March 30, 2013

in good hands

in good hands by ricmcarthur
in good hands, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

Ruby throat hummingbird rescued from water and brought in for rehab. After drying off and being kept warm, it ate and slept. It was released the following day.
Archilochus colubris

March 29, 2013


Chica-dee-dee-dee by ricmcarthur
Chica-dee-dee-dee, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
This black-capped chickadee is a name sayer.
He calls out a chick -a-dee-dee.
There is a secondary whistled call that I think sounds " he did it" (it wasn't me) " he did it"
Poecile atricapillus

March 27, 2013

Red-bellied woodpecker

Red-bellied  woodpecker by ricmcarthur
Red-bellied woodpecker, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
You can actually see the red belly on this red-bellied woodpecker.
Even though it has red on its head it isn't a read-headed woodpecker, that name has already been used.
The red-bellied has a black and white pattern on its back with a reed cap and a white rump.
red covers both the crown and nape in the male and only the nape on the female.
They are common visitors to our feeders.
melanerpes carolinus

March 26, 2013


Peter,peter,peter by ricmcarthur
Peter,peter,peter, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
This tufted titmouse was singing his heart out.
Maybe spring isn't so far away. Calling for a mate or to defend territory, either way it is a sound of spring.
The call is a clear whistled chant : peter,peter,peter or here,here, here.
baeolophus bicolor

March 25, 2013

Peeking cat

Peeking cat by ricmcarthur
Peeking cat, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
Not to be confused with Peking duck.
Oz loves boxes. Any shape or size, he just loves them and is in them as soon as you put it down.
Bags are good but boxes are better especially if they have lids.

March 22, 2013

Ruby crowned kinglet

Ruby crowned kinglet by ricmcarthur
Ruby crowned kinglet, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
You rarely see the ruby crown on this bird. It only shows when the bird is excited about something.
It is a small bird about 4 1/4 inches long and has a stuby tail.
This one came into our small water feature for a quick drink.

regulus calendula

March 20, 2013

Soft shelled turtle

Soft shelled turtle by ricmcarthur
Soft shelled turtle, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
As with most turtles in Ontario the soft-shelled turtle is endangered.
In certain areas they are fairly common but only in a few areas.
This turtle was confiscated when the owners tried to sell it.
It now has a home at the visitor centre at Rondeau Provincial Park.
Apalone spinifera

March 19, 2013

Get in line boys.

Get in line boys. by ricmcarthur
Winged Giants

Tundra swans are very large birds with wing spans in excess of 6 feet. They are about 5 feet tall and weigh about 16 pounds.
The swans have returned in large numbers to the Rondeau area.
They are on their annual migration to the high arctic breeding grounds.
The Friends of Rondeau Provincial Park hold a festival each March to celebrate this sign of spring.
This year we had reasonable weather and birds at the same time. Often the weather is so bad you can't see the birds, or the have already passed through the area.
It was nice to have a large number of people see these birds and to have a chance to photograph them.

Cugnus columbianus.

March 18, 2013

One thousand three hundred and nine, one thousand three hundred an ten.....

Literally thousands of gulls lifted off at the same time creating this counting puzzle.
The Wings of Spring Festival of Flight was held this past weekend at Rondeau Provincial Park to celebrate the return of the tundra swans and waterfowl to the area.
As part of the activities we set up spotting scopes for the public to use.
While looking at the waterfowl and tundra swans thousands of gulls, mainly Bonaparte's, lifted off together.

How do you count a flock this big and constantly in motion? You guess.
This is only a portion of the birds that were in the air.
My guess is three thousand seven hundred and fifty one, fifty two, fifty three.....

March 15, 2013


Reflecting by ricmcarthur
Reflecting, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
This great egret was frozen watching for small fish to come within striking distance.
Ardea alba

March 14, 2013

Great Kiskadee

Great Kiskadee by ricmcarthur
Great Kiskadee, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
The name reminds of of magicians, The GREAT KISKADEE appearing nightly at the Blue Bird Cafe.

This is a large, big headed flycatcher..It has a bright rufous tail and dark patches through its eyes. Pale yellow underneath.
It is a name sayer - its call sounds like

Pitangus sulphuratus

March 13, 2013

The back door

The back door by ricmcarthur
The back door, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
We always see the water side of the Sydney Opera House which is very impressive.
This is the back door, the land side where the stairs, buss stops and deliveries take place.

March 12, 2013

March 08, 2013


Cassowary by ricmcarthur
Cassowary, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
We saw these ostrich sized birds in the wild in Australia a few years ago.
This one was at the Brownsville, Texas zoo.
They are capable of killing a person by kicking and using the middle toe to slice them open.
The bird is very territorial and they will actually stalk anything the see as a threat.

March 07, 2013

Coming soon to a meadow near you.

These are purple cone flowers growing in our yard.
When we moved here we took out all the grass in the front yard and planted a tall grass meadow.
I don't have to water it, cut it or fertilize it and it's great for birds and small critters.
Later in the summer we get numerous species of butterflies feeding.

March 06, 2013

Soon, I hope.

Soon, I hope. by ricmcarthur
Soon, I hope., a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
Looking forward to the spring migration when the warblers come through our area.
This is a black throated green warbler, one of my favourites because it is easy to identify visually or vocally.
Dendroica virens

March 05, 2013

That's fine but where do you park the car?

I like signs. Poor wording, unexpected subjects or cultural differences all can make for a good sign.
Evidently this is where you put diabled drivers, but whee do you park the car?

March 04, 2013

We have lift off.

We have lift off. by ricmcarthur
We have lift off., a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
Wind surfers were out in early April last year. The bay is still frozen so I don't think they will be out anytime soon.
I don't think I'm interested in water sports with 40 degree air and water temperature.

March 01, 2013

If its size doesn't intimidate you the look will.

The great-tailed grackle is about 18 inches. It is a very large,purple-glossed blackbird and is much larger than the common grackle.

Quiscalus mexicanus