November 25, 2014

 

Northern Shrike



We had a northern shrike come into the yard at least three times today.
The first indication was the mad scramble by small birds to get away.

He made what looked like half hearted attempts to catch one of the siskins that are mobbing our feeders.
At one point it called which sounds like rapid rasping "aak-aak"

Lanius excubitor

A predatory songbird, the Northern Shrike breeds in taiga and tundra and winters in southern Canada and the northern United States. It feeds on small birds, mammals, and insects, sometimes impaling them on spines or barbed wire fences.


Both male and female Northern Shrikes sing throughout year. The male sings especially in late winter and early spring.

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November 24, 2014

 

A cage of his own choosing.



I was repairing the rungs on a kitchen chair when Ozzie came over to supervise.
He promptly climbed under the chair seat and settled in to watch the birds at the feeders.

I'm sure he felt hidden and secure.

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November 23, 2014

 

the good and the bad



I have no idea what type of bee this is but it is busily doing its pollination work.
If you look closely you will see aphids on the stem of the flower going about their business of sucking fluids from the plant.




Beneficial and harmful, it's all nature.

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November 22, 2014

 

The horns of a dilemma



This young male white-tailed deer wandered through the yard yesterday.
His tiny antlers looked more like tiny devil horns on a halloween costume.

Odocoileus virginianus

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November 20, 2014

 

American pipit.



This is a new yard bird for us.
We have seen them in the general area but not at home.
We only see them during migration.

Anthus rubescens .

The American Pipit is a small, slender, drab bird of open country. Although it appears similar to sparrows, it can be distinguished by its thin bill and its habit of bobbing its tail.

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November 19, 2014

 

Could you ask for directions?




Noooo. You knew where we were going. Now everything looks the same and we are going to be late for the hatchling party.

Apalone spinifera spinifera


The Spiny Softshell is also known as the "pancake turtle" because of its rather flat, round, leathery upper shell, or carapace. The long neck and elongated, tubular snout allow this turtle to breathe while almost fully submerged and virtually unseen. Softshells ambush prey by lying concealed in bottom mud.

source -Royal Ontario Museum

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November 18, 2014

 

Flash Freeze



Yesterday this was open water, it froze overnight.
The far shore is about 6km, 3
+ miles, away.

The clouds represent more snow coming in.
At least we are better off than Buffalo N.Y. at the other end of Lake Erie.
They have received over 4 feet , well over a meter,of snow in two days and are expecting another two feet.
Temperatures are far below freezing and it is only November.

Bah! Humbug!

Remember to fill those bird feeders.

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