Showing posts from December, 2018

Hermit thrush

Hermit thrush seen on the Christmas Bird Count, Dec 16, 2018, Rondeau Provincial Park.
Catharus guttatus Hermit Thrushes usually make their nests in and around trees and shrubs, but they can also get more creative. Nests have been found on a cemetery grave, on a golf course, and in a mine shaft. source -

Blue winged warbler.

Blue-winged warbler, May 8, 2017, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada.
Vermivora cyanoptera
Blue-winged and Golden-winged Warblers look different, sing different songs, occur in somewhat different habitats, and winter in different places. But amazingly, these differences are only skin deep, or rather feather deep—the two species are 99.97% genetically similar, according to research done at the Cornell Lab.
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Red-bellied woodpecker.

Reb-bellied woodpecker, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, Dec 17, 2018.
A regular visitor to our feeders. Melanerpes carolinus
You may occasionally see a Red-bellied Woodpecker flying quickly and erratically through the forest, abruptly changing direction, alighting for an instant and immediately taking off again, keeping up a quick chatter of calls. Scientists categorize this odd behaviour as a type of play that probably helps young birds practice the evasive action they may one day need.
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Northern gannet colony.

Northern gannet colony, Cape St. Mary's Newfoundland, Canada, June 2018.
Almost looks like snow.
It seemed every open ledge and flat space was filled up with nests. Morus bassanus
Most plunge-dives are relatively shallow, but the Northern Gannet can dive as deep as 22 meters (72 feet). It uses its wings and feet to swim deeper in pursuit of fish.
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Black and white warbler.

Black and white warbler,Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, June 6, 2018.

Saw this little guy near Salmonier Nature Park.
If you are near there it is worthwhile to stop and go for a walk. Mniotilta varia
The Black-and-white Warbler is the only member of the genus Mniotilta. The genus name means “moss-plucking,” a reference to its habit of probing bark and moss for insects.
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Don't fence me in.

Northern Cardinal, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, Dec 14, 2018.
Cardinalis cardinalis The male cardinal fiercely defends its breeding territory from other males. When a male sees its reflection in glass surfaces, it frequently will spend hours fighting the imaginary intruder. source -

Barred owl

Barred owl, Rondeau Provincial Park, Dec 19, 2018.
This barred owl flew up from the side of the road and landed on a small snag.
I immediately stopped the car and grabbed the camera.
While photographing the owl a great horned owl stated calling and the barred got very nervous. Turns out the Great Horned Owl is the most serious predatory threat to the Barred Owl.
Although the two species often live in the same areas, a Barred Owl will move to another part of its territory when a Great Horned Owl is nearby Strix varia
Barred Owls don’t migrate, and they don’t even move around very much. Of 158 birds that were banded and then found later, none had moved farther than 6 miles away.
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A snake on Dec 16??

At Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada.
While out on the Rondeau Christmas Bird Count I came across this common garter snake.
It has been mild the past few days but, really?
Thamnophis sirtalis


A flight of Canada Geese landing on water covered ice at Rondeau Provincial Park, Dec 14, 2018.
The bay froze over the past few days then the temperatures went above freezing.
A lack of wind made for a mirror like surface. Branta canadensis
Some migratory populations of the Canada Goose are not going as far south in the winter as they used to. This northward range shift has been attributed to changes in farm practices that makes waste grain more available in fall and winter, as well as changes in hunting pressure and changes in weather.
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White-eyed vireo.

A late staying white-eyed vireo. Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, Dec 13, 2018
While scouting for the Christmas Bird Count I refound this vireo that has been in the area for weeks but had disappeared for a few days. White-eyed Vireos eat caterpillars, flies, beetles, moths, butterflies, leafhoppers, lacewings, and spiders. They forage in a rather deliberate manner, slowly hopping along and looking around before grabbing something to eat. They swallow smaller items on the spot, but pin down larger prey with their foot before eating it. During the nonbreeding season, they also eat fruit from sumac, dogwood, poison ivy, pokeweed, and wax myrtle.
source -…/White-eyed_Vir…/lifehistory…

House wren

House wren shaking off after a quick bath.
Rondeau Provincial Park, Nov 9, 2018.
Troglodytes aedon
Male House Wrens returning north to breed in their first year are more likely to settle close to an established male than farther from it. Experienced males tend to settle farther apart. Young males may take clues from more experienced males about what areas are good nesting sites.
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American woodcock

Why did it take so long for the woodcock to cross the road?

Brown creeper

Not flashy but still a favourite.
Brown creeper, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, Dec 4, 2018

Certhia americana
Brown Creepers burn an estimated 4–10 calories (technically, kilocalories) per day, a tiny fraction of a human’s daily intake of about 2,000 kilocalories. By eating a single spider, a creeper gains enough energy to climb nearly 200 feet vertically.
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You have to love birding.

Great blue heron, great kiskadee and three snowy owls on the same day. Rondeau Provincial Park, Dec 4, 2018
It is an unusual occurrence when you have an Arctic bird, a tropical bird and a wading heron in one day. But that is what happened today. Our very lost kiskadee has been seen for the past two days and the snowies have been here for weeks.
No snowy picks today and the kiskadee didn't cooperate but I saw this great blue heron in a creek beside the road.

Sitting in the rain.

Roadside hawk, Ecuador, March 2016.
Rupornis magnirostris The Roadside Hawk is so named due to its preference for the edges of forest; it occurs in many different environments, including the edges of tropical lowland forest, deciduous forest, and desert. The Roadside Hawk feeds on a variety of small prey including reptiles and small mammals, but mainly feeds on insects.

The bird and the bee.

Female red-headed barbet, Ecuador, March 18, 2016.

Eubucco bourcierii
The Red-headed Barbet feeds primarily on fruit, but also take arthropods, which it sometimes gathers by searching through dead leaf clusters. The nest is an enlarged woodpecker cavity or a self-excavated hole in a rotting tree.

Herring gull, Little Catalina, Newfoundland, Canada, June 1, 2018.

Now that marijuana is legal in Canada everyone is getting in on harvesting grass.
Larus argentatus An adult Herring Gull was spotted bait-fishing. It floated bits of bread on the surface of a Paris pond and attacked goldfish feeding on the bread. It ate none of the bread itself, indicating deliberate tool use. source -