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Showing posts from May, 2019

Deep in the marsh.

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Common gallinule, Rondeau Provincial Park, May 31, 2019.
While out on the pontoon we found two gallinules, a real treat.
Gallinula galeata Newly hatched Common Gallinule chicks have spurs on their wings that help them climb into the nest or grab onto vegetation. source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Common_Gallinule/overview

The Gardener.

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Saw this Northern Flicker cleaning the vegetation out ot the cracks in a sidewalk while searching for food. Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, May 29, 2019.
Colaptes auratus
Although it can climb up the trunks of trees and hammer on wood like other woodpeckers, the Northern Flicker prefers to find food on the ground. Ants are its main food, and the flicker digs in the dirt to find them. It uses its long barbed tongue to lap up the ants.
source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Flicker/

Ruddy Turnstone.

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Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, May 27, 2019.
It may be a turnstone but it was doing a good job of tossing vegetation.
Arenaria interpres
Walking on wet and slippery rocks can be treacherous for just about anyone without good gripping shoes. Ruddy Turnstones have special feet that are somewhat spiny, with short, sharply curved toenails that help them hold on. They also have a low center of gravity thanks to their short legs that helps keep them anchored. source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Ruddy_Turnstone/

INTRUDER ALERT!

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Northern Cardinal, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, May 28, 2019.
This cardinal kept attacking the intruder in the mirror of a parked van. He kept vanquishing his foe only to have him return.
Cardinalis cardinalis Many people are perplexed each spring by the sight of a cardinal attacking its reflection in a window, car mirror, or shiny bumper. Both males and females do this, and most often in spring and early summer when they are obsessed with defending their territory against any intruders. Birds may spend hours fighting these intruders without giving up. A few weeks later, as levels of aggressive hormones subside, these attacks should end (though one female kept up this behavior every day or so for six months without stopping). source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Cardinal

Wet Jay

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Blue jay, near Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, May 25, 2019.
Cyanocitta cristata
The pigment in Blue Jay feathers is melanin, which is brown. The blue color is caused by scattering light through modified cells on the surface of the feather barbs.
source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Blue_Jay/

Yellow in the yellow.

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Yellow warbler, Rondeau Provincial Park, May 10, 2019.
Forsythia just outside the window of the living room. Setophaga petechia
Life can be dangerous for a small bird. Yellow Warblers have occasionally been found caught in the strands of an orb weaver spider’s web.
source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Yellow_Warbler

Willet

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Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, May 23, 2019.

Tringa semipalmata Although both parents incubate the eggs, only the male Willet spends the night on the nest. source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Willet

World turtle day

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World Turtle Day, May 23, 2019.
Did you know there are more than 250 different species of freshwater turtle? In and around Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada.


Prothonotary warbler.

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Prothonotary warbler, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, May 21, 2019.
All you can eat bug buffet.
Protonotaria citrea For Prothonotary Warblers it pays to be bright. Males that are brighter yellow gain access to better nest sites than less colorful males, according to a study conducted in Louisiana. source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Prothonotary_Warbler/

Shirt-tailed bird.

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Red-headed woodpecker, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, May 21, 2019.
We have had four red-headed woodpeckers in and around our yard for several days.
At least two are nesting in the large trees just off our lot. Melanerpes erythrocephalus
Red-headed Woodpeckers are fierce defenders of their territory. They may remove the eggs of other species from nests and nest boxes, destroy other birds’ nests, and even enter duck nest boxes and puncture the duck eggs.
source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Red-headed_Woodpecker

"Carpe Diem"

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Carp spawning in shallow water at a local conservation area. It was hard to tell, but they appeared to be about 2 feet long.

High water levels are bringing the carp close to a viewing platform.
Cyprinus carpio(?)
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Blackburnian warbler, Rondeau Provincial Park, May 18, 2019.
Posing nicely on Tulip Tree Trail. Setophaga fusca
Tiny Blackburnian Warblers are strong fliers that travel between North and South America twice each year, so perhaps it isn’t surprising that they’re occasionally found very far off course. At times, “vagrants” have been recorded in Greenland, Iceland, Scotland, and the Azores off western Africa.
source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Blackburnian_Warbler

Orange variant scarlet tanager.

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Scarlet tanager, male orange variant, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, May 17, 2019.
This bird was reported as a orange variant but I can't find much on the different colouration.
Feel free to comment as to the difference from the standard colouration - in molt, true variation and so on.
Piranga olivacea

Red-eyed vireo.

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Red-eyed vireo, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, May 15, 2019.
Vireo olivaceus The Red-eyed Vireo's magnetic compass guides migration between continents. But fat stores seem to influence migration paths when the birds encounter the Gulf of Mexico. Fatter birds head across the Gulf, while leaner birds hug the coastline or travel inland around the Gulf. Cloud cover also makes routes near land more likely. source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Red-eyed_Vireo

Canada warbler.

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Canada warbler, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada. May 13, 2019.
First spotted this one in the forsythia just outside the window. By the time I got the camera it was up in a tree.
Cardellina canadensis Canada Warblers fly more than 3,000 miles from their wintering grounds in South America to their breeding grounds in the United States and Canada. source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Canada_Warbler/

The Skulker

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Yellow-breasted chat, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, May 14, 2019.
"Chats skulk silently in the shadows of dense thickets, gleaning insects and berries for food."
This one was true to that description. Icteria virens

"Bullbat"

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Common Nighthawk, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, May 13, 2019.
Found by William Doelman, enjoyed by many.
Chordeiles minor The Common Nighthawk’s impressive booming sounds during courtship dives, in combination with its erratic, bat-like flight, have earned it the colloquial name of “bullbat.” The name “nighthawk” itself is a bit of a misnomer, since the bird is neither strictly nocturnal—it’s active at dawn and dusk—nor closely related to hawks. source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Common_Nighthawk

Cerulean warbler.

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Cerulean warbler, Rondeau Provincial Park, May 11, 2019.
This cerulean warbler put on a show, down low, for over 4 hours allowing a large number of birders an opportunity to see it without getting warbler neck. Setophaga cerulea
The female Cerulean Warbler has an unusual way of leaving a nest after sitting on it a while. Some people call it "bungee-jumping." She drops from the side of the nest, keeping her wings folded to her sides, and opens her wings to fly only when she is well below the nest.
source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Cerulean_Warbler/

An elegant warbler.

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Black-throated blue warbler, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, May 8, 2019.
Up close and personal.
Setophaga caerulescens
Male and female Black-throated Blue Warblers look so different that they were originally described as two different species.
source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/g…/Black-throated_Blue_Warbler

Brewster's warbler.

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Blue-winged warbler hybrid "Brewster's Warbler", Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, May 10, 2019.

This makes the full set for the year, golden-winged, blue-winged, Lawrence's and Brewster's something I haven't done before.
Vermivora cyanoptera Hybrids tend to develop into one of two distinctive plumages, which early naturalists at first thought were separate species: "Brewster's Warbler” (which looks like a Blue-winged Warbler with a white chest), and "Lawrence's Warbler" (which looks like an all-yellow Golden-winged Warbler). source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/…/Golden-winged_Warb…/overview

Screech owl.

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Eastern screech owl, Rondeau Provincial Park, May 8, 2019.
In a tree far, far away. Seems to be its day roost.
Megascops asio The oldest recorded Eastern Screech-Owl was at least 14 years, 6 months old when it was found in Ontario in 1968, the same province where it had been banded in 1955. source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Eastern_Screech-Owl/

Stepping out

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Virginia Rail, Erieau, Ontario, May 8, 2019.
Big foot for a big step up and over the vegetation. Rallus limicola
The forehead feathers of Virginia Rails are adapted to withstand wear and tear that results from pushing through dense and often sharp marsh vegetation.
source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Virginia_Rail/

Nashville warbler

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Nashville warbler, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, May 7, 2019.
Cold, damp weather os bringing some warblers down low where they can be seen easier than usual. Oreothlypis ruficapilla
The Nashville Warbler sometimes uses porcupine quills as nest material.
source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Nashville_Warbler/
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Hooded warbler, Rondeau provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, May 5, 2019.
A very co-operative hooded yesterday, normally the skulk around and making it difficult to photograph them. Setophaga citrina
The white spots on a Hooded Warbler's tail help them capture more insects, possibly by startling the insects into taking flight. An experimental study conducted in Pennsylvania found that birds with temporarily darkened tail feathers were less successful at capturing insects than those with white spots on their tails.
source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Hooded_Warbler

Lawerence's warbler

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Golden-winged warbler hybrid "Lawrence's Warbler", Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, May 4, 2019.
A rare find at the park, took lots of images, none of them close. Vermivora chrysoptera
Hybrids tend to develop into one of two distinctive plumages, which early naturalists at first thought were separate species: "Brewster's Warbler” (which looks like a Blue-winged Warbler with a white chest), and "Lawrence's Warbler" (which looks like an all-yellow Golden-winged Warbler).
source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/…/Golden-winged_Warb…/overview
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Golden-winged warbler, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, May 3, 2019.
Went looking to try to refinda bird seen earlier in the day and actually found it.
Vermivora chrysoptera
Golden-winged parents may use trickery to protect their young from predators. Adults feeding nestlings have been observed repeatedly carrying food down other plant stems away from the next, possibly as a decoy, when they detected humans nearby.
source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Golden-winged_Warbler/

Colour in the yard.

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Rose-breasted grosbeak, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, May 1, 2019.
Rose-breasted grosbeaks, Baltimore orioles, Ruby-throated hummingbirds all in the yard today.
Finally some colour. Also had a big push of warblers in the park but they didn't stay, kept flying north. Pheucticus ludovicianus
Rose-breasted Grosbeaks build such flimsy nests that eggs are often visible from below through the nest bottom.
source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Rose-breasted_Grosbeak/

Clay-coloured sparrow, Rondeau Provincial PArk, April 30, 2019.

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Anne spotted this sparrow in the yard in a flock of chipping sparrows. Not one we see very often. Taken through the kitchen window.
Spizella pallida Clay-colored Sparrow young leave the nest before they can fly. They hop to the ground from their nest in a shrub and run an average of 40 feet to seek cover in a thicket, where their parents will continue to feed them. They won’t fly for the first time for another 6 to 8 days. source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Clay-colored_Sparrow