eagle once, but I did see it! It was alternating between chasing and being chased by a seagull. I was worried for that seagull–it seemed out-matched. But it had several chances to escape and didn’t take any of them. Here’s hoping it knew what it was doing.


Again, I actually knew ospreys already.  Thanks, Osprey Cam!


And more! Also I’m going to add pictures to this post sometime when I have time.

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