Ulysses, KS

mourning doveWe were visiting family in Ulysses, KS, the past week. The town is swarming with doves. This Mourning Dove was sitting on a nest over my mother-in-law’s driveway.

mourning dove nestlingsThis nest with two young Mourning Doves was about 20 feet away from the nest pictured above.

eurasian collared 1Eurasian Collared-Doves are now much more common than Mourning Doves in town.

kitingAfter the two species of doves, the most conspicuous birds in Ulysses are Mississippi Kites. They are constantly flying over town, hunting dragonflies and cicadas.

miss. kite 2 Here is a rare look at a Mississippi Kite sitting still in the open.

red-headed 1It has been a good summer for Red-headed Woodpeckers. I saw several families with young (note the young bird below and to the right of the adult above).

red-headed 2This is surely the most beautiful woodpecker in North America.

Spring Valley Wildlife Area

One of the better birding spots in Greene County, Ohio, is Spring Valley Wildlife Area. It has a nice mix of wetland and riparian woods, and attracts many migrants in spring and a good variety of breeding birds in summer.

One of most stunning woodpeckers in North America, Red-headed Woodpeckers have experienced a severe decline in recent decades. I was delighted to hear that the birds had nested in Spring Valley this summer, after being absent for a couple of years.

Here is one of the young Red-headeds. Note the brownish head and the double black bars on the wing.

Here is a young Red-bellied Woodpecker. She doesn’t yet have the red nape of an adult.

Lots of Green Herons live in the wetlands of Spring Valley. They make a tremendous metallic squawking noise for such a small bird.

Not a bird, I know, but this dragonfly was particularly eye-catching. Does anyone know what species this is?

This will be my last post from my trip to the east and mid-west. It is always nice to reconnect with the flora and fauna I knew before moving to Oregon (except for the Chiggers, I don’t miss them at all). But I am quite ready to resume my explorations of the Beaver State.