Showing posts from August, 2017

Wilson's warbler

The fall warbler migration is underway in our yard. This is a male Wilson's warbler waiting its turn at the pond.
Cardellina pusilla Wilson’s Warblers dance around willow and alder thickets, often near water, to the rapid beat of their chattering song. This bright yellow warbler with a black cap is one of the smallest warblers in the Canada and among the most recognizable. They rarely slow down, dashing between shrubs, grabbing insects from one leaf after another, and popping up on low perches to sing.
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Black-crowned night heron

While out on the pontoon we came across this night heron feeding along the edge of the marsh.
Nycticorax nycticorax Young Black-crowned Night-Herons leave the nest at the age of 1 month but cannot fly until they are 6 weeks old. They move through the vegetation on foot, joining up in foraging flocks at night. source-


Hickory tussock caterpillar.
Interestingly these caterpillars are poisonous. I found this one dangling from a silk(?) thread like a spider.
Difficult photo as it was swinging in the wind.

If handled the caterpillar can leave behind venom that can cause a rash similar to that caused by nettles or poison ivy. Symptoms can range from slight reddening of the skin to a burning sensation with swelling and pain. Some people may experience an allergic reaction which could include nausea.

Spring peeper

Anne found this spring peeper in the front garden. It is about 1.5 inches long and it was down in the plants.
Pseudacris crucifer
The blood chemistry of the spring peeper allows it to withstand temperatures up to a few degrees below zero without freezing to death, which explains why this species is one of the earliest frogs to begin calling in the spring. The female lays between 800 and 1,000 eggs, singly or in small groups. The tadpoles hatch in one to two weeks and complete their metamorphosis within three months.
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Who ate the orchid.

Katydid. Sorry.
Katydid Tettigoniidae Also called the “northern katydid,” the true katydid is in the family of long-horned grasshoppers, though it is more closely related to crickets. The species is leaf green and grows to one and a half to two inches in length. Found from Ontario south to Florida, west to Texas and Kansas, the true katydid primarily inhabits the crowns of deciduous trees in forests, parks and yards. Because it only inhabits deciduous trees and is mostly flightless, populations are discontinuous. source -

First year Cape May warbler.

This warbler has been hanging around the yard for 4-5 days now. Seems to like grapes and peanut butter suet. Maybe it would like a p&j sandwich.
Setophaga tigrina Striking in appearance but poorly understood, the species spends its winters in the West Indies, collecting nectar with its unique curled, semitubular tongue.

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 spiniferaIn 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

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.

Snapping turtle

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

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. source -…/Mourning_Dove/lifehistory

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.

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 -