April 30, 2015

On the rocks.



Killdeer nests are basically a  shallow scrape in the ground.
They will add rocks, sticks and bits of shells to the nest. This one is in the gravel at the edge of a parking area.
I took the photo from the vehicle and left the area quickly to avoid stressing the bird.

Charadrius vociferus

The Killdeer’s broken-wing act leads predators away from a nest, but doesn’t keep cows or horses from stepping on eggs. To guard against large hoofed animals, the Killdeer uses a quite different display, fluffing itself up, displaying its tail over its head, and running at the beast to attempt to make it change its path.

source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

April 29, 2015

Blackburnian warbler.



Not the best photo I've taken of this warbler species but a really nice surprise while walking a trail.

Five species of warblers have warblers have been seen in the last few days along with other spring migrants.

Setophaga fusca

No other North American warbler has an orange throat

The Blackburnian Warbler is territorial on its breeding grounds and solitary in the winter. It forms flocks only during migration.

source Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

April 28, 2015

Excavation



EXCAVATION

1
:  the action or process of excavating
2
:  a cavity formed by cutting, digging, or scooping

This is a hole made by a pileated woodpecker they are unique rectangular holes in the wood. T
he nest holes these birds make offer crucial shelter to many species including swifts, owls, ducks, bats, and pine martens.

Dryocopus pileatus

A Pileated Woodpecker pair stays together on its territory all year round. It will defend the territory in all seasons, but will tolerate new arrivals during the winter.

source Cornell Lab or Ornithology.

Levitation



Levitation (from Latin levitas "lightness") is the process by which an object is held aloft, without mechanical support, in a stable position.

White breasted nuthatch.

Sitta carolinensis

April 19, 2015

Heard but seldom seen

Generally speaking I find that I hear many more woodcock than I see.
At twilight you can see the flight but you can't really see the bird itself.

They have  large heads, short necks, and short tails which gives them a bulbous look.

Once they go to ground they can be really difficult to see.
I watched this one go into a clump of grass and still took a minute to find him.


The woodcock is also known as the timberdoodle, Labrador twister, night partridge, and bog sucker.

Scolopax minor 

April 05, 2015

Display behaviour.

I'm assuming this is a breeding/aggression display by a red breasted merganser.
There were  a number of males chasing each other.
The bird on the left lifted its tail, lowered its stomach and lifted its head.
This was followed by the merganser stretching his neck as long and tall as it could.

Mergus serrator 

source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

April 04, 2015

Way down the bay.



Rondeau Bay finally has open areas, just in time to provided a resting place for migrating tundra swans.
Most of the swans seem to have moved elsewhere but there were about 1,000 in the bay. They were approx. 1.5 miles from where I took this photo.
The tree line in the distance is the end of the bay and just past them is Lake Erie.

Cygnus columbianus
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae

During the breeding season the Tundra Swan sleeps almost entirely on land, but in the winter it sleeps more often on water.

source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

April 01, 2015

Drinking snow


We keep having late spring snow storms.
This common redpoll was "drinking" snow. Our small pond is open but rather than drink water he seemed to prefer the snow.

Acanthis flammea 

Redpolls have throat pouches for temporarily storing seeds. They may fill their pouches with seeds quickly then fly away to swallow the seeds in a more protected, warmer spot.