Showing posts from January, 2018

Male common goldeneye duck.

Another of the ducks we saw in Windsor last week. Odd looking isn't he.

Bucephala clangula

Goldeneye chicks leave the nest just one day after they hatch. The first step can be a doozy, with nests placed in tree cavities up to 40 feet high. As the female stands at the base of the tree and calls, the downy chicks jump from the nest hole one after the other and tumble to the ground.
source -…/Common_Goldeneye/lifehistory

Hooded merganser.

Pair of male hooded mergansers seen in the Detroit River at Windsor.
Lophodytes cucullatus
Hooded Mergansers find their prey underwater by sight. They can actually change the refractive properties of their eyes to improve their underwater vision. In addition, they have an extra eyelid, called a “nictitating membrane,” which is transparent and helps protect the eye during swimming, like a pair of goggles.
source -…/Hooded_Merganser/lifehistory

A new breed, the Fish Headed Duck.

A female common merganser working on lunch.

Almost looks like she has Mickey Mouse ears.

Mergus merganser
Common Mergansers are sometimes called sawbills, fish ducks, or goosanders. The word “merganser” comes from the Latin and roughly translates to “plunging goose”—a good name for this very large and often submerged duck.
source -…/Common_Merganser/lifehistory

Does he look like a "green head"?

Being partially colour blind I like that mallard males heads change from green to purple depending  on the light.

Welcome to my confusing colour spectrum.

Anas platyrhynchos

The Mallard is the ancestor of nearly all domestic duck breeds (everything except the Muscovy Duck). Domestic ducks can be common in city ponds and can be confusing to identify—they may lack the white neck ring, show white on the chest, be all dark, or show oddly shaped crests on the head.

Waiting on a turtle.

This is from a few summers ago during a release of turtle hatchlings.

The researcher is patiently waiting for the hatchlings to move into the water before leaving them on their own.

What pink nose?

Spotted this young Virginia Opossum near the recycling bins.

Didelphis virginiana
There are several dozen different species of opossum, which are often called possums in North America. The most notable is the Virginia opossum or common opossum—the only marsupial (pouched mammal) found in the United States and Canada.

Waves and waves of ice.

What a difference a season can make.


Seems everyone but me has been posting snowy owl photos.
This is the first one I've been able to get this season.

Bubo scandiacus
The Snowy Owl can be found represented in cave paintings in Europe.

Giving your cat a pill

By Bob Story
1) Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as though holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cats’ mouth and gently apply pressure to his cheeks. Cat will then close mouth and swallow. 2) Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Repeat process. 3) Retrieve cat from bedroom and throw away soggy pill. 4) Remove second pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly in left hand. Force jaws open, and push pill to back of throat with forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of 10 if you are able. Hold cat’s mouth closed as well. 5) Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and the cat form the top of wardrobe. Call for assistance. 6) Knell on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, immobilizing front and rear paws. Ask assistant to hold cat’s head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into cat’s throat. Flick pill down ruler with forefinger, and rub cat’s throat vigorously. 7) Retrieve cat from living r…

Snow-bellied Woodpecker.

Red-bellied woodpecker, Rondeau Provincial Park, January 13, 2018.

The birds in the yard were all frozen including this red-bellied woodpecker, we assume there was a raptor nearby.
Snow fell and coated the red-belly as it hung on.
After 5 minutes the birds started moving again.
Photo taken through the Wonderful Wildlife Window.

Melanerpes carolinus
A Red-bellied Woodpecker can stick out its tongue nearly 2 inches past the end of its beak. The tip is barbed and the bird’s spit is sticky, making it easier to snatch prey from deep crevices. Males have longer, wider-tipped tongues than females, possibly allowing a breeding pair to forage in slightly different places on their territory and maximize their use of available food.
source -


Look closely and you will see a blue jay under the owl and a feather on the owls beak.
Blue jays like to mob long eared owls, actually all owls, and perhaps this one paid the price.
Asio otus Long-eared Owls are lanky owls that often seem to wear a surprised expression thanks to long ear tufts that typically point straight up like exclamation marks. These nocturnal hunters roost in dense foliage, where their camouflage makes them hard to find, and forage over grasslands for small mammals. Long-eared Owls are nimble flyers, with hearing so acute they can snatch prey in complete darkness. In spring and summer, listen for their low, breathy hoots and strange barking calls in the night.
source -

The sapsucker tree.

We have one tree the yellow-bellied sapsuckers love. They have been working it over for at least 15 years. If you look closely you can see the holes in the bark.
Sphyrapicus varius The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is the only woodpecker in eastern North America that is completely migratory. Although a few individuals remain throughout much of the winter in the southern part of the breeding range, most head farther south, going as far south as Panama. Females tend to migrate farther south than do males. source -

Remember when it was warm?

Northern Flicker, Rondeau Provincial Park.

Colaptes auratus

Like most woodpeckers, Northern Flickers drum on objects as a form of communication and territory defense. In such cases, the object is to make as loud a noise as possible, and that’s why woodpeckers sometimes drum on metal objects. One Northern Flicker in Wyoming could be heard drumming on an abandoned tractor from a half-mile away.
source -…/Northern_Flicker/lifehistory