Posts

Showing posts from March, 2018

Towhee

Image
An eastern towhee at our small pond.
Oct 3, 2017, Rondeau Provincial Park.
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 - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Eastern_Towhee/

Hooded warbler.

Image
Hooded warbler from spring 2016, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada.
About 6 weeks until prime time migration season. Setophaga citrina
The Hooded Warbler is strongly territorial on its wintering grounds. Males and females use different habitats: males in mature forest, and females in scrubbier forest and seasonally flooded areas. If a male is removed, a female in adjacent scrub will not move into the male's territory.
source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Hooded_Warbler/

A sign of spring.

Image
Woodcocks are back and are calling and displaying around the cottage.
This photo is from 2016 they are hard to find in the daylight.
Scolopax minor
Wouldn’t it be useful to have eyes in the back of your head? American Woodcocks come close—their large eyes are positioned high and near the back of their skull. This arrangement lets them keep watch for danger in the sky while they have their heads down probing in the soil for food.
source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Woodcock/

Whimbrel

Image
From a few years ago, whimbrel in flight at Rondeau Provincial Park.
Numenius phaeopus
Some migrating Whimbrels make a nonstop flight of 4,000 km (2,500 miles) from southern Canada or New England to South America.
source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Whimbrel/

Ruddy duck.

Image
Female ruddy duck near Rondeau Provincial Park, March 2018.
Oxyura jamaicensis
Ruddy Ducks are very aggressive toward each other and toward other species, especially during the breeding season. They are even known to chase rabbits feeding on the shore.
source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Ruddy_Duck/

Redhead.

Image
Another of the ducks in a flooded field just outside of Rondeau Provincial Park.
Aythya americana
Courting male Redheads perform a gymnastic “head throw” display, bending nearly in half with the neck bent far over the back until the head touches the tail. The bird then snaps its neck forward while giving a loud, catlike mee-ow call.
source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Redhead/

Horned grebe.

Image
The ice at a local dock/restaurant finally broke up and grebes are using the basin again. Located just outside of Rondeau Provincial Park.
Podiceps auritus A sleeping or resting Horned Grebe puts its neck on its back with its head off to one side and facing forward. It keeps one foot tucked up under a wing and uses the other one to maneuver in the water. Having one foot up under a wing makes it float with one "high" side and one "low" side. source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Horned_Grebe/

The chase.

Image
A male lesser scaup with a clump of zebra muscles is playing keep away with a male redhead duck who appears to be trying to steal his lunch. Lasalle Park Marina, Burlington, Feb 5, 2018
Aythya affinis
Lesser Scaup is the most abundant diving duck in North America, with a global breeding population estimated at 3.8 million.
source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Lesser_Scaup/

Snowy owl.

Image
Anne spotted 3 snowy owls, 1 eagle, assorted ducks and a muskrat while we were out birding today near Rondeau Provincial Park. South view of a northbound bird.
Bubo scandiacus
John James Audubon once saw a Snowy Owl lying at the edge of an ice hole, where it waited for fish and caught them using its feet.
source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Snowy_Owl/

Merlin, near Ridgetown, Ontario, March 14, 2018.

Image
We were out looking for tundra swans when I spotted this merlin at the same time Anne saw a dozen swans. We watched the merlin drop of the post and retrieve something, turned out to be a bird carcass, and return to the post.

Falco columbarius The name “Merlin” comes from esmerillon, the old French name for the species. Merlins used to be called “pigeon hawks” because in flight they look somewhat pigeon-like. Their species name, columbarius, is also a reference to pigeons.
source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Merlin/

Still waiting for spring.

Image
Tiger swallowtail butterfly from warmer times.
Papilio canadensis Eastern Tiger SwallowtailThe color of the eastern tiger swallowtail can vary. Males are yellow or yellow-orange with black tiger stripes. Their wings are bordered in black with yellow spots, and there are black "tiger stripes" running across the top of their wings. Their long black tails have blue patches on them. Eastern Tiger SwallowtailFemales can range in colour from the yellow of the male to an almost solid bluish-black. The black form the the eastern tiger swallowtail is most common in the southern part of its range in areas also inhabited by the pipevine swallowtail, a butterfly that has an unpleasant taste. The black form of the eastern tiger swallow tail may be an example of deceptive coloration using mimicry.
source - http://www.nhptv.org/natureworks/easterntiger.htm

Chestnut-sided warbler.

Image
I've been going through old photos and deleting the so-so ones.
During that process I'm seeing some old favourites like this warbler.
Setophaga pensylvanica
The Chestnut-sided Warbler sings two basic song types: one is accented at the end (the pleased-to-MEETCHA song), and the other is not. The accented songs are used primarily to attract a female and decrease in frequency once nesting is well under way. The unaccented songs are used mostly in territory defense and aggressive encounters with other males. Some males sing only unaccented songs, and they are less successful at securing mates than males that sing both songs.
source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Chestnut-sided_Warbler

Bath time

Image
Staying with a warm weather theme today, here's an enthusiastic warbler having a bath in the little pond.


Still snowing out there.

A summer scene.

Image
Tired of winter? I am. Here's a sora from warmer times. Along the marsh at Rondeau Provincial Park, August 2015.
Porzana carolina The Sora walks slowly through shallow wetlands a bit like a chicken that has had too much coffee, nervously flicking its tail and exposing the white feathers below. source - www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Sora/

Bookends.

Image
A pair of male American wigeons that were walking in a shallow pond in a farmers field.

Mareca americana
American Wigeons eat a higher proportion of plant matter than any other dabbling duck thanks to their short gooselike bill. The shortness of the bill helps exert more force at the tip so they can pluck vegetation from fields and lawns with ease.
source -https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Wigeon/

Picnic anyone?

Image
On the shore of Lake Erie.

Winter road

Image
The road in front of the cottage.