January 29, 2015


Another life bird

Our Florida trip has been excellent, We have 6 new life birds so far.
I don't have sophisticated photo editing software so except for a slight crop this is straight from the camera.

Porphyrio martinicus

The Purple Gallinule is essentially a tropical marshbird that just makes its way into the United States. But some go even farther afield. The Purple Gallinule, despite appearing to be an awkward flier, regularly turns up in northern states and southern Canada. It has even been found numerous times in Europe and South Africa.

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January 28, 2015


Are you sure about that?

It seems like an oxymoron.
Parking for the drive thru?
Only in the North american car culture.

Of course I took this from the car.

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January 27, 2015


Looking for supper

We found this red-shouldered hawk sitting on a fence post near Sarasota Florida.
It was intent on something in the ditch.

Buteo lineatus

Red-shouldered Hawks return to the same nesting territory year after year. One Red-shouldered Hawk occupied a territory in southern California for 16 consecutive years.

The oldest-known Red-shouldered hawk was at least 22 years, 5 months old. It was banded in Florida in 1989, and found dead in Florida in 2009, the victim of an attack by another raptor.

source Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

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January 25, 2015


The look of absolute concentration.

This black crowned night heron was starring down some small morsel just before it pounced.
Photo taken at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary near Naples Florida.

Nycticorax nycticorax

Young Black-crowned Night-Herons leave the nest at the age of 1 month but cannot fly until they are 6 weeks old. They move through the vegetation on foot, joining up in foraging flocks at night.
The oldest Black-crowned Night-Heron on record was 21 years, 1 month old.

source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

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January 24, 2015


Red-cockaded Woodpecker

We have been in Florida this week and have had problems with internet access.

This is a life bird for me, the Red-cockaded Woodpecker.

They are best seen at sunrise or sunset. Not wanting to get up at 4 in the morning to drive to the location and be ready for sunrise we opted for sunset.

Picoides borealis

The Red-cockaded Woodpecker nests only in live pines. But, it often selects ones that are infected with the red heart fungus. The fungus softens the wood and allows the woodpecker to dig out a cavity. The live pine tree then "bleeds" pitch around the nest hole. The heavy flow of gum helps keep tree-climbing snakes away from the nest.

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January 18, 2015


Common goldeneye

We went looking for a Barrow's goldeneye on the St. Clair River a few days back.
We didn't find the Barrow's but we did see this common goldeneye.
Still a good looking bird.

Bucephala clangula

The eyes of a Common Goldeneye are gray-brown at hatching. They turn purple-blue, then blue, then green-blue as they age. By five months of age they have become clear pale green-yellow. The eyes will be bright yellow in adult males and pale yellow to white in females.

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January 14, 2015


Yah. I enjoy winter.

Sure. That's it. I like freezing my feet and tail feathers.
I even enjoy sticking my bill in snow banks in search of seeds. Sure I do.
Which way is south?

Horned lark.

Eremophila alpestris

Female Horned Larks often collect “pavings”—pebbles, clods, corncobs, dung—which they place beside their nests, covering soil excavated from the nest cavity. The “paved” area resembles a sort of walkway, though the birds don’t seem to use it that way. While nobody fully understands the function of these pavings, they may help prevent collected nesting material from blowing away while the nest is under construction.

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