Sunday, February 14, 2016
About the Photographer


Marty Jones has been interested in bird photography ever since his first visit in 2004 to see the magnificent flocks of Sandhill Cranes at Jasper-Pulaski FWA.  Marty enjoys the challenges and rewards of taking a good bird photograph and meeting other people who share an interest in birding and bird photography.

Marty is a Regulatory Compliance Consultant for the Indiana Statewide Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives and lives near Terre Haute with his daughter Addison. Visit Marty L. Jone's Bird Photography Website. You'll see over 260 different Indiana bird species represented in the site including several rarities.

Bird of the Month Archives

Past Featured Birds of the Month

Acorn Woodpecker, December 2015

Dusky Grouse, November 2015

American Crow, October 2015

Ruddy Turnstone, September 2015

Scarlet Tanager, August 2015

House Sparrow, July 16, 2015

Tufted Titmouse, July 15, 2015

White-Throated Sparrow, July 14, 2015

Red-Bellied Woodpecker, July 13, 2015

Red-Winged Blackbird, July 12, 2015

Pine Siskin, July 11, 2015

Mourning Dove, July 10, 2015

Hairy Woodpecker, July 8, 2015

Eastern Bluebird, July 7, 2015

Downy Woodpecker, July 6, 2015

Dark-Eyed Junco, July 5, 2015 

Chipping Sparrow, July 4, 2015

Purple Finch, July 3, 2015

House Finch, July 2, 2015

Black-Capped and Carolina Chickadees, June 29, 2015

Baltimore Oriole, June 26, 2015

American Goldfinch, June 24, 2015

American Tree Sparrow, June 22, 2015

Bird of the Month? Week? Day?

Peregrine Falcon, June 2015

Chestnut-Sided Warbler, May 2015

Kirtland's Warbler, April 2015

Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker, March 2015

Pied-Billed Grebe, February 2015

Snow Bunting, January 2015

Northern Cardinal, December 2014

Winter Wren, November 2014

Northern Saw-Whet Owl, October 2014

American Bittern, September 2014

Chimney Swift, August 2014

Summer Tanager, July 2014

Canada Warbler, June 2014

Magnolia Warbler, May 2014

American Woodcock, April 2014

American Robin, March 2014

Great-horned Owl, October 2012

Bald Eagle, September, 2012

American Kestrel, June, 2012

American Robin, February, 2012

American Crow, January, 2012

Calliope Hummingbird, December, 2011

White-tailed Hawk, November, 2011

Long-tailed Jaeger, October, 2011

Warbling VIreo, August, 2011

Black-billed Cuckoo, June, 2011

Summer Tanager, May, 2011

Fox Sparrow, April, 2011

American White Pelican, March, 2011

Hooded Merganser, February, 2011

Backyard Birds of Indiana

Common Feeder Birds

Feeding backyard birds is often a lot of fun, but have you ever wondered what kind of bird is at your feeder? We're here to help! Thanks to the photographic efforts of Marty Jones, this page will help you learn the most common birds that visit our Indiana feeders.

Thanks for visiting and THANK YOU for feeding our feathered friends!

 Northern Cardinal  White-breasted Nuthatch
Northern Cardinal 
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
White-breasted Nuthatch
 Dark-eyed Junko  Brown-headed Cowbird Carolina Chickadee
Dark-eyed Junco
Brown-headed Cowbird
Carolina Chickadee
 American Robin  Downie Woodpecker European Starling
American Robin
Downy Woodpecker
European Starling
Mourning Dove Song Sparrow
House Sparrow
Mourning Dove
Song Sparrow

Bird of the Month

Brown Pelican

by Alex Forsythe

It's January and winter has definitely arrived! With lows in the single digits, many of us are huddled around our fireplaces wishing we were vacationing at an oceanfront resort somewhere closer to the equator. Allow me to add a bit of whimsy to your vacation dream: picture, if you will, a group of Brown Pelicans flying over your resort when suddenly, right in front of you, they dive-bomb face-first into the ocean waves.

Not so long ago, there was a very real risk that beachcombers would no longer see Brown Pelicans. Pelicans recovered from plume hunters in the millinery trade during the 19th and early 20th centuries with some help from Theodore Roosevelt who designated Florida's Pelican Island as the first national wildlife refuge, and the passage of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. After World War I, pelicans faced widespread slaughter by commercial fishermen who blamed them for the reduction in fish populations. After being proven innocent, their populations recovered only to face the ravages of DDT. With the prevalence of DDT, the shells of pelican eggs became too thin to support the weight of the parents. Pelicans use their feet, not their stomachs, to incubate their eggs. They effectively stand on their eggs to keep them warm. By the 1960's, pelicans were in steep decline. In Louisiana, which claims the Brown Pelican as its state bird, no nesting pairs were found by 1961. In 1968 Louisiana embarked on an ambitious 12-year reintroduction plan. By 1985, Brown Pelicans were removed from the Endangered Species List for the eastern U.S. and ten years later the Brown Pelican was declared "recovered" in Louisiana.

"A wonderful bird is the pelican; His bill will hold more than his belly can!" So begins the famous limerick by Dixon Lanier Merritt, American poet and humorist, and founding member of the Tennessee Ornithological Society. It may seem that Merritt was exaggerating, but was he? Not really. Brown Pelicans can hold up to 3 gallons of water in the pouch of their bills. The volume they can hold in their stomach is just 1 gallon, thus proving Merritt's limerick was strangely accurate. The pelican's bill and pouch are used as a dip net, scooping up water and fish. After the water is squeezed out, the pelican swallows the fish. The pouch is also used as a training ground of sorts for their young. The chicks use the pouch as a feeding trough. In addition, it is thought that the pouch serves as a cooling mechanism.

Pelicans have keen eyesight and are able to spot fish in the crashing waves from 60 feet in the air. They dive at their prey, tucking in their head and rotating slightly to the left to protect the trachea and esophagus on the right. Air sacs under the skin cushion the impact and provide buoyancy. 

Brown Pelicans nest in large colonies of up to several thousand pairs. Nest styles vary from depressions in the ground to platforms of sticks in trees. About a month after hatching, the chicks are capable of swimming at speeds up to 3 mph. The birds can live up to 43 years.

If you need a smile during these bitter winter nights, let your thoughts transport you to the warm ocean breezes and the antics of Brown Pelicans. And while you're lounging on your imaginary sandy beach, take a moment to appreciate the wisdom of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Act which gave protection to the pelicans and other migratory birds and their habitats. Watch for and participate in centennial celebrations and events held in honor of the Act and hosted by U.S. Fish and Wildlife, the DNR, Audubon societies, and other organizations. Perhaps, as your part of the celebration, you can write a pelican limerick that rivals Merritt's!

Common Indiana Birds

50 Most Common Backyard Birds of Indiana

1.   Eastern Bluebird 
2.   Indigo Bunting
3.   Northern Cardinal 
4.   Carolina Chickadee
5.   Black-Capped Chickadee
6.   Brown-Headed Cowbird
7.   American Crow
8.   Mourning Dove
9.   House Finch
10. Purple Finch
11. Northern Flicker
12. American Goldfinch
13. Common Grackle
14. Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
15. Cooper’S Hawk
16. Sharp-Shinned Hawk
17. Blue Jay
18. Dark-Eyed Junco
19. Northern Mockingbird
20. Red-Breasted Nuthatch
21. White-Breasted Nuthatch
22. Baltimore Oriole
23. Barred Owl
24. Eastern Screech Owl
25. Great Horned Owl
26. Eastern Phoebe
27. American Robin
28. Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker
29. Pine Siskin
30. American Tree Sparrow
31. Chipping Sparrow
32. Fox Sparrow
33. House Sparrow
34. Song Sparrow
35. White-Crowned Sparrow
36. White-Throated Sparrow
37. Eupopean Starling
38. Brown Thrasher
39. Tufted Titmouse
40. Eastern Towhee
41. Cedar Waxwing
42. Downey Woodpecker
43. Hairy Woodpecker
44. Pileated Woodpecker
45. Red-Bellied Woodpecker
46. Red-Headed Woodpecker
47. Carolina Wren
48. House Wren
49. Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
50. Summer Tanager