New Bird IDs in Provincetown

When Katherine and I planned our visit to Provincetown, I hoped to see some birds that I hadn’t seen before. I was not disappointed.

On the ferry ride from Boston to Provincetown, I snapped photos of a Northern Gannet and a Great Shearwater as they flew by the boat. However, my Northern Gannet (juvenile) was pretty fuzzy so in the interests of actually knowing what one looks like, I found one from Wikimedia Commons.)

DickDaniels (, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Great Shearwater in flight.

Flying above Katherine’s uncle’s house was a raptor. When I identified it later, I learned it was a Broad-winged Hawk. (Again, my picture was clear enough for identification but too out of focus to share 😳. Below is a photo of the Broad-winged Hawk from Wikimedia Commons.)

TonyCastro, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

During our walk on the Provincetown Causeway, Katherine and I saw Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs.

The Ruddy Turnstone was also a new bird identification seen on our Causeway walk.

One of my favorite names for a bird was the Laughing Gull.

Laughing Gull looking serious.

The Laughing Gull earned its name from its call, but we didn’t hear one. You can hear a brief clip here at Wikimedia Commons. (It’s labeled under the Laughing Gull’s scientific name Larus Atricilla.)

Surrounding Provincetown is Cape Cod National Seashore. There I viewed two new birds, the Eastern Kingbird and the Gray Catbird. The Eastern Kingbirds I saw looked like a mix of juveniles and adults. The juveniles were doing that typical juvenile thing: “When’s dinner?”

(click on a picture below to see a larger view.)

The Gray Catbird is also named for its vocalizations, however, again, I didn’t hear this one make any sound.

Gray Catbird taking flight.

I saw Northern Cardinals near Katherine’s uncle’s home. A juvenile could reliably be seen in her uncle’s beautiful and productive garden while an adult was occasionally seen in the trees.

Adult Northern Cardinal
Juvenile Northern Cardinal

The last new bird I saw was the Blue Jay. I’ve seen California Scrub Jays and Steller’s Jays but this was an exciting new bird for me. I saw one only once and the bird was perched on a chimney with its back to me. I was able to get just a couple of pictures before it flew off. Still, I could tell this was a bird I hadn’t seen before.

And, again, just so we can see what they truly look like, here is an image from Wikimedia Commons.

OLRhododendrites, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I was so hoping to see one of these again, but I saw it on one of our last days of our visit.

During our seven day visit, we saw and identified eleven new birds. Very cool!

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September 3, 2021 11:29 am

Loving the Cardinal. Wish we had them here on the west coast.

September 7, 2021 7:45 am
Reply to  Echo

Me, too!

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