Showing posts from April, 2019

The fish eater,

Common Loon, Erieau, Ontario, Canada, April 27, 2019.
Common loon in the boat basin where we dock our pontoon. It didn't seem concerned about the boat and proceeded to position the fish before diving to eat it.
Gavia immer Loons are agile swimmers, but they move pretty fast in the air, too. Migrating loons have been clocked flying at speeds more than 70 mph. source -

A long distance wanderer

Hermit warbler, Thickson's Woods, Whitby, Ontario, Canada, April 28, 2019.

Ten hours and 700km, 435 miles to see this very rare bird.
Normally the hermit warblers range is the west coast of the US and Mexico.

Images are heavily cropped as the bird was far away on private property.

Setophaga occidentalis

Lift off

Horned grebe, Erieau, Ontario, Canada, April 27, 2019.
Went looking for the eared grebe at Erieau, which I saw, got this photo off the horned grebe from the pontoon. The grebe was going left, I was going right and the boat was rocking. Podiceps auritus
The oldest recorded Horned Grebe was at least 5 years, 11 months old when it was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in the Northwest Territories in 2007, the same place where it had been banded in 2002.
souce -


Eastern Towhee, Rondeau Provincial Park, April 26, 2019. I've been hearing towhees for weeks and had a few glimpses but today we had two in the yard and they weren't playing nicely.
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 -

The Guardian.

The adult great horned owl was sitting high in a nearby tree watching over the chick I posted yesterday. Chatham, Ontario, April 24, 2019.
Bubo virginianus The oldest Great Horned Owl on record was at least 28 years old when it was found in Ohio in 2005. source -


Great horned owl, Chatham, Ontario, April 24, 2019. There are two but one was hidden.
Bubo virginianus When clenched, a Great Horned Owl’s strong talons require a force of 28 pounds to open. The owls use this deadly grip to sever the spine of large prey. source -

Mallard in a piling.

Windsor, Ontario, April 21, 219.
Earlier in the week this mallard had a roommate, a wood duck.
By the time I got to the site it was just the mallard. It seemed to be rubbing its bill on the wooden piling over and over. Not sure what that was about.
Anas platyrhynchos The oldest known Mallard was a male, and at least 27 years, 7 months old when he was shot in Arkansas in 2008. He had been banded in Louisiana in 1981. source -

Grebe in a ditch

On the way to look for the cinnamon teal - got it - we saw this horned grebe in a ditch beside the road. It appeared to have enough room to take off when it was ready. Near Hillman Marsh, Ontario, Canada. April 21, 2019.
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 -

Ecuadorian flashback.

Pale-mandibled aracari near Tandayapa, Ecuador, March 18, 2016. Pteroglossus erythropygius

It must be spring, the butterflies are back.

Red Admiral, Vanessa atalanta, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, April 17, 2019

Can you hear me now?

Common Grackle displaying. April 11, 2019, near Cornwall, Ontario. Amazing how they puff up. The bird on top of the feeder is a non puffed up grackle.
Quiscalus quiscula Grackles have a hard keel on the inside of the upper mandible that they use for sawing open acorns. Typically they score the outside of the narrow end, then bite the acorn open. source -

Grey wolf.

Grey wolf. Parc Omega, Quebec, April 13, 2019.

Snow goose migration.

We've been chasing snow geese.
This is part of a flock of snow geese that we saw in Eastern Ontario near St. Isidore.
Thousands and thousands more were in the sky in every direction. Absolutely amazing.
2,250 kilometers, over 2,900 photos. Anser caerulescens
Snow Geese make epic journeys by air, but they are impressive on foot, too. Within the first three weeks of hatching, goslings may walk up to 50 miles with their parents from the nest to a more suitable brood-rearing area. Molting Snow Geese can outrun many predators.
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Red-breasted merganser

Erieau, Ontario, Canada, April 9, 2019.
Mergus serrator Red-breasted Mergansers need to eat 15 to 20 fish per day, which researchers suggest means they need to dive underwater 250–300 times per day or forage for 4–5 hours to meet their energy needs. source -


Lynx, Salmonier Nature Park, Newfoundland, June 6, 2018.
A rehab animal in a large enclosure, not eligible for release.

Hermit thrush.

April 7, 2019, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada.
They showed up in good number today. 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 -

House finch

House finch, Rondeau Provincial Park, April, 6, 2019, Ontario, Canada.
A pond visitor this afternoon.
Haemorhous mexicanus The total House Finch population across North America is staggering. Scientists estimate between 267 million and 1.4 billion individuals. source -

Come on, come on,

Cape May warbler, Sept 5, 2015, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada. Waiting impatiently for the spring migration.
Setophaga tigrina The common name of the species comes from Cape May, New Jersey, where Alexander Wilson first described it. After that first time, Cape May Warblers were not recorded in Cape May for more than 100 years. source -

Turkey vultures, Chatham, Ontario, Canada, April 3, 2019.

Cathartes aura The oldest recorded Turkey Vulture was at least 16 years, 10 months old when it was found in Ohio, the same state where it had been banded. SIZE: Length: 27 inches; wingspan: 69 inches


American woodcock, Rondeau Provincial Park, March 28, 2019, Ontario Canada.
Spotted it walking across the road, stopped the car, hopped out and grabbed a couple of photos.Looked away for a minute and it was gone.
Scolopax minor If you are interested, here's a link to their calls.