January 18, 2016

 

Stretch.

This was one of several canvasback ducks in the marina at Erieau, Ontario, Canada, today.
After a vigorous grooming session he reared up and stretched.



I also saw 7 bald eagles at one time and a lone harrier plus a late kingfisher.

Aythya valisineria

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January 13, 2016

 

Sleeping with one eye open.

Female canvasback drifting in the marina but still aware of her surroundings and of me.



Aythya valisineria

The species name of the Canvasback, Aythya valisineria, comes from Vallisneria americana, or wild celery, whose winter buds and rhizomes are its preferred food during the nonbreeding period.

source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

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January 12, 2016

 

A winter kingfisher

I was rather surprised to find a belted kingfisher this time of year.
Most of the marina and bay are frozen but there is some open water at the channel leading into Lake Erie.
He was hunkered down and not enjoying the blowing snow.



Megaceryle alcyon

As nestlings, Belted Kingfishers have acidic stomachs that help them digest bones, fish scales, and arthropod shells. But by the time they leave the nest, their stomach chemistry apparently changes, and they begin regurgitating pellets which accumulate on the ground around fishing and roosting perches. Scientists can dissect these pellets to learn about the kingfisher’s diet without harming or even observing any wild birds.
source - Cornell lab of Ornithology.

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January 11, 2016

 

Male Bufflehead

A grey cloudy day at Erieau, Ontario but you take what you can get.



Bucephala albeola

The Bufflehead nests almost exclusively in holes excavated by Northern Flickers and, on occasion, by Pileated Woodpeckers.

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January 10, 2016

 

Will that be one foot or two?

Hard to tell if he has one tucked up or if he only has one talon.

We saw 8 bald eagles out on the ice a long way off and this one perched close in a tree.
Another person who got there earlier than us saw 16 eagles on Rondeau Bay.
At Erieau, Ontario.



The science stuff

Haliaeetus leucocephalus


Immature Bald Eagles spend the first four years of their lives in nomadic exploration of vast territories and can fly hundreds of miles per day. Some young birds from Florida have wandered north as far as Michigan, and birds from California have reached Alaska.

source Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

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January 07, 2016

 

Food Fight!!

A small piece of croissant plus gulls and you have a  full on food fight in the animal kingdom.

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January 06, 2016

 

Cooper's hawk and lunch.

We noticed a sudden flurry at the niger feeder and looked out to see a cooper's hawk grabbing one of the goldfinches.

Everyone has to eat.



Taken through the Wonderful Wildlife Window.

Accipiter cooperii

Dashing through vegetation to catch birds is a dangerous lifestyle. In a study of more than 300 Cooper’s Hawk skeletons, 23 percent showed old, healed-over fractures in the bones of the chest, especially of the furcula, or wishbone.

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