September 28, 2015

Cape May warbler- fall migration

The fall migration is continuing with low numbers of birds but good variety of species.
We had 10 species of warblers yesterday including Cape May warblers.

Setophaga tigrina

The tongue of the Cape May Warbler is unique among warblers. It is curled and semitubular, and is used to collect nectar during winter.

September 27, 2015

So, why do they call it a yellow rump?

Lots of yellow rumped warblers around today and no two of them look alike.

Setophaga coronata 

Male Yellow-rumped Warblers tend to forage higher in trees than females do.

September 25, 2015

Monarch butterfly in the garden, late August.

Danaus plexippus

North American monarchs are the only butterflies that make such a massive journey—up to 3,000 miles (4,828 kilometers). The insects must begin this journey each fall ahead of cold weather, which will kill them if they tarry too long.

September 24, 2015

He decided he didn't like sushi.

This rusty blackbird played with the fish for a few minutes then dropped it.


Not sure what it was trying to do with it.

Euphagus carolinus

The Rusty Blackbird feeds mostly on insects and plant matter, but it sometimes attacks and eats other birds. It has been documented feeding on sparrows, robins, and snipe, among others.
source- Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

September 23, 2015

Bookends.

While out birding on the boat we came across a pair of American Avocets on a sandbar in the bay.

A rare visitor to our area. Also picked up a rusty blackbird, flying soras,egrets, great blues and a calling virginia rail.

Recurvirostra americana

American Avocet chicks leave the nest within 24 hours after hatching. Day-old avocets can walk, swim, and even dive to escape predators. source 0 Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

September 22, 2015

Over the marsh

Belted kingfisher flying over the marsh at Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada .


Megaceryle alcyon
Pleistocene fossils of Belted Kingfishers (to 600,000 years old) have been unearthed in Florida, Virginia, Tennessee, and Texas. The oldest known fossil in the kingfisher genus is 2 million years old, found in Alachua County, Florida. source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

September 20, 2015

Today was Monarch Butterfly Festival at Rondeau Provincial Park.


Among other things you could adopt a butterfly which included tagging and releasing a butterfly.
The tag is put on the underside of the hind wing and weighs about 1/40th of the weight of that wing.
These monarchs will migrate all the way to Mexico.
North American monarchs are the only butterflies that make such a massive journey—up to 3,000 miles (4,828 kilometers)

Danaus plexippus

September 17, 2015

Sharp-shinned hawk

Yesterday a male sharppie hit the living room window but managed to fly away.
A few minutes later we found it sitting on a log at the side ofthe house.



We watched it, from a distance for about 5 minutes.
It hopped off the log and went to the side of the house and it walked to the back corner near my photo blind.












It hunkered down there for several hours. We watched through the windows hoping it would fly away.
After talking with the local bird rehabilitator we captured the hawk just before dark and kept it in a ventilated box overnight with the hope of releasing it in the morning.
Unfortunately it didn't survive until morning.

Accipiter striatus 

September 15, 2015

Against the sun.

Hard shot against a bright sky but, you take what you can get.



We saw this pileated woodpecker at Tawas State Park in Michigan while attending The Midwest Birding Symposium in Bay City Michigan over the weekend.
Had a good time, met up with some old friends and made some new ones.
The birding in the was excellent.

Egrets, I've had a few.

Nineteen in this photo. There were more than 40 in the immediate area but I couldn't fit them in without making them look like snow flakes.


We were at the Midwest Birding Symposium for the past four days.
Saw this at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge near Saginaw Mi.
Ardea alba

September 14, 2015

Ringed-neck snake


A life Herp!




A researcher at Rondeau Provincial Park found a ringed-necked snake today.
Previously I had only seen road killed ringed-necks.

This time I had the opportunity to not only photograph it but to hold it.

So cool.

Ring-necked snakes are found in forested areas, including forest edges and clearings. These snakes are most common in areas with shallow soil and surface bedrock, where they are frequently found under rocks, logs or bark. They hibernate underground and will also retreat underground during especially warm weather. source - Ontario Nature.