July 29, 2014


What do dragonflies eat?

Dragonflies are major predators that eat mosquitoes, and other small insects like flies, bees, ants, wasps, and very rarely butterflies.

I'm not sure what this one caught but it was large, much larger than what you can see as it had been eating for a while before I could get a shot.
It's red and a dragonfly so by default I am calling  it a ruby meadowhawk,but I don't know dragonflies so I'm just guessing.

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July 28, 2014


Why did the turtle cross the road.

This large snapping turtle was starting to cross the road when I saw it.
I was concerned it could be hit by a car as they aren't as fast as rabbits.

With the help of park staff, we "encouraged" the turtle onto a large shovel then dragged the shovel and turtle across the road and gently slid it off.

Chelydra serpentina

In Ontario, females do not begin to breed until they are 17 to 19 years old.

Snapping turtles only occasionally emerge from the water to bask. Despite their highly aquatic nature, they do not swim particularly well and are often observed simply walking on the bottom.

The snapping turtle is currently listed as Special Concern under the Ontario Endangered Species Act, 2007 and Special Concern under the federal Species at Risk Act.

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July 27, 2014


The warbler and the butterfly in the shadows.

A yellow warbler and a summer azure butterfly landed at the pond at the same time.

Grainy because of the shadow but I thought it was interesting enough to post anyway.

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July 25, 2014



I spooked this great blue heron while out on the pontoon this afternoon.

The flight shots didn't turn out but this one of the takeoff made me think of someone leaning a little too far forward.

Ardea herodias
Great Blue Herons can hunt day and night thanks to a high percentage of rod-type photoreceptors in their eyes that improve their night vision.

The oldest Great Blue Heron, based on banding recovery, was 24 years old.

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July 24, 2014


Flying fish with an audience.

Caspian terns seem to enjoy flaunting their catch.They often fly over or around others daring them to try to take it away.

Hydroprogne caspia

The oldest known wild Caspian Tern lived to be more than 26 years old. Average life span of Great Lakes Caspian Terns is estimated to be 12 years.

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July 23, 2014


So, where's my coffee?

She(?) may be the poster child for Angry Birds or maybe she just needs his morning coffee.

The number of Barn Swallows in Ontario decreased by 65 percent between 1966 and 2009.
source Ministry of Natural Resources.

Hirundo rustica

Barn Swallows once nested in caves throughout North America, but now build their nests almost exclusively on human-made structures. Today the only North American Barn Swallow population that still regularly uses caves as nest sites occurs in the Channel Islands off the California coast.

The oldest known Barn Swallow in North America was 8 years, 1 month old.

source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology

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July 22, 2014


Tasting his world.

This fox snake was about 5 feet, 175cm long.

It was captured, weighed, tagged and released in the same area all within a few hours.
Unfortunately they are a threatened species in our area.

Pantherophis gloydi

 Eastern Fox Snakes have a reddish head and a yellowish-brown body with dark blotches down the back and a row of smaller blotches along each side.
Fox snakes are good swimmers, and they have been recorded swimming over two kilometres between islands.

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