April 30, 2013

Clay coloured sparrow

Clay coloured sparrow by ricmcarthur
Clay coloured sparrow, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
This is one of the many sparrow species we get in Southern Ontario
It is fairly common but this is only the second time in 12 years that we have seen one in the yard.
It is similar to a pale non-breeding chipping sparrow but is buffier and has pale lores (Eyebrows)

It has a sharply outlined ear patch and a gray nape, bold white moustache and a brown rump.

Spizella pallida

April 29, 2013

the good one is on May 5

the good one is on May 5 by ricmcarthur
the good one is on May 5, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
There are signs I just can't drive past without taking a photo.
It didn't occur to me that crappie was a type of fish.
Such an appetizing name.

April 26, 2013

The tide came in and the road went out.

In New Zealand we found that people drive on the beach to get to recreation areas where there are no roads.

You definitely want to know the tide charts.

And yes we were birding.

April 25, 2013

Horned grebe

Horned grebe by ricmcarthur
Horned grebe, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
We found 6 of these odd little birds on the weekend. I'm sure they didn't know they were lost and in need of being found.

They aren't common on the Great Lakes but the do show up now and again.

During breeding season they have a golden ear patch and a chestnut neck.
This one is not finished moulting

podiceps auritus.

April 24, 2013

air and water

air and water by ricmcarthur
air and water, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
I am rarely at a lost for words when it comes to odd signs.

This is one of those times.

Does anyone want to suggest a caption?

April 23, 2013

Blue Grosbeak

Blue Grosbeak by ricmcarthur
Blue Grosbeak, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
This is a fairly rare bird for southern Ontario. Their normal range is well south of the great lakes so this is a real treat.

This one was in Windsor, Ontario at Ojibway Park.
Photos are through the picture window at the visitor centre.

You can see the rusty wing bars in this photo.

The bird is a deep dull blue with a thick bill. It has two broad, rusty wing bars.
Passerina caerulea

April 22, 2013

The Red-head is back

The Red-head is back by ricmcarthur
The Red-head is back, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
The red-headed woodpeckers are back at Rondeau.
This one came to our feeders on April 19th, a bit earlier than other years.
That brilliant red head makes this one easy to identify.

melaneroes erythrocephalus

April 21, 2013

Fiery-bikked aracari

Fiery-bikked aracari by ricmcarthur
Fiery-billed aracari, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
The Fiery-billed Aracari or Fiery-billed Ara├žari is a toucan, a near-passerine bird. It breeds only on the Pacific slopes of southern Costa Rica and western Panama.

Pteroglossus frantzii

April 19, 2013

He's Back

He's Back by ricmcarthur
He's Back, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
The yellow throated warbler is back for the third year.
He showed up 2 days later than last year and went to the same feeder.
A real treat.

dendroica dominica

April 18, 2013

April 16, 2013

The Kings Golden Crown

The Kings Golden Crown by ricmcarthur
The Kings Golden Crown, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
He looks angry but with a crown of gold he shouldn't be complaining.
Kinglets tend to be difficult to photograph because they are always flitting around.
This one happened to stay put for about three seconds.

The most obvious field mark is the scarlet stripe on the head. It is a small, stub tailed olive grey bird. It has a boldly striped face and wing bars.

Regulus satrapa

April 15, 2013

Le Conte's Sparrow

Le Conte's Sparrow by ricmcarthur
Le Conte's Sparrow, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
This was a rare visitor at Rondeau two years ago.

I like the appearance of the water in the background.

It is mainly a western bird seen on the prairies and boggy fields.

It caused quite a stir and was a one day wonder.

It has a bright orange eyebrow and a buffy breast, a white median crown stripe and strong stripes on the back.

Ammodramus leconteii

April 14, 2013

snapping turtle

snapping turtle by ricmcarthur
snapping turtle, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
A snapper in the hand is a handful.
Never pick up a turtle by its tail, particularly a snapper as you could break the spine.

The snapping turtle is the largest freshwater turtle in Canada.

The snapping turtle is Ontario’s most prehistoric-looking turtle species. Its long tail has a series of triangular spikes along the top that are reminiscent of those of a stegosaurus. The carapace (upper shell) is tan or olive to black in colour, has a coarsely serrated anterior (front) edge and three longitudinal ridges, and is often covered with algae. The plastron (lower shell) is very small. The maximum length of the carapace in this species is 47 centimetres.

Chelydra serpentina


April 12, 2013

Great horned owl chicks

Great horned owl chicks by ricmcarthur
Great horned owl chicks, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
In a small, and I do mean small, woodlot on the north side of Chatham, a pair of great horned owls have successfully reared a pair of chicks.
The nest is about 12 feet up in a broken tree.
The parents were keeping watch in the tall trees nearby.
Very poor light and rain. Hope to go back on the weekend when they are forecasting better weather.
We are hoping no one harasses the chicks and they get to fledge.

bubo vriginianus

April 11, 2013

White-breasted nuthatch

White-breasted nuthatch by ricmcarthur
White-breasted nuthatch, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
I love the positions these birds get into. Looks like they are doing yoga.
It is a small bird, just under 6 inches(15cm) in length. It has a black cap and beady black eyes on a white face.
They have a bit of chestnut colour on the undertail coverts.
The call is a distinctive ,nasal, yank,yank,yank.

We get them in our yard year round.

Sitta carolinensis

April 10, 2013

Who was that masked man?

Who was that masked man? by ricmcarthur
Who was that masked man?, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
The common yellow throat is one of my favourite warblers.The mask reminds me of the Lone Ranger. Are you old enough to remember the old TV series?
The common yellow throat has a black mask, yellow throat and upper breast.
geothlypis trichas

April 09, 2013

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow by ricmcarthur
Song Sparrow, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
Song sparrows usually return in the early spring and I think of them as a sign spring is here.

They are a mid sized sparrow with a long rounded tail and heavy streaking on the breast.
The streaking merges into a large central spot.

melospiza melodia

April 08, 2013

Leucistic mourning dove

Leucistic mourning dove by ricmcarthur
Leucistic mourning dove, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
We have had a mourning dove visit the yard a few times and it seems to be leucistic.
The dove in the background has the standard grey colouration.

Zenaida macroura

April 05, 2013

Cat in a bag.

Cat in a bag. by ricmcarthur
Cat in a bag., a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
Oz has claimed this shopping bag and when we put it in the recycling he goes into the recycling and sits on it, so out it comes.

April 03, 2013

April 02, 2013

Play Ball

Play Ball by ricmcarthur
Play Ball, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
He knocked the cover right off the ball.
Actually it is the nest of a Baltimore oriole made from an old seed bag we put out for nesting material.
The orioles weave a sock like nest about 3-4 inches deep with a small opening on the top.
The female will lay 3-7 eggs with an incubation period of 11-14 days.

Baltimore oriole - icterus galbula