Showing posts from November, 2015

Flying squirrels, flying car.

We have flying squirrels most nights at a feeder we put out just them.
It is just outside the sliding doors that go to the deck.

Crash is fascinated by the squirrels and watches for them to come off the roof and onto the feeder.
He jumps higher than this, I caught him most of the up.

Northern shrike.

For the past two years we have had a northern shrike stop by the yard to check out the feeder birds.
We haven't seen him take anything or have him come to the pond for a drink or bath.

Lanius excubitor

The Northern Shrike, like other shrikes, kills more prey, if it can, than it can immediately eat or feed to nestlings. Such behavior was characterized by early observers as "wanton killing," but the Northern Shrike stores excess prey to eat later. Storing food is an adaptation for surviving periods of food scarcity. source - Cornell Lab or Ornithology.

Fox sparrow

We tend to get these birds passing through in the spring and for a short time in the fall.
They are a large, heavily streaked sparrow.
Taken through the living room window.

Passerella iliaca

Fox Sparrow fossils from the Pleistocene (about 11,000 years ago) have been found in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and at the La Brea tar pits in California.

...and stretch.

Looks like this magnolia warbler is doing exercises, or maybe looking for predators.
Taken in May 2015 at our little water feature.

Setophaga magnolia

The name of the species was coined in 1810 by Alexander Wilson, who collected a specimen from a magnolia tree in Mississippi. He actually used the English name "Black-and-yellow Warbler" and used "magnolia" for the Latin species name, which became the common name over time. source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Does this pond make me look fat?

Another in the flicker in the pond series.
Looks like he has tripled his size. Maybe he's a Chia-pet.
Colaptes auratus

The runner

This five lined skink was running through the grass near the pond in our yard back in 2011.
They are Ontario's only lizard.

Plestiodon fasciatus

The five-lined skink is a smooth, slender lizard that can grow to 21 centimetres in length, but most individuals are much smaller. Their coloration varies with age. Juveniles and young adult females are glossy black with five cream stripes down the back and a bright blue or blue-grey tail. Males and older females gradually fade to a more uniform bronze, although often the stripes are still visible. Males in breeding condition have a bright orange chin and jaw.
source - Ontario Nature

Someone has been sitting in my chair.

A yellow warbler took over my lawn chair and didn't seem inclined to leave.
It looked so lovely in the morning sun that I used another chair that was in the shade.

Setophaga petechia

Life can be dangerous for a small bird. Yellow Warblers have occasionally been found caught in the strands of an orb weaver spider’s web. source- Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Eastern meadowlark

This is an Eastern meadowlark    that we saw in Texas back in 2012 at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge.

Sturnella magna

The oldest known wild Eastern Meadowlark was at least 8 years, 8 months old.

Caspian tern

Love the big carrot like bill on the caspian tern.

Hard to get the black eye on a black head, maybe next time.
Taken Aug 31 on Rondeau Bay.

Hydroprogne caspia

The oldest known wild Caspian Tern lived to be more than 26 years old. Average life span of Great Lakes Caspian Terns is estimated to be 12 years.
source- Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

.. and that's why they call it a black-throated green.

Some bird names don't make a lot of sense, however, the black-throated green warbler is well named.
Taken at Rondeau May 2010.

With it's green head and black throat it is one of the easier warblers to identify.

Setophaga virens

The male Black-throated Green Warbler sings persistently during the breeding season. One individual was observed singing 466 songs in one hour.

Still flying.

I'm not used to seeing dragonflies around this late in the fall. I saw several this morning and this one landed long enough for a photo. I think it is a Autumn  Meadowhawk, but don't quote me.
This is from our Texas trip in 2012.
Somewhere along the gulf coast.

Pelecanus occidentalis

While the Brown Pelican is draining the water from its bill after a dive, gulls often try to steal the fish right out of its pouch—sometimes while perching on the pelican's head.

The oldest Brown Pelican on record was 43 years of age.
We saw this heron in Texas 3 years ago.
It was roosting with roseate spoonbills.

Nyctanassa violacea

An unexpected find

I don't think of butterflies in November.
I think of November as cold,wet,dreary and the beginning of winter.
Definitely not butterfly season.

We have seen monarchs the last three days but they wouldn't cooperate with the camera.

This is a Mourning Cloak butterfly,nymphalis antiopa.

Overwintered adults mate in the spring, the males perching in sunny openings during the afternoon to wait for receptive females. Eggs are laid in groups circling twigs of the host plant. Caterpillars live in a communal web and feed together on young leaves, then pupate and emerge as adults in June or July. source - Butterflies and Moths of North America.

In search of a rare bird.

We had a Townsend's Solitaire at Rondeau on Sunday.
We went looking for it this morning but didn't find it.
We did find a flock of about 50 cedar waxwings which was a nice treat.

Bombycilla cedrorum

Building a nest takes a female Cedar Waxwing 5 to 6 days and may require more than 2,500 individual trips to the nest. They occasionally save time by taking nest materials from other birds’ nests, including nests of Eastern Kingbirds, Yellow-throated Vireos, orioles, robins, and Yellow Warblers. source- Cornell Lab or Ornithology.


Like the other mergansers, these fish-feeding ducks have serrated edges to their bills to help them grip their prey, so they are often known as "sawbills".

 Mergus serrator

I didn't do it! Katy did it.

Angle-winged Katydid on the bell on my bike.

Microcentrum rhombifolium