Posts

Purple sandpiper.

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Purple sandpiper
Erieau, Ontario, Canada, Jan 18, 2019.
With a dunlin.

Love the description of this bird, from Cornell Lab of Ornithology - "A stout shorebird, the Purple Sandpiper breeds in the tundra and winters along rocky shores of the Atlantic Coast. Despite its name, it appears mostly slate-gray in winter, with only a faint purplish gloss, and shows no purple at all in breeding plumage."
So what was wrong with the pudgy sandpiper or slat-grey sandpiper?
Calidris maritima
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Slaty-backed gull, Essex, Ontario, Canada, Jan 17, 2019.
A life bird for Anne and me.
It is the gull in the bottom, centre in the flight shot.
In the second photo it is in front of a great-backed gull.

This gulls normal range is the coasts of northeastern Asia.
It regularly shows up in Alaska during the summer and occasionally in the winter.
This year it has been showing up in various locations in Ontario, usually at landfills.
Larus schistisagus

Evening grosbeak

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Evening grosbeak, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, Nov 25, 2018.
Not a regular visitor to Rondeau but they showed up this year.
We had a few stop in the yard for about 5 minutes then they were off again.
Coccothraustes vespertinus
Though they’re ferocious seed-crackers in the wintertime, in summer Evening Grosbeaks eat insects such as spruce budworm, a serious forest pest. The grosbeaks are so adept at finding these tiny caterpillars that the birds often provide a first warning that a budworm outbreak has begun.
source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Evening_Grosbeak/

Carunculated Caracara, Ecuador, Mary 25, 2016.

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We were high in the Andes looking for the Andean condor, which we saw when we spotted a group of carunculated caracara.
FYI -caruncle- a naked fleshy outgrowth (such as a bird's wattle)
Phalcoboenus carunculatus The Carunculated Caracara is the most northerly member of the Mountain Caracara superspecies. Members of this group of species are distributed from Colombia south along the Andes to Patagonia and the Falkland Islands, but the Carunculated Caracara is found only in the high Andean paramo of Ecuador and southern Colombia. source - https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/carcar1/overview

Alpine parrot.

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Kea, seen on the south island in New Zealand, November, 2009.
Nestor notabilis The kea is an unusual parrot. It is the only truly alpine parrot in the world, and gained early notoriety among settler farmers for attacks on their sheep. Innately curious, kea are attracted to people wherever they enter its mountain domain, and are a feature at South Island ski-fields and mountain huts.
source - http://nzbirdsonline.org.nz/species/kea

The pod.

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Usually milkweed pods have broken and the seeds are long gone by this time of year. This is the only one in a large patch that held together. Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, Jan 12, 2019.

Downy woodpecker

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Downy woodpecker, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, Jan 9, 2019.
A visitor to our suet log in the backyard.
Dryobates pubescens The Downy Woodpecker eats foods that larger woodpeckers cannot reach, such as insects living on or in the stems of weeds. You may see them hammering at goldenrod galls to extract the fly larvae inside. source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Downy_Woodpecker/

Cape May warbler,

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Rondeau Provincial Park, Sept 5, 2015. Had the first cold blast with a bit of snow this year and I'm already looking for spring.
Setophaga tigrina The average clutch size of the Cape May Warbler (six) is greater than that of other warblers. This large clutch size may allow Cape May Warbler populations to expand rapidly during outbreaks of their preferred prey, spruce budworms. source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Cape_May_Warbler