August 21, 2017

First step, get a foot out/up.

Checked in with the turtle recovery team and there were a number of turtles hatching out including this soft shelled turtle.

Apalone spinifera

In Canada, females of this species may take more than 10 years to mature. Spiny softshells mate in spring, usually in deep water, and nest in June and July in open sandy or gravelly areas close to water. Females lay up to 36 eggs, though the typical clutch size is around 20

August 19, 2017

Banding hummingbirds.

We hummingbird banders at the cottage yesterday.
Caught and banded 6 ruby throated hummingbirds.
This will give you an idea of just how small a hummingbird band is.

August 14, 2017

Snapping turtle

First turtle hatchling release of the season for me.
These are two snapping turtle hatchling.

Chelydra serpentina

In Ontario, females do not begin to breed until they are 17 to 19 years old. They dig a nest in late May or June in an open area, usually one with loose, sandy soil. The nest site is often the side of a road, an embankment or a shoreline, but the females will use almost any area they can excavate. A single clutch usually consists of between 40 and 50 eggs, which hatch in the fall. Hatchlings are two to three centimetres in length. The incubation temperature of the eggs determines the gender of the hatchlings.

source -

August 12, 2017

Northern Flicker.

He was sitting in a large tree about 100 feet up.
I thought it would come down to the pond for a drink.
It didn't.

Colaptes auratus
Northern Flickers generally nest in holes in trees like other woodpeckers. Occasionally, they’ve been found nesting in old, earthen burrows vacated by Belted Kingfishers or Bank Swallows.
source -

August 10, 2017

Happy Hour.

Mourning Dove, Rondeau Provincial Park, Aug 6, 2017
During the day mourning doves come in and have baths.
Later in the evening they just come in for a drink.

Zenaida macroura
Mourning Doves eat roughly 12 to 20 percent of their body weight per day, or 71 calories on average.

August 03, 2017

Ruby throated hummingbird.

Took this shot yesterday(?) for my friend Eileen in Scotland.

Archilochus colubris
Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are eastern North America’s only breeding hummingbird. But in terms of area, this species occupies the largest breeding range of any North American hummingbird.

August 01, 2017

Cedar waxwing.

Sat out in the yard and had an immature cedar waxwing come in. Had a bath and then continued on his way.

Bombycilla cedrorum
Many birds that eat a lot of fruit separate out the seeds and regurgitate them, but the Cedar Waxwing lets them pass right through. Scientists have used this trait to estimate how fast waxwings can digest fruits.
source -

July 30, 2017

Not much freeboard.

Not made for rough water.

Spotted this aquacar at Erieau Marina today. They were doing fine until the got to the main channel and encountered rough waters and inconsiderate boaters.
Not much freeboard on this contraption.
The turned back and cruised the marina before driving away.

July 26, 2017

Blanding's turtle.

Got out on the pontoon today, I even got to drive.
One of the things we saw was this Blanding's turtle sitting at the edge of the marsh.

Emydoidea blandingii
Blanding's Turtles live in shallow water, usually in large wetlands and shallow lakes with lots of water plants.

It is not unusual, though, to find them hundreds of metres from the nearest water body, especially while they are searching for a mate or traveling to a nesting site.

Blanding's Turtles hibernate in the mud at the bottom of permanent water bodies from late October until the end of April.
source -

July 24, 2017

Spring peeper.

Anne spotted this tiny spring peeper on a wire fence in the front yard.
Tiny thing, maybe 1"(2.4cm) in length.
It moved around from plant to plant.

Pseudacris crucifer
The tiny spring peeper is tan or light brown in colour with a darker X-shaped marking on the back. The largest peeper on record was a mere 3.7 centimetres long. The breeding call of this species is a single, loud, high-pitched peep repeated over and over. A full chorus can be deafening up close and can be heard over a kilometre away. In large choruses, peepers will also trill, advising other males to keep their distance.

July 23, 2017

Eastern Kingbird, Rondeau Provincial Park, June 2017

Delivering fruit to its young, probably a raspberry.

Tyrannus tyrannus
Parent Eastern Kingbirds feed their young for about seven weeks. Because of this relatively long period of dependence, a pair generally raises only one brood of young per nesting season.
source -…/Eastern_Kingbird/lifehistory

July 21, 2017

Red-headed woodpecker, immature.

Most of the adults have stopped feeding young birds.
It is fun to watch the youngsters try to figure out the feeders.
This is an immature redheaded woodpecker.

Melanerpes erythrocephalus
Immatures have gray-brown heads, and the white wing patches show rows of black spots near the trailing edge.
Adults have bright-red heads, white underparts, and black backs with large white patches in the wings, making the lower back appear all white when perched
source -

July 18, 2017

Immature male red winged blackbird.

Enjoying a bath on a hot day.
Not a large selection of birds around the yard these days but their is lots of activity.

Agelaius phoeniceus
Red-winged Blackbirds roost in flocks in all months of the year. In summer small numbers roost in the wetlands where the birds breed. Winter flocks can be congregations of several million birds, including other blackbird species and starlings. Each morning the roosts spread out, traveling as far as 50 miles to feed, then re-forming at night.
source -…/Red-winged_Blac…/lifehistory

July 17, 2017

When nature gives you wrens, you post wrens.

This is a Carolina Wren in the hedge in bad light.
Yes excuses, excuses.

Thryothorus ludovicianus

A pair bond may form between a male and a female at any time of the year, and the pair will stay together for life. Members of a pair stay together on their territory year-round, and forage and move around the territory together.

July 09, 2017

Who's a pretty boy?

Not me but that's okay.
Had two surgeons do a 7 hour open heart surgery on Tues July 4, now I'm back home.
Won't be doing much on flickr but don't forget about me , new photos coming.

July 03, 2017

A few yard visitors this morning

Sitting in the yard having coffee this morning.


Male and female cowbirds

Male rose breasted grosbeak

House finch - hitching a ride.

Ruby throated hummingbird- juggling breakfast.

White breasted nuthatch - male pattern baldness.

Red bellied woodpecker

Red-headed woodpecker


July 02, 2017

Magnificent Frigatebird, Leamington, Ontario, July 1, 2017

Like many birders from southwest Ontario we went to Leamington to see the magnificent frigatebird.
Very co-operative, sitting in the same tree it has been seen in for the past two days.
A big thank you to the homeowner who is allowing birders on to his property to get stellar views of this rare bird.
It has been seen flying and catching fish so, hopefully it will stay a while.
We saw one at Rondeau on July 2, 2012, and this one July 1, 2017.

Fregata magnificens
The male Magnificent Frigatebird abandons its mate and half-grown chick and leaves the breeding colony, presumably to molt and return for another breeding attempt with a different mate. The female cares for the young for over a year. This difference in parental care allows the male to breed each year while the female breeds only every other year.
source -…/Magnificent_Fri…/lifehistory

July 01, 2017

Tufted titmouse.

Obviously it isn't showing its crest/tuft, probably because it was having a bath.
This is the first time I can recall getting photos of a titmouse at the pond.

Baeolophus bicolor

Tufted Titmice hoard food in fall and winter, a behavior they share with many of their relatives, including the chickadees and tits. Titmice take advantage of a bird feeder’s bounty by storing many of the seeds they get. Usually, the storage sites are within 130 feet of the feeder. The birds take only one seed per trip and usually shell the seeds before hiding them.
source -

June 30, 2017

It is feeding time in the yard.

Lots of young birds being fed by adults.
These are hairy woodpeckers using the suet log as a take out restaurant.

Picoides villosus
Hairy Woodpeckers sometimes follow Pileated Woodpeckers, and sometimes appears when it hears the heavy sounds of a pileated excavating. As the pileated moves on, the Hairy Woodpecker investigates the deep holes, taking insects the pileated missed.
source -…/Hairy_Woodpecker/lifehistory

June 29, 2017

American robin having a frolic.

This is why I have to keep adding water to the pond.

Turdus migratorius
Although robins are considered harbingers of spring, many American Robins spend the whole winter in their breeding range. But because they spend more time roosting in trees and less time in your yard, you're much less likely to see them. The number of robins present in the northern parts of the range varies each year with the local conditions.
source -…/American_Robin/lifehistory

June 28, 2017

A really bad hair day.

Found this starling chick on the road.
Moved it to the sided, hope the adults can find it.

Not a fan of starlings, but one at a time they aren't bad for an invasive species.

Sturnus vulgaris
Starlings are great vocal mimics: individuals can learn the calls of up to 20 different species. Birds whose songs starlings often copy include the Eastern Wood-Pewee, Killdeer, meadowlarks, Northern Bobwhite, Wood Thrush, Red-tailed Hawk, American Robin, Northern Flicker, and many others.
source -

June 27, 2017

Disputed Territory.

Red winged blackbird and a Hairy woodpecker, Rondeau Provincial Park, June 26, 2017.

A red winged blackbird and a hairy woodpecker were having a dispute over the suet feeder in the yard yesterday.
The hairy won

June 26, 2017

Sagrada Familia

This is part of the skyline of Barcelona Spain.

The large cathedral just left of centre is The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família.
Construction was started in 1882 and is projected to be completed by 2026.

June 25, 2017

New and improved.

Needed a new a pump for the pond/stream which necessitated rearranging the rocks and bits and pieces.
At first I bought a 1500 gallon per hour pump. Quickly realized I wanted 1500 litre per hour pump.
The 1500 gph would have shot the water out of the pool and half way across the yard.
I don't think woodland birds like to surf.

Piranga olivacea
The female Scarlet Tanager sings a song similar to the male's, but softer, shorter, and less harsh. She sings in answer to the male's song and while she is gathering nesting material.
source -…/Scarlet_Tanager/lifehistory

June 22, 2017

The jelly thief.

We put out grape jelly for the orioles and it turns out that gray catbirds like it as well.
Not big enough to push orioles off, he just waits his turn. How Canadian.

Dumetella carolinensis
The Gray Catbird’s long song may last for up to 10 minutes.
source -

June 21, 2017

Hovering Jay.
A close relative of the Blue Jay.

We have a suet feeder for woodpeckers that blue jays ad grackles keep raiding.
It is a piece of log with holes drilled into it that is filled with homemade suet.

Woodpeckers can hold on and feed without problem. The jays have to hover and stab at the suet as this one is doing.

Cyanocitta cristata

The pigment in Blue Jay feathers is melanin, which is brown. The blue color is caused by scattering light through modified cells on the surface of the feather barbs.
source -

June 19, 2017

Blanding's turtle.

Went looking for a fawn a friend saw, missed it but found this Blanding's turtle near the parking lot of the trail.

Watched until it was safely across the road.

Emydoidea blandingii

Blanding's Turtles live in shallow water, usually in large wetlands and shallow lakes with lots of water plants.

It is not unusual, though, to find them hundreds of metres from the nearest water body, especially while they are searching for a mate or traveling to a nesting site.

Blanding's Turtles hibernate in the mud at the bottom of permanent water bodies from late October until the end of April.
source -

June 18, 2017

Map Turtles.

I was trying to think up a good title for this image.
I thought of something like
99 map turtles on the dock,
99 map turtles...

Didn't fit but now I've got 99 bottles of beer on the wall stuck in my head.
Is it yours now.
Misery loves company.
Graptemys geographica

Female northern map turtles may take more than 10 years to reach maturity. They nest from June through July and lay a single clutch of up to 17 eggs. They hatch in the fall, and in some cases the hatchlings overwinter in the nest. The incubation temperature of the eggs determines the gender of the hatchlings.

source -

June 17, 2017

June 16, 2017

American robin

Junior! I've told you to leave me alone when I'm having a bath. Go eat a worm or something.

Turdus migratorius
An American Robin can produce three successful broods in one year. On average, though, only 40 percent of nests successfully produce young. Only 25 percent of those fledged young survive to November. From that point on, about half of the robins alive in any year will make it to the next. Despite the fact that a lucky robin can live to be 14 years old, the entire population turns over on average every six years.
source -…/American_Robin/lifehistory

June 15, 2017

Ruby throated hummingbird.

Male ruby throated hummingbird, Rondeau Provincial Park, July 15, 2017

Usually see the female but this male has started coming into the feeder.

Archilochus colubris

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are eastern North America’s only breeding hummingbird. But in terms of area, this species occupies the largest breeding range of any North American hummingbird.

June 14, 2017

Bath time.

The sloughs are starting to dry up due to lack of rain. Mostly stagnant which the birds may not find appealing.
More traffic at the pond like this Baltimore Oriole.

Icterus galbula

Smaller and more slender than an American Robin, Baltimore Orioles are medium-sized, sturdy-bodied songbirds with thick necks and long legs. Look for their long, thick-based, pointed bills, a hallmark of the blackbird family they belong to.

source -

A new yard visitor.

Anne spotted an Eastern Fox Snake heading into our little pond.
A quick photo through the window was all I could get.
By the time I got outside it was in the heavy brush next to the yard.

New yard reptile.

Pantherophis gloydi

The eastern fox snake is the third-largest snake in Ontario and can reach a length of up to 1.7 metres, although most individuals are smaller. Its body is yellow to light brown with large, dark brown blotches down the back and two alternating rows of smaller blotches along the sides. This snake has a reddish brown head with dark bars around the eyes and a yellow chin. Its belly, which is also yellow, has alternating brown patches. The scales of this species are lightly keeled (ridged down the centre) and its anal plate is divided.
source -

June 12, 2017

Little wood satyr?

Not sure if this is a wood satyr or not but that is what we could in the field guide.
Lots of butterflies around the hop bush/tree in the yard.

June 11, 2017

Midge bloom.

This immature common grackle came into the pond which is saturated with midges.

Not sure if it had a drink of water or if it was the special of the day, Midge Soup.

Quiscalus quiscula

Common Grackles appear black from a distance, but up close their glossy purple heads contrast with bronzy-iridescent bodies. A bright golden eye gives grackles an intent expression. Females are slightly less glossy than males. Young birds are dark brown with a dark eye.
source -

June 10, 2017

In nature nothing goes to waste.

Not even waste.
This Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly was on the road at Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada.

Not sure what type of scat, such a polite word for poop, it was but there were half a dozen butterflies on it at one point.

Papilio glaucus
This unique species of swallowtail is a quick and strong flier, gliding when able. The males are a bright yellow, while the females can exhibit two different color forms; yellow and black and black and blue. The darker form is more common in the southern states.
source Garden with Wings.