May 26, 2017

Just another Prothonotary Warbler.

Because of where we live we can go to the nesting site in Rondeau and see a Prothonotary just about everyday.
We are really not the blase about the bird and there is a story behind the expression.
When we were in Virginia prothonotarys were common.
One of the people we were birding with said, "Oh, it's just another prothonotary. I wish I could see a yellow warbler."
In Virginia prothons are common and yellows are rare, the reverse of our situation.

Geography is everything.

Protonotaria citrea

For Prothonotary Warblers it pays to be bright. Males that are brighter yellow gain access to better nest sites than less colorful males, according to a study conducted in Louisiana.
source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

May 25, 2017

Orchard Oriole

A hop, skip, and jump.

An adult orchard oriole was moving along a perch I attached to the top of the feeder pole.
It looked like he was skipping along.
Icterus spurius
Orchard Orioles migrate north late in the spring and head southward early, with some returning to their wintering grounds as early as mid-July. Because of the short breeding season, researchers have trouble distinguishing between breeding orioles and migrating ones in any given location.
source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology 

May 24, 2017

Blackburnian warbler.

The colours on this warbler are stunning. When the sun hits throat it just lights up.

Setophaga fusca

Adult Description
-Small songbird
-Brilliant orange throat.-
-Orange yellow eyebrow.-
-Small black face mask.
-Broad white wingbars.

Although the Blackburnian Warbler does not associate with other birds while it is nesting, it will join foraging flocks of chickadees, kinglets, and nuthatches after the young fledge. The warbler will follow the mixed flock with its begging young. The begging of the warbler chicks can even attract chickadees.
source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

May 23, 2017


We found a mixed flock of shorebirds, thanks to a local birder, including one black bellied plover, dunlin and sanderlings.
The front bird is changing over to breeding plumage.

Calidris alba

Sanderlings breed on the High Arctic tundra and migrate south in fall to become one of the most common birds along beaches. They gather in loose flocks to probe the sand of wave-washed beaches for marine invertebrates, running back and forth in a perpetual “wave chase.”

May 22, 2017

Common Nighthawk, Rondeau Provincial Park, May 22, 2017

A good day birding at Rondeau. Mixed flock of shorebirds, mourning warbler, another pileated, and a common nighthawk.
I spotted it flying after it had been disturbed from its roost and Anne saw it land.

That's about the only way to find one of these.

Chordeiles minor

On summer evenings, keep an eye and an ear out for the male Common Nighthawk’s dramatic “booming” display flight. Flying at a height slightly above the treetops, he abruptly dives for the ground. As he peels out of his dive (sometimes just a few meters from the ground) he flexes his wings downward, and the air rushing across his wingtips makes a deep booming or whooshing sound, as if a race car has just passed by. The dives may be directed at females, territorial intruders, and even people.
source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology

May 21, 2017

American redstart.

One of the many warblers passing through Rondeau this migration.
The American Redstart singing his heart out.

Setophaga ruticilla

Like the Painted Redstart and other “redstarts” of the Neotropics, the American Redstart flashes the bright patches in its tail and wings. This seems to startle insect prey and give the birds an opportunity to catch them. Though these birds share a common name, they are not closely related to each other.
source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

May 19, 2017

Yellow billed cuckoo

We had both Yellow billed and black billed cuckoos on Bennett Road in Rondeau Provincial Park.
They were displaying well.
This is a shot of the yellow billed.

Coccyzus americanus

Yellow-Billed Cuckoos have a primal-sounding, croaking call that they often give in response to loud noises. Their tendency to call at the sound of thunder has led to their colloquial name, the “rain crow.”
source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.