Showing posts from June, 2019

Warbling vireo.

Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, Sept 4, 2017. A tree top specialist, this is the only photo I have of this species.
Vireo gilvus
Brown-headed Cowbirds frequently deposit their own eggs in the nests of Warbling Vireos. In some instances, the vireo pair incubates the alien egg and raises the young cowbird until it fledges. Female vireos in some eastern populations, however, tend to puncture and eject interlopers’ eggs.
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Great crested flycather.

Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, May 5, 2019.

Myiarchus crinitus

Though they’re flycatchers, these birds also eat a fair amount of fruit. Instead of picking at the flesh of small fruit, Great Crested Flycatchers swallow the fruit whole and regurgitate the pits, sometimes several at a time.
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Bath time.

Yellow warbler, rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, June 24, 2019.
It's important to get the wingpits clean during your bath. Setophaga petechia

Mom, wait for me!

Came upon a doe and a fawn, mom went one way, the fawn the other.
Near Blenheim ,Ontario, Canada, June 22, 2019.
It realized its error and they were quickly reunited. White tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus

Home delivery

Purple martin, June 22, 2019, Blenheim Ontario.
Food delivery on the wing.
Progne subis Purple Martins roost together by the thousands in late summer, as soon as the chicks leave the nest. They form such dense gatherings that you can easily see them on weather radar. It’s particularly noticeable in the early morning as the birds leave their roosts for the day, and looks like an expanding donut on the radar map. source -
Brown thrasher, May 18, 2019, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada.
Toxostoma rufum According to - Brown Thrashers are accomplished songsters that may sing more than 1,100 different song types and include imitations of other birds, including Chuck-will’s-widows, Wood Thrushes, and Northern Flickers.


Gray catbird, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, June 17, 2019 I think of these birds as being elegant, all dressed up for a party.

Dumetella carolinensis The Gray Catbird’s long song may last for up to 10 minutes.
The oldest known Gray Catbird was at least 17 years, 11 months.

"Tree Ducks"

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Wheatley, Ontario, Canada. June 18, 2019.
Made a quick trip to see these rarities after seeing a report on birdalert.
Well worth the drive. Nice surprise to find them exactly where they were reported. Dendrocygna autumnalis
The whistling-ducks were formerly known as tree-ducks, but only a few, such as the Black-bellied Whistling-Duck actually perch or nest in trees.

What's for dinner?

Yellow warbler with always hungry chicks. Rondeau Park, Ontario, Canada, June 17, 2019. Taken with a long lens far from the nest.
Look closely and you will see this is a two tier nest. The nests of the Yellow Warbler are frequently parasitized by the Brown-headed Cowbird. The warbler often builds a new nest directly on top of the parasitized one, sometimes resulting in nests with up to six tiers. Setophaga petechia


Near Blenheim, Ontario, Canada, June 17, 2019.
While not rare they can be hard to photograph as they like the middle of fields.
Dolichonyx oryzivorus The species name of the Bobolink, oryzivorus means “rice eating” and refers to this bird’s appetite for rice and other grains, especially during migration and in winter. source -

The tulip tree bloom.

One of the carolinian species found in Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada. June 15, 2019.
Liriodendron tulipifera This majestic species usually lives to be 150 years old but can live up to 300, and can grow up to 35 to 50 m tall. The Tulip-Tree gets its common and scientific names from the tulip-shaped yellow-green blooms that it produces every spring, as well as the lobed shape of the leaves.
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The Attack.

Red-wing blackbird trying to knock the red-bellied woodpecker off the suet feeder. He wasn't successful.Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada. June 12, 2019.

Threat Display.

White-breasted nuthatch, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, June 14, 2019.
When a nuthatch is confronted with an enemy, including a rival nuthatch the bird points its bill upward and spreads its tail and wings partially. In more intense display, it opens its wings and tail fully, exposing the black-and-white pattern on each feather, flicks, flashes, or beats the wings, and sways excitedly.
Sitta carolinensis

Inside the gourd.

Had the opportunity to visit a purple martin enthusiasts place. He showed Anne and me the operation and it is an impressive operation. He opened and checked the houses and in one there were recently hatched martins. We also saw chicks in the process of hatching out but my camera chose that moment to break.
In the early season when there were no insects he cooked up scrambled eggs and feed the martins by throwing bits of egg into the air.
Progne subis The Purple Martin not only gets all its food in flight, it gets all its water that way too. It skims the surface of a pond and scoops up the water with its lower bill. source -

Hover Jay Part II

Actually we have several jays that attack the suet log.

The only problem is they keep smaller birds from feeding due to their aggressive style.

Cyanocitta cristata
The oldest known wild, banded Blue Jay was at least 26 years, 11 months old when it was found dead after being caught in fishing gear. It had been banded in the Newfoundland/Labrador/St. Pierre et Miquelon area in 1989 and was found there in 2016.


Mourning Warbler, Rondeau Provincial Park, May 9, 2019.
I remember trying to get images of this little skulker but I didn't think I got any clear ones. Not bad for not knowing I got a shot.
Geothlypis philadelphia Both male and female Mourning Warblers pretend to have broken wings to distract predators close to their nest.

The reflecting pool.

Eastern chipmunk drinking at the pond. Water flow was slow, allowing for a reflection, as the filter was partially blocked by leaves.
Tamias striatus
Males will compete for a female, and may mate with several females during one breeding season. Females give birth after 30 days of pregnancy, and the female will rear (raise and looking after) the young without the males help. Litter size ranges from 3-6 young, and females will usually only produce one litter a year. Baby chipmunks are naked and blind at birth and require a lot of attention from their mothers. By the time baby chipmunks are one month old, they look like adults and will start to leave the burrow to find food (forage).
source -…/eastern-chipmunk/

Watermelon Bird(?)

Common grackle tearing into a watermelon we put out in the yard.
Quiscalus quiscula
Common Grackles are resourceful foragers. They sometimes follow plows to catch invertebrates and mice, wade into water to catch small fish, pick leeches off the legs of turtles, steal worms from American Robins, raid nests, and kill and eat adult birds.
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The Hover Jay.

A close relative of the Blue Jay, known for its ability to hover under feeders.
Blue Jay, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, June 7, 2019. Cyanocitta cristata
The black bridle across the face, nape, and throat varies extensively and may help Blue Jays recognize one another.

Wood stork.

Wood stork, Florida, Jan 21, 2015.
At the roadside. Mycteria americana
Storks, mainly the White Stork of Europe, figure prominently in mythology. They are revered in Greek, Chinese, and European mythologies as good luck and harbingers of spring and birth.

Canadian Swallowtail Butterfly (?)

As far as I can tell this is the Canadian swallowtail although it is close to the Eastern swallowtail in appearance.
Evidently their ranges overlap in our area and extends across southern Ontario, and both species, as well as what appears to be hybrids can be found here. If a Tiger Swallowtail is seen in late summer in Ontario, it is likely a second-brood Eastern Tiger , the Canadian Tiger only has one brood in the spring which is why I think it is a Canadian.
Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, June 4, 2019. ID help would be appreciated.
Papilio canadensis

Sometimes you get lucky.

Ruby-throated hummingbird, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, June 4, 2019.
I was taking photos of butterflies in a honeysuckle bush when this hummingbird started feeding.
Archilochus colubris A hummingbird's wings beat between 50 and 200 flaps per second depending on the direction of flight, the purpose of their flight and the surrounding air conditions. An average hummingbird's heart rate is more than 1,200 beats per minute. source -

Cape May.

Cape May Warbler, Rondeau Provincial Park, May 10, 2019.
Crossing the road to show the opossum it could be done. Setophaga tigrina
The tongue of the Cape May Warbler is unique among warblers. It is curled and semitubular, used to collect nectar.
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Warbler migration.

American Redstart, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, May 22, 2019.
One of the many warbler species that pass through Rondeau during migration. Setophaga ruticilla
American Redstarts flash the bright patches in its tail and wings. This seems to startle insect prey and give the birds an opportunity to catch them.
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The Deconstructionist.

Blue-grey gnatcatcher, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, May 31, 2019.

Watched gnatcatchers recycling an old nest to construct a new one. I didn't see this nest in use.
Polioptila caerulea A pair of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers can build up to seven nests in a breeding season. They often re-use nest material from previous nests, which speeds re-nesting. This can be essential to breeding success, since predation, nest parasitism, or mite infestations frequently cause nest loss and brood failure. source -