Showing posts from October, 2017

White throated sparrow.

One of several sparrow species that visited the yard this fall. White Throated Sparrow. Zonotrichia albicollis.
White-throated Sparrows stay near the ground, scratching through leaves in search of food, often in flocks. You may see them low in bushes as well, particularly in spring when they eat fresh buds. White-throated Sparrows sing their distinctive songs frequently, even in winter. source -

Blanding's turtle.

The turtles were out in good numbers grabbing a few rays when we were out on the boat the other day.
Since then the weather has turned, bir waves and cold temperatures so they are probably gone for the year.
I think it looks very prehistoric poking out of the weeds. Emydoidea blandingii
This species hibernates in the soft bottoms of water bodies. Particularly in the spring, the Blanding’s turtle basks on rocks, logs or substrates in sunny locations.

What acorn?

They are busy running
 around the yard gathering up all the acorns that are falling.

Tamias striatus

Great blue heon

Great Blue heron fly by while making its lovely call.
It is a lovely combination of a gronk, gag, and some one choking. For a recording go to
Ardea herodias The oldest recorded Great Blue Heron was found in Texas when it was at least 24 years, 6 months old source -

Blowin in the wind

Milkweed pods.

Native milkweeds (Asclepias spp.) are essential for monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) caterpillars and support a diversity of pollinators with their abundant nectar.

He was a good friend of mine.

Bullfrogs breed later than most other frogs, usually from mid-June to late July on warm, humid or rainy nights. The egg masses may contain up to 20,000 eggs and, when first laid, spread out over the surface of the water. Bullfrog tadpoles, which grow for up to three years before changing into frogs, eat suspended matter, organic debris, algae, plant tissue and small aquatic invertebrates.
source -…/repti…/american_bullfrog.php

Weather forecast- morning showers.

Chestnut sided warbler, Rondeau Provincial Park.
Setophaga pensylvanica 
On the wintering grounds in Central America the Chestnut-sided Warbler joins in mixed-species foraging flocks with the resident antwrens and tropical warblers. An individual warbler will return to the same area in subsequent years, joining back up with the same foraging flock it associated with the year before.
Source -…/Chestnut-sided_…/lifehistory

Ruddy duck

This duck reminds me of he bath time rubber ducky with its cocked tail and relatively large head. I think this bird was injured as it didn't climb of the mound and swim/fly away. It is duck hunting season.
Oxyura jamaicensis
Ruddy Ducks lay big, white, pebbly-textured eggs—the largest of all duck eggs relative to body size. Energetically expensive to produce, the eggs hatch into well-developed ducklings that require only a short period of care. source -

Birds of the pond series.

Lots of birds still coming to the pond including this Eastern Towhee.
Pipilo erythrophthalmus Eastern Towhees tend to be pretty solitary, and they use a number of threat displays to tell other towhees they’re not welcome. You may see contentious males lift, spread, or droop one or both wings, fan their tails, or flick their tails to show off the white spots at the corners. Studies have shown that male towhees tend to defend territories many times larger than needed simply to provide food. source -

Pied-billed grebe

This close and no closer.
It is always a challenge to try to figure out what the comfort zone of an animal is.
Ideally I try to get a photo without disturbing the subject.
We came a little too close for comfort with this pied-billed grebe.
Podilymbus podiceps
Part bird, part submarine, the Pied-billed Grebe is common across much of North America. These small brown birds have unusually thick bills that turn silver and black in summer. These expert divers inhabit sluggish rivers, freshwater marshes, lakes, and estuaries. They use their chunky bills to kill and eat large crustaceans along with a great variety of fish, amphibians, insects, and other invertebrates. Rarely seen in flight and often hidden amid vegetation, Pied-billed Grebes announce their presence with loud, far-reaching calls.
source -

Juvenile Yellow Bellied Sapsucker.

This young sapsucker came to the pond for a minute then left without drinking or bathing.
Probably had something to do with the 3 blue jays that came in squawking loudly.
Sphyrapicus varius 
The sapwells made by Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers attract hummingbirds, which also feed off the sap flowing from the tree. In some parts of Canada, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds rely so much on sapwells that they time their spring migration with the arrival of sapsuckers. Other birds as well as bats and porcupines also visit sapsucker sapwells.
source -…/Yellow-bellied_…/lifehistory

Rusty Blackbird.

Another photo from the pontoon boat. Normally we see groupings or rusty blackbirds, this day just one. It's a start.
Euphagus carolinus Like most members of the blackbird family, the Rusty Blackbird undergoes only one molt per year. The change in appearance between winter and summer results from the rust-colored feather tips of "winter plumage" wearing off and leaving behind the smooth black or gray "breeding plumage." source -

Yellow-rumped warbler.

Yellow rumped warbler.
Whe yellow rumps show up it is usually a sign that the fall migration is coming to a close.
They aren't here in big numbers but that will change.
Setophaga coronata 
Male Yellow-rumped Warblers tend to forage higher in trees than females do.
source -…/Yellow-rumped_W…/lifehistory

Tufted titmouse.

We have at least two titmice coming into the feeders and the pond. They have been around but not frequent visitors this summer.
Baeolophus bicolor Unlike many chickadees, Tufted Titmouse pairs do not gather into larger flocks outside the breeding season. Instead, most remain on the territory as a pair. Frequently one of their young from that year remains with them, and occasionally other juveniles from other places will join them. Rarely a young titmouse remains with its parents into the breeding season and will help them raise the next year's brood. source-