April 29, 2017

Just another red-headed woodpecker shot.

You will have to put up with more red headed woodpecker photos.
We had 3 in the yard today and they were not playing well.
I figure two are males and are trying to figure out who is dominant.
That photo is for another day.

Melanerpes erythrocephalus

Pleistocene-age fossils of Red-headed Woodpeckers—up to 2 million years old—have been unearthed in Florida, Virginia, and Illinois.

April 28, 2017

Yellow-headed blackbird.

We went to Mitchell's Bay on Lake St. Clair to look for the yellow-headed blackbirds that were being seen.
They were exactly where they were reported to be.
Birders know that is not necessarily the case, birds have wings and they use them.

Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus

The male Yellow-headed Blackbird defends a small territory of prime nesting reeds. He may attract up to eight females to nest within his area. The male helps feed nestlings, but usually only in the first nest established in his territory. The other females have to feed their young all by themselves.

April 27, 2017

Birthday Bird.

I particularly like red-headed woodpeckers and this one came in to wish me a happy 70th.
Shot through the Wonderful Wildlife Window.

Melanerpes erythrocephalus.

The Red-headed Woodpecker has many nicknames, including half-a-shirt, shirt-tail bird, jellycoat, flag bird, and the flying checker-board.

April 26, 2017

I crown you King of the Jays.

Take about getting your feathers ruffled!
This jay had his back to the wind creating a feathered crown.

Cyanocitta cristata .

Thousands of Blue Jays migrate in flocks along the Great Lakes and Atlantic coasts, but much about their migration remains a mystery. Some are present throughout winter in all parts of their range. Young jays may be more likely to migrate than adults, but many adults also migrate. Some individual jays migrate south one year, stay north the next winter, and then migrate south again the next year. No one has worked out why they migrate when they do.

Catch of the day.

Went to the shorebird cell at Hillman Marsh to see what was around.
The closest birds were horned grebes. Several popped up with fish while we were there.

Podiceps auritus

Like most grebes, the small chicks of the Horned Grebe frequently ride on the backs of their swimming parents. The young ride between the wings on the parent's back, and may even go underwater with them during dives.

April 24, 2017

Season of the Owl

Another Great Horned Owl shot.
This one shows why it is called a horned owl.

Bubo virginianus

Great Horned Owls are fierce predators that can take large prey, including raptors such as Ospreys, Peregrine Falcons, Prairie Falcons, and other owls. They also eat much smaller items such as rodents, frogs, and scorpions.

Ruby-crowned kinglet.


Spotted this one foraging in the flowers. Usually the flit so fast they are hard to photograph, not that this one was easy.
Regulus calendula
The Ruby-crowned Kinglet is a tiny bird that lays a very large clutch of eggs—there can be up to 12 in a single nest. Although the eggs themselves weigh only about a fiftieth of an ounce, an entire clutch can weigh as much as the female herself.

April 22, 2017

Rose breasted grosbeak.

A few new birds in the area including this Rose breasted grosbeak. Rondeau Provincial Park.

Pheucticus ludovicianus
Rose-breasted Grosbeaks build such flimsy nests that eggs are often visible from below through the nest bottom.

April 21, 2017

Just sittin in the grass.

This killdeer sat in the grass and ignored me as I drove by, usually the skitter away.
Being as he cooperated I took his picture.

Charadrius vociferus
Killdeer get their name from the shrill, wailing kill-deer call they give so often. Eighteenth-century naturalists also noticed how noisy Killdeer are, giving them names such as the Chattering Plover and the Noisy Plover.

A well-known denizen of dry habitats, the Killdeer is actually a proficient swimmer. Adults swim well in swift-flowing water, and chicks can swim across small streams.