March 06, 2014
It turned out to be two of the mildest winters we have had in recent memory.
Staid home this year, bad idea.
Anyway, the redstart is a fast moving warbler that bounces around in search of insects.
I find them difficult to photograph, mostly blurred or behind a branch, this one messed up and sat still in the open.
Like the Painted Redstart and other “redstarts” of the Neotropics, the American Redstart flashes the bright patches in its tail and wings.
The male American Redstart sometimes has two mates at the same time. While many other polygamous bird species involve two females nesting in the same territory, the redstart holds two separate territories that can be separated by a quarter-mile. The male begins attracting a second female after the first has completed her clutch and is incubating the eggs.
March 05, 2014
Meet Hoover and Electrolux
They are magic when it comes to sucking up corn and other bird seed that we put on the ground.
The cardinals, blue jays and juncos aren't impressed but that's the way it has been this winter.
Their friends Filter Queen and Dyson were in another part of the yard doing the same thing.
March 04, 2014
Almost like it is saying " Time to feed the birds."
Of course it has a habit of eating all the seed that is on the ground.
After reading a stack of National Geographic magazines by ozmossis,
Oz the cat knocked over the wooden deer in the window and apparently wanted a crack at the real thing.
March 02, 2014
The co-operative peregrine.
They are in the area but we haven't found one yet this year.
We still haven't found one.
Instead we found a very co-operative peregrine falcon in Point Edward at the mouth of the St. Clair River.
It sat one a sign and didn't seem to care that we were creeping closer and closer.
This shot was from about 90 feet.
Best look and best photo I've had of a peregrine.
Powerful and fast-flying, the Peregrine Falcon hunts medium-sized birds, dropping down on them from high above in a spectacular stoop. They were virtually eradicated from eastern North America by pesticide poisoning in the middle 20th century. After significant recovery efforts, Peregrine Falcons have made an incredible rebound and are now regularly seen in many large cities and coastal areas.
The name "peregrine" means wanderer, and the Peregrine Falcon has one of the longest migrations of any North American bird. Tundra-nesting falcons winter in South America, and may move 25,000 km (15,500 mi) in a year. Maps of the migration of individual falcons determined by satellite telemetry can be seen at Environment Canada.
During its spectacular hunting stoop from heights of over 1 km (0.62 mi), the peregrine may reach speeds of 320 km/h (200 mph) as it drops toward its prey.
source -Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
February 27, 2014
I thought you might appreciate a break from birds and/or winter.The one thing that tells everyone they are looking at an armadillo is the roly-poly shell with what are called "armoured" bands. The number of bands depends on the species. The pleated look of most armadillos is made of these hardened, overlapping sections. Although the bands are tough like fingernails, the shell is flexible, with softer skin that expands and contracts between the bands.
Armadillos also have long claws for digging and foraging for food. Their peg-shaped teeth crunch through the bodies of insects, an armadillo's favourite food.
Armadillo is Spanish for little armoured thing.
Part of the armadillo's family name Dasypodidae, “dasypus,” is Greek for rabbit.
The nine-banded armadillo has four identical pups in every litter.
February 26, 2014
The Bonaparte's Gull is the only gull that regularly nests in trees.
source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
February 25, 2014
looking in the mirror
In winter Downy Woodpeckers are frequent members of mixed species flocks. Advantages of flocking include having to spend less time watching out for predators and better luck finding food from having other birds around.
Downy Woodpeckers have been discovered nesting inside the walls of buildings.
The oldest known Downy Woodpecker lived to be at least 11 years 11 months old.