Behold! Carolina Chickadee in Louisiana Pine Tree!

Carolina Chickadee in pine tree (photo credit: )


The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth.  The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it.   (Daniel 4:11-12)

Birds love trees!

Trees provide suitable platforms for nests.  Sometimes trees serve as substrates for crawling bugs that are eaten by attentive birds. Trees provide shelter form boisterous winds or excessively hot sunlight.  Trees often provide fruits or nuts that birds eat. Trees can provide protective cover to birds who hide in their branch-supported foliage. Trees provide perching sites, for resting or for monitoring the neighborhood for predator or prey.  Among other uses, trees are made to birds!

One perky illustration of these forest ecology facts is the Carolina Chickadee (Poecile carolinensis).


Carolina Chickadee range map (Wikipedia)

On Thursday, March 22nd (AD2018) I saw a “lifer”  —  a Carolina Chickadee perched upon a branch of a pine tree, in the Thomas, Louisiana (in the Franklinton/Pine area), not too many miles south of Brookhaven, Mississippi (home of some of the best Cajun/Creole cuisine I’ve ever eaten – at “Mardi Gras Gril”, a family-owned-and-operated restaurant).  The Carolina Chickadee looks a lot like it northern cousin, the beige-accented Black-capped Chickadee; however, the Carolina Chickadee has no beige plumage – its feathers are a patchwork of black, grey, and white.

Carolina Chickadee (Alberto Lopez Torres)

So here is my limerick about seeing the chickadee in the pine tree.



Behold!  The Carolina Chickadee  —

        Was perched within a pine tree;

               ‘Twas ready, to grab, bugs to eat,

               For insects, in air, was its meat  —

        Behold!  The Carolina Chickadee!

(Also, that day, I observed Eastern Bluebird, Barn Swallow, Swamp Sparrow, Mockingbird, Black Vulture, White Egret, Brown Thrasher, and more —  and heard a Mourning Dove’s mournful cooing.)

Louisiana is not just a “Sportsman’s Paradise”, it is a near-paradise for birdwatching (and catching frogs!)  —  but, if you are in or near in blackwater swamps,  watch out for snakes and alligators!   (Meanwhile, expect to have some good Cajun cuisine!)


JJSJ eating crawdads, Mardi Grad Gril (Brookhaven, Mississippi)

Birdwatching Along The Way – Vacation – Part 1

Great Crested Flycatcher outside motel in Tallahassee

Great Crested Flycatcher outside motel in Tallahassee

We left home on Sunday afternoon, May 3rd and drove to Tallahassee, Florida. As I normally do, I kept a list of birds as were riding and I turned these into eBird. While traveling 70 mph, I usually don’t see anything except the larger birds, so the numbers are not spectacular.

Here is a summary of that day:

White Ibis 6, Black Vulture 2, Turkey Vulture 4, Red-tailed Hawk 2, Sandhill Crane 1, American Crow 4, Common Grackle 1, Boat-tailed Grackle 2. When we stopped for the night, we spotted a Northern Mockingbird, Northern Cardinal, a Brown Thrasher and Great Crested Flycatcher which I was able to get a photo of. (12 species)

Great Crested Flycatcher outside motel in Tallahassee

Great Crested Flycatcher outside motel in Tallahassee

It took the second photo to finally put the ID together. Flycatchers can be a challenge (to me), but the underside helped me ID this bird.

Not bad for a first day. The second day, we drove to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which was one of our longest driving days. Our first goal of the vacation was to be in Houston, Texas by Tuesday, May 5th, which is 1,000 miles from home.

I listed these birds with eBird for the 2nd day, May 4th. A total of 14 species – Great Blue Heron 1, Great Egret 1, Cattle Egret 2,Turkey Vulture 6, Osprey 1, Bald Eagle 1, Great Crested Flycatcher 1, American Crow 2, Fish Crow 1, Tree Swallow 1, Barn Swallow 1, Brown Thrasher 1, Common Grackle 2 and 2 Boat-tailed Grackles. Not much for 500 miles of riding.  Most of the interesting birds that day were the ones at the Welcome Center which I wrote about.

See the Birds at the Mississippi Welcome Center

On Tuesday, we had an easier day and decided to stop by the Battleship Texas. It is located in the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site. Dan was in the Navy and if there is a Ship Museum we usually visit it. While we were looking around it, as normal for me, if there is a bird nearby, my attention gets diverted. “Birdwatching Adventure” kicks in and I’m off to capture the birds with the camera. The ship will still be there, but birds have a way of moving on.

Here is a list of the birds seen while visiting the Battleship Texas on May 5th. (eBird report): Neotropic Cormorant  2, Brown Pelican  1, Great Egret  1, Black Vulture, Bonaparte’s Gull  1, Laughing Gull  2, Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  3, Cliff Swallow  10, Northern Mockingbird  1, European Starling  4, House Sparrow  2.

Here are some of those photos of the ship and the birds I tried to photograph.

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We were close to Houston and arrived safely at my niece’s house later that day. Vacation Goal #1 – Met.

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. (Psalms 4:8 NKJV)


Some of the other articles that mention our vacation:


Birds at the Mississippi Welcome Center

Mississippi Welcome Ctr (2)

Birds at the Mississippi Welcome Center were a welcome sight. While on our most recent vacation, we saw these trees with birds carved on the end of each limb.

Welcome Center at Moss Point, Mississippi

Welcome Center at Moss Point, Mississippi

The center is at Moss Point, MS (the eastern center on I-10 headed west) and were carved by Martin Miller with a chain saw. Mr. Miller uses trees that were destroyed or damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

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Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Mat 6:26)

Mr. Miller’s bird creations are copied from fantastic creations of their Creator.

Martin Miller

Heron Bird Carvings

Wordless Birds