March 01, 2015

 

Not playing nicely.



This white tailed deer wasn't amused with the wild turkeys eating the seed under the bird feeders.
It tried to drive the turkeys away.
While he chased this one three others came in behind the deer.
We ended up with four deer and five turkeys and an assortment of birds.
And one squirrel.

The photo was taken through the Wonderful Wildlife Window.

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February 28, 2015

 

Ice Breaking

We rarely see the big ships that travel the great lakes from our place. They usually stay much further out as there are shallows near here and the main shipping lane is towards the middle of the lake.



Today we saw what appears to be an icebreaker making a path for one of the sea going vessels that come into the great lake system.






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February 25, 2015

 

Flyby



One of the birds we wanted to see on our Florida trip was a limpkin.
It is a marsh/wetland bird that looks similar to a heron it is more closely related to rails and cranes.

After we saw one in the marsh we saw them all over, flying by, walking on the road or chasing each other.



Aramus guarauna

An unusual bird of southern swamps and marshes, the Limpkin reaches the northern limits of its breeding range in Florida. There, it feeds almost exclusively on apple snails, which it extracts from their shells with its long bill. Its screaming cry is unmistakable and evocative.

The Limpkin's bill is uniquely adapted to foraging on apple snails. The closed bill has a gap just before the tip that makes the bill act like tweezers. The tip itself is often curved slightly to the right so it can be slipped into the right-handed chamber of the snail.
source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

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February 19, 2015

 

Niagra Falls, American Bridal Falls and the Canadian Horseshoe Falls

We were in Niagara falls a few days ago.


The American Bridal Falls were mostly frozen and the Canadian Horseshoe Falls were fairly open but the Niagara River was almost entirely frozen over.



Back in 1848 the falls actually stopped running due to a huge ice dam on the river.
The falls stopped for about 30 hours before the pressure broke the jam.


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February 18, 2015

 

You know you're in a ritzy neighbourhood when..




their signs are for an elegant bird like the sandhill crane.
The ones I usually see are for ducks and occasionally a goose.

This was down in Florida near Sarasota.

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February 16, 2015

 

Hover



We watched this osprey hunting over a large pool.
It would fly along, dip, hover then fly on or dive.

We watched him hit the water, go under then come up empty handed, so to speak.

Sometimes they are referred to as a fish eagle, probably due to their size, their wingspan can reach 6 feet.

Pandion haliaetus

Ospreys are unusual among hawks in possessing a reversible outer toe that allows them to grasp with two toes in front and two behind. Barbed pads on the soles of the birds' feet help them grip slippery fish. When flying with prey, an Osprey lines up its catch head first for less wind resistance.

The oldest known Osprey was 25 years, 2 months old.

source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology

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February 15, 2015

 

He tends to stand out in a crowd.



We had eleven northern cardinals in the yard yesterday.

Cardinals are common around here and tend to be overlooked just like bluejays.
Winter would be bland if it weren't for the cardinals and jays. Most of the other birds are dull during the winter.

We don't get many during the warmer months, I guess there is enough food that they don't need what we put out.
This winter has been hard on the wildlife. We have a turkey that comes to the yard regularly, 6 deer, many squirrels and several rabbits, not to mention raccoons.

Cardinalis cardinalis

Cardinals don't migrate and they don't molt into a dull plumage.

The male cardinal fiercely defends its breeding territory from other males. When a male sees its reflection in glass surfaces, it frequently will spend hours fighting the imaginary intruder.
The oldest recorded Northern Cardinal was 15 years 9 months old.

source - Cornell Lab of ornithology

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