May 30, 2016

Singing Kentucky warbler.

Rondeau Provincial Park, May 30/16

Thanks to Steve Charbonneau who knocked on the door this morning and asked if we would like to see a Kentucky warbler.
Obviously we said yes.
Steve took us right to it and it sat in the open signing away.


Thanks Steve.

Geothlypis formosa

Unlike most songbirds, a male Kentucky Warbler appears to sing only one song type. He will sing the same one throughout his life. Although counter-singing males do not match each other's song types the way many bird species do, a male may match the pitch of a competitor's song.
source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology

May 29, 2016

Horned grebe take off.

Rondeau Provincial Park, May 27/16


Sorry folks I labeled this as an eared grebe when it actually is a horned grebe.

May 27, 2016

Against the sun.

Heard this Veery before I saw it.
Love their call.
Rondeau Provincial Park

Catharus fuscescens

A study of migration using radio telemetry showed that the Veery can fly up to 285 km (160 mi) in one night, and that it can fly at altitudes above 2,000 m (1.2 mi).

May 26, 2016

Rudy turnstone.

They come by their name honestly, they often forage by turning over stones and other objects.
On the south beach at Rondeau Provincial Park, May 19/16

Arenaria interpres

The oldest recorded Ruddy Turnstone was a female, and at least 14 years, 11 months old, when she was recaptured and rereleased during a scientific study in New Jersey.
source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

May 25, 2016

Cape May warbler

Another of our spring migrants.
Some warblers are rather plain but the Cape May is one of the more colourful birds.

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.

May 24, 2016

Black bellied plovers in flight.

Another of the shore birds we saw at Rondeau while out on the boat.
South beach near Erieau.


Pluvialis squatarola

Wary and quick to give alarm calls, the Black-bellied Plover functions worldwide as a sentinel for mixed groups of shorebirds. These qualities allowed it to resist market hunters, and it remained common when populations of other species of similar size were devastated.
source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology

May 23, 2016

Black Tern

Another shot from the pontoon.


We were out looking for whimbrel, which we found and I will post another day, when we saw a black tern.
It posed so nicely that I took about 130 photos.
We usually see a few each year some where on Rondeau Bay.

Chlidonias niger

The Black Tern is very social. It breeds in loose colonies and usually forages, roosts,and migrates in flocks of a few to more than 100 birds, occasionally up to tens of thousands.
source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

May 22, 2016

Short billed dowitchers.

While out on our pontoon boat we came across a flock of short billed dowitchers bathing, grooming, eating and sleeping at Rondeau Provincial Park.

Twice the were put up by turkey vultures cruising low over the south beach.

Limnodromus griseus
Although both sexes share incubation of the eggs, only the male takes care of the young once they hatch.
source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

May 20, 2016

Imagine my surprise.

I thought I was taking a photo of a wood thrush, turns out it was an ovenbird.

Bonus.
Rondeau Provincial Park.

Seiurus aurocapilla

Neighboring male Ovenbirds sing together. One male starts singing, and the second will join in immediately after. They pause, and then sing one after the other again, for up to 40 songs. The second joins in so quickly that they may sound from a distance as if only one bird is singing. Ovenbirds rarely overlap the song of their neighbors.
source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology

May 19, 2016

The flasher

This Wilson's warbler has flashing his wings for some reason.
Made for an interesting show.



They always make me think of someone with a bad toupee.

Cardellina pusilla

The Wilson's Warbler trends toward brighter, richer coloration from the eastern part of the range to the west. The Pacific coast populations have the brightest yellow, even orangish, foreheads and faces. Western-central and Alaskan birds are slightly larger than the eastern and Pacific coast populations.
source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

May 18, 2016

Local rock star.

Prothonotary warblers are fairly rare in Canada. Not much habitat for them.
We regularly see them at Rondeau Provincial Park


Protonotaria citrea

The name "Prothonotary" refers to clerks in the Roman Catholic church, whose robes were bright yellow.

May 17, 2016

His favourite take out restaurant.

I think this tree might be a favourite haunt of the pileated woodpeckers in the neighbourhood.


Heavily cropped due to the distances involved.

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 of Ornithology.

May 16, 2016

Screw off, eh.

Not happy to see us.
This owl nest is well hidden in a willow tree.
We approached by boat. We didn't stay long as we were getting the evil eye.


Bubo virginianus
When clenched, a Great Horned Owl’s strong talons require a force of 28 pounds to open. The owls use this deadly grip to sever the spine of large prey.
source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

May 14, 2016

Whip-poor-will

Eastern whip-poor-will at Rondeau Provincial Park, May 14/16, on South Point Trail.

Sitting on a small branch behind a wall of twigs. Lots of people had an opportunity to view a bird that is more often heard than seen.
Antrostomus vociferus
Eastern Whip-poor-wills lay their eggs in phase with the lunar cycle, so that they hatch on average 10 days before a full moon. When the moon is near full, the adults can forage the entire night and capture large quantities of insects to feed to their nestlings.
source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

May 13, 2016

Fire throat

This blackburnian warbler was stretching for a bug this morning at Rondeau Provincial Park.


Despite being Friday the 13th we had a great day birding, we saw 25 warbler species and heard one more.

Setophaga fusca
No other North American warbler has an orange throat.
source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

May 12, 2016

Yellow billed cuckoo

So you take the temporary trail behind maintenance and then take the temporary loop. At the end take the little footpath down past two small logs and two large logs that cross the foot path.
At the third log stop and turn left and the bird is right there.
And it was.

Coccyzus americanus

Yellow-Billed Cuckoos don’t lay their eggs all at once: the period between one egg to the next can stretch to as long as five days. This “asynchronous” egg laying means the oldest chick can be close to leaving the nest when the youngest is just hatching. When food is in short supply the male may remove the youngest bird from the nest, though unlike their relative the Greater Roadrunner, they don’t feed them to the older siblings.
source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology

May 11, 2016

Claiming a territory

Yellow warblers are a common sight this time of year at Rondeau.
This one was either claiming a territory or calling for a mate.



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.

May 10, 2016

Black throated blue warbler.

The gentleman warbler with a hanky in his pocket.


This is Anne's favourite warbler, she finds it elegant.
As far as I can tell it is eating an ant.

Setophaga caerulescens

The sexes of the Black-throated Blue Warbler look so different that they were originally described as two different species.
source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

May 09, 2016

Magnolia warbler

 Rondeau Provincial Park, May 7/16


Setophaga magnolia .
Though it has very specific habitat preferences in the breeding season, the Magnolia Warbler occupies a very broad range of habitats in winter: from sea level to 1,500 meters elevation, and most landscape types, except cleared fields.
source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

May 08, 2016

Hooded warbler

One we don't see every year.


Skulking in the underbrush at Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Setophaga citrina

May 06, 2016

Immature orchare oriole

First orchard oriole of the year in our yard. He and a red headed woodpecker took turns eating the oranges.

Icterus spurius

The oldest Orchard Oriole on record was a male, and at least 11 years old when he was recaptured and released during banding operations in Maryland in 2012.
source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology

May 05, 2016

Excavate -to make hollow by removing the inner part; make a hole or cavity in; form into a hollow, as by digging

A pair of chickadees were busy excavating a nest in a small tree at Rondeau yesterday.

Not many birds migrating through yet so it was nice to have something to watch.

Poecile atricapillus

According to Cornell Lab of Ornithology every autumn Black-capped Chickadees allow brain neurons containing old information to die, replacing them with new neurons so they can adapt to changes in their social flocks and environment even with their tiny brains.
Not sure how Cornell knows that.

May 04, 2016

That's a mouth full

We have several grape feeders out for grosbeaks, red bellied woodpeckers, orioles and robins.
This rose breasted grosbeak managed to pull one right out.



side note - had our first hummingbird of the season this evening.

Pheucticus ludovicianus

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks build such flimsy nests that eggs are often visible from below through the nest bottom.
source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

May 03, 2016

White necked jacobin, Tandayapa, Ecuador.

I have hundreds if not thousands of hummingbird photos from our trip. Trying to match them to the field guide, major chore.


Florisuga mellivora

The White-necked Jacobin can be found in a variety of habitats from humid forest canopies, to tall second growth forests, and even in coffee and cacao plantations.
source- The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Neotropical Birds.

May 01, 2016

Flame faced tanager.


 Seen at Tandayapa Ecuador.


One thing we noticed about this bird was the vivid difference in colour between the species on the west side of the Andes versus those on the Amazon side.
Both were very striking but the east side birds had much more red on the face.
Tangara parzudakii
There are three subspecies of the Flame-faced Tanager, described based mostly on minor differences in plumage. The species is typically found from 1000-2600 m and is most numerous above 1500 m.
source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

White eyed vireo

Very slow day at Rondeau.
Did see a pair of pileated woodpeckers which was a treat.


Saw this vireo foraging down on the ground which is unusual in our experience.
Not a lot of insects around for these guys.

Vireo griseus

The White-eyed Vireo bathes by rubbing against wet foliage.

source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.