had a northern shrike come into the yard at least three times today. The
first indication was the mad scramble by small birds to get away. He
made what looked like half hearted attempts to catch one of the
siskins that are mobbing our feeders. At
one point it called which sounds like rapid rasping "aak-aak" Lanius
predatory songbird, the Northern Shrike breeds in taiga and tundra
and winters in southern Canada and the northern United States. It
feeds on small birds, mammals, and insects, sometimes impaling them
on spines or barbed wire fences.
male and female Northern Shrikes sing throughout year. The male sings
especially in late winter and early spring.
I have no idea what type of bee this is but it is busily doing its pollination work.
If you look closely you will see aphids on the stem of the flower going about their business of sucking fluids from the plant.
Noooo. You knew where we were going. Now everything looks the same and we are going to be late for the hatchling party.
Apalone spinifera spinifera
The Spiny Softshell is also known as the "pancake turtle" because of its rather flat, round, leathery upper shell, or carapace. The long neck and elongated, tubular snout allow this turtle to breathe while almost fully submerged and virtually unseen. Softshells ambush prey by lying concealed in bottom mud.
Yesterday this was open water, it froze overnight.
The far shore is about 6km, 3
+ miles, away.
The clouds represent more snow coming in.
At least we are better off than Buffalo N.Y. at the other end of Lake Erie.
They have received over 4 feet , well over a meter,of snow in two days and are expecting another two feet.
Temperatures are far below freezing and it is only November.
How do you like the colours on my bill.
Pretty cool, eh?
Despite their impressive size, Great Blue Herons weigh only 5 to 6 pounds thanks in part to their hollow bones—a feature all birds share.
The oldest Great Blue Heron, based on banding recovery, was 24 years old.
We saw this bird waaayyyy off the beaten track while we were in Spain. We were so far off there wasn't a track, just a few ruts through a field.
He was doing a mating display, jumping up and spreading his wings.
Our guide was impressive, he knew exactly where to go to get virtually every bird we wanted to see.
Breeds in open terrain vegetation tall enough to give it cover.
The weather here is turning into winter. The temperature is dropping rapidly and the forecast is for rain/snow.
I need a touch of summer.
This was taken last May in the middle of spring migration.
The scientific name Tyrannus means “tyrant, despot, or king,” referring to the aggression kingbirds exhibit with each other and with other species. When defending their nests they will attack much larger predators like hawks, crows, and squirrels. They have been known to knock unsuspecting Blue Jays out of trees.
The oldest Eastern Kingbird on record was 10 years, 1 month old.
A greater scaup in the foreground and a bufflehead the back, both in beautiful plumage.
Greater Scaup -Aythya marila
Medium-sized diving duck.
Bill bluish with black tip.
Bufflehead -Bucephala albeola
Bufflehead are very small, compact ducks with large, rounded heads and short, wide bills.
The Bufflehead nests almost exclusively in holes excavated by Northern Flickers and, on occasion, by Pileated Woodpeckers.
Not a big storm on Lake Erie but a steady 35 km wind built up the waves.
They pounded the east shore of the park for two days.
Our living room window faces east and it is all windows.
We could feel the temperature drop, a sample of what winter will bring.
We had about 70 pine siskins show up at our feeders today and then they descended on the pond.
At one point there were 10 in the two small ponds.
It was so crowded that they were hovering waiting for a space to land.
Flocks of tiny Pine Siskins may monopolize your thistle feeder one winter and be absent the next. This nomadic finch ranges widely and erratically across the continent each winter in response to seed crops.
Pine Siskins can temporarily store seeds totaling as much as 10% of their body mass in a part of their esophagus called the crop. The energy in that amount of food could get them through 5–6 nighttime hours of subzero temperatures.
A small flock of Canada geese and a few caspian terns were flying around at the end of September getting ready to head south for the winter.
Wish we could follow but we repaired the septic system this year.
I guess we will stay home and use it.
The oldest known wild Canada Goose was 30 years 4 months old.