April 05, 2015

 

Display behaviour.

I'm assuming this is a breeding/aggression display by a red breasted merganser.
There were  a number of males chasing each other.
The bird on the left lifted its tail, lowered its stomach and lifted its head.
This was followed by the merganser stretching his neck as long and tall as it could.

Mergus serrator 

source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

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April 04, 2015

 

Way down the bay.



Rondeau Bay finally has open areas, just in time to provided a resting place for migrating tundra swans.
Most of the swans seem to have moved elsewhere but there were about 1,000 in the bay. They were approx. 1.5 miles from where I took this photo.
The tree line in the distance is the end of the bay and just past them is Lake Erie.

Cygnus columbianus
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae

During the breeding season the Tundra Swan sleeps almost entirely on land, but in the winter it sleeps more often on water.

source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

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April 01, 2015

 

Drinking snow


We keep having late spring snow storms.
This common redpoll was "drinking" snow. Our small pond is open but rather than drink water he seemed to prefer the snow.

Acanthis flammea 

Redpolls have throat pouches for temporarily storing seeds. They may fill their pouches with seeds quickly then fly away to swallow the seeds in a more protected, warmer spot.

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March 03, 2015

 

A regular visitor



We have white-breasted nuthatches year round at our feeders.
They are always welcome with decurved, fancy name for up turned, bills.
This winter we are seeing them more often along with their smaller relatives the red-breasted nuthatch.
It's been a hard winter for all the animals and we are going through more bird seed than usual.

Sitta carolinensis

In winter, White-breasted Nuthatches join foraging flocks led by chickadees or titmice, perhaps partly because it makes food easier to find and partly because more birds can keep an eye out for predators. One study found that when titmice were removed from a flock, nuthatches were more wary and less willing to visit exposed bird feeders.

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March 01, 2015

 

Not playing nicely.



This white tailed deer wasn't amused with the wild turkeys eating the seed under the bird feeders.
It tried to drive the turkeys away.
While he chased this one three others came in behind the deer.
We ended up with four deer and five turkeys and an assortment of birds.
And one squirrel.

The photo was taken through the Wonderful Wildlife Window.

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February 28, 2015

 

Ice Breaking

We rarely see the big ships that travel the great lakes from our place. They usually stay much further out as there are shallows near here and the main shipping lane is towards the middle of the lake.



Today we saw what appears to be an icebreaker making a path for one of the sea going vessels that come into the great lake system.






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February 25, 2015

 

Flyby



One of the birds we wanted to see on our Florida trip was a limpkin.
It is a marsh/wetland bird that looks similar to a heron it is more closely related to rails and cranes.

After we saw one in the marsh we saw them all over, flying by, walking on the road or chasing each other.



Aramus guarauna

An unusual bird of southern swamps and marshes, the Limpkin reaches the northern limits of its breeding range in Florida. There, it feeds almost exclusively on apple snails, which it extracts from their shells with its long bill. Its screaming cry is unmistakable and evocative.

The Limpkin's bill is uniquely adapted to foraging on apple snails. The closed bill has a gap just before the tip that makes the bill act like tweezers. The tip itself is often curved slightly to the right so it can be slipped into the right-handed chamber of the snail.
source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

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