May 05, 2015


This joint will never hold me.

This hermit thrush looks like he is about to breakout of jail.

Catharus guttatus

East of the Rocky Mountains the Hermit Thrush usually nests on the ground. In the West, it is more likely to nest in trees.

source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

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May 04, 2015


Solitary sandpiper.

Harry, a friend of ours gave us an ID tip for this bird. He said it had a spangled back.
It is a quick and effective way of identifying this bird.

Tringa solitaria

The Solitary Sandpiper is commonly seen in migration along the banks of ponds and creeks. While not truly solitary, it does not migrate in large flocks the way other shorebirds do.

The Solitary Sandpiper lays its eggs in the tree nests of several different song birds, particularly those of the American Robin, Rusty Blackbird, Eastern Kingbird, Gray Jay, and Cedar Waxwing.

source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

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May 03, 2015


Lincoln's sparrow.

Not a rare bird but one we don't see every year.
This Lincoln's sparrow showed up at the pond this evening.

Melospiza lincolnii

The Lincoln's Sparrow shows less geographical variation in song than any other species in its genus, perhaps a result of high dispersal rates among juveniles.

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April 30, 2015


On the rocks.

Killdeer nests are basically a  shallow scrape in the ground.
They will add rocks, sticks and bits of shells to the nest. This one is in the gravel at the edge of a parking area.
I took the photo from the vehicle and left the area quickly to avoid stressing the bird.

Charadrius vociferus

The Killdeer’s broken-wing act leads predators away from a nest, but doesn’t keep cows or horses from stepping on eggs. To guard against large hoofed animals, the Killdeer uses a quite different display, fluffing itself up, displaying its tail over its head, and running at the beast to attempt to make it change its path.

source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

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April 29, 2015


Blackburnian warbler.

Not the best photo I've taken of this warbler species but a really nice surprise while walking a trail.

Five species of warblers have warblers have been seen in the last few days along with other spring migrants.

Setophaga fusca

No other North American warbler has an orange throat

The Blackburnian Warbler is territorial on its breeding grounds and solitary in the winter. It forms flocks only during migration.

source Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

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April 28, 2015




:  the action or process of excavating
:  a cavity formed by cutting, digging, or scooping

This is a hole made by a pileated woodpecker they are unique rectangular holes in the wood. T
he nest holes these birds make offer crucial shelter to many species including swifts, owls, ducks, bats, and pine martens.

Dryocopus pileatus

A Pileated Woodpecker pair stays together on its territory all year round. It will defend the territory in all seasons, but will tolerate new arrivals during the winter.

source Cornell Lab or Ornithology.

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Levitation (from Latin levitas "lightness") is the process by which an object is held aloft, without mechanical support, in a stable position.

White breasted nuthatch.

Sitta carolinensis

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April 19, 2015


Heard but seldom seen

Generally speaking I find that I hear many more woodcock than I see.
At twilight you can see the flight but you can't really see the bird itself.

They have  large heads, short necks, and short tails which gives them a bulbous look.

Once they go to ground they can be really difficult to see.
I watched this one go into a clump of grass and still took a minute to find him.

The woodcock is also known as the timberdoodle, Labrador twister, night partridge, and bog sucker.

Scolopax minor 

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