Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Weekly What Bird Wednesday

If you would like to join me for my W.W.B.W leave a guess in the comments or make you own What Bird post.
Can you guess this bird?

Last weeks was Ruby-crowned Kinglet!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Feathers on Friday

New year birds are showing up by the day. Here's an American Tree Sparrow
American Tree Sparrow

Thanks to Prairie Birder for the FoF prompt

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spring has Sprung (Part 4)

I have decided to make yet another post after this one.

Meadowlarks were one of the first Spring birds we started to see in our bikes around the neighborhood. There loud song always alerted you to their presence
Western Meadowlark singing
Juncos are everywhere now, at the feeders, around the yard, in the bushes.. I think this one might has slight pied leucism.
Dark-eyed Junco, possibly has slight pied leucism
Northern Harriers are also common, I got this picture of a male with prey, maybe a vole.
Northern Harrier with prey
Purple Finches have become regular visitors at our feeders. My twin brother got this picture
Purple Finch
Not only have we been seeing a Sharp-shinned Hawk, but also the Cooper's is back. This might get confusing!
Cooper's Hawk
I took a walk outback and I heard the Cooper's Hawk's familiar call, Kekekekekeke!
Cooper's Hawk flying
I have been trying to find water birds more than I did last year. We have been to the nearby Red River Floodway a few times, as well as the Red River twice.

We were driving home from a friends and we went over the floodway, we saw two herons right by the road. We quickly went home and came back with the camera. It was getting close to sunset so it was pretty dark. When we got back the herons had moved farther away, but I still managed this picture. I brightened it on the computer a lot
Two Great Blue Herons
We saw Hooded Mergansers almost every time we went to the Floodway and the Red River.
Hooded Mergansers
We could see lot's of Bald Eagle flying around the floodway when we were biking, as well as Red-tailed Hawks, Rough-legged Hawks and Northern Harriers. When we went to the floodway once I spotted a Bald Eagle sitting on something on the water
Bald Eagle
Killdeer started to show up around the neighborhood, there call is often heard. We were able to get really close to one once.

We have started to see pelicans fly over, really cool birds.
American White Pelican
Gulls are very common now, especially around the floodway
Ring-billed Gull
We have seen a few types of ducks, Mallards, Common Goldeneye's, Common Mergansers and Hooded Mergansers.
A pair of Mallards

Stay tuned for the last part!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Weekly What Bird Wednesday

This weeks bird:
Can you guess it?
Neil guessed last weeks correct, Western Meadowlark!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Spring has Sprung (Part 3)

This is my third post in my 'Spring has Sprung' series. See my other here.

New year birds continue to be seen here, as well as a few lifers
In one of my walks to the back, I saw something that looked like a duck fly into a tree. At first I thought it was a Mallard, but then of course, only Wood Ducks go in trees. Once I got a good look at it I knew it wasn't a duck, but a Sharp-tailed Grouse! It stayed in the tree for a while when I just stood there taking pictures.
Sharp-tailed Grouse
I got a flight shot when I finally moved a bit and was scared off. We saw the grouse for the next couple days.

My brother came back from a bike ride and said that he saw some Grey Partridge, which I hadn't seen before. The next day when I was biking around the same spot I saw them fly up, too suddenly for a picture. I used the only picture my brother got of them for a Weekly What Bird recently.

When y and my brother were biking together, we went down a side road, I thought we would see nothing, but I meas wrong. There were a bunch of robins and some starlings, and some Cedar Waxwings, wait... those don't look like Cedar Wacwings. Bohemian Waxwings! A new lifer! They were sitting in a berry tree which gave us some good shots!

Bohemian Waxwing
Eating a berry
This morning I saw the Pileated Woodpecker near the feeders, but this time it wasn't the normal one. A male! That makes a pair! Maybe they'll nest here.
Male Pileated Woodpecker
The Goldfinches are coming back too, but they've shown up now and then in the winter.
American Goldfinch
My brother was outback looking for a spot for the kestrel box, and he came back and said he thought he saw a Short-eared Owl. Later we went out looking for it, and we found an owl, not a short-eared, but a long-eared! A new lifer! In fact, we didn't find one of them, but two! It is likely they will nest here as our yard provides suitable habitat and old crows nests that they nest in.
I got this picture of it flying
On the way back, we saw a junco, but it looked a bit weird for a junco. We got closer, it was a thrush. I quickly identified it as a Hermit Thrush by it's red tail.
First Hermit Thrush of the year for me!
We have went out a couple times to see the owls. I have located there favorite roosting trees, as every time we went out they have been there. I went out one time, and not five feet in front of me it flew away, they are incredibly camouflaged.
As our Birds of Canada book says:

"A master of disguise and illusion, the Long-eared Owl blends into its shady, wooded background by flattening its feathers and assuming a thin, vertical form."

Hiding behind a tree
Wow! I would have never found it if it hadn't been for the other one that flew away, revealing their presence. I got to a better spot to get some pictures of it's whole body. They are a lot smaller than I thought, but when they fly they look big. They are really thin and tall, so I think it makes them look small but they have long wings.
Long-eared Owl
I did a sketch of a Long-eared Owl from our Birds of Canada book
My Long-eared Owl sketch

Before I saw one for real I always thought they looked just about the same as Great-horned Owls and were the same size, I know better now.

When I was outback I was able to get really close to a chickadee, and I got really good photos.

Stay tuned for the last part! (unless more Spring birds show up in the next few days)

Thanks to Prairie Birder's and her FoF prompt

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Weekly What Bird Wednesday

Guess this bird! If you can find it!

Lasts weeks was a really tough one, but if you know what species the red outer tail feathers belonged to you may have been able to guess Grey Partridge

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spring has Sprung (Part 2)

Taking a look at the weather, Spring will be delayed till next week. We're in the minuses almost all week.

Me and my brother started taking walks and bike rides almost every day to see what we could see.
I would usually go in the morning when everyone was still asleep and later in the day. I would first go outback then walk or bike on the road.
A raggedy looking raven 
 I was out around the yard one day and I saw a Bald Eagle fly by. Me and my brother went out onto the road to look for it. Sure enough, a black spot in a tree a couple fields and roads away. We walked down the road until we got close enough for decent pictures, which took along time.
Bald Eagle sitting in a tree
 It flew and I got some good pictures of it
Bald Eagle
 Another day, my brother was watching birds from the window, and he saw a Sharp-shinned Hawk. He got some okay pictures of it. We have seen it a couple times around the yard since then.
Sharp-shinned Hawk

Flying Sharp-shinned Hawk
 We had been seeing a Red-tailed Hawk around the neighborhood, and when my brother was out for a walk one day he got some pictures of it with nesting material.
Red-tailed Hawk nest building
Robins are now very common, singing their cheery song.
American Robin
We have been seeing a kestrel around the neighborhood, they're pretty hard to get good pictures, they're so quick.
American Kestrel
My brother got this picture of it with prey
Kestrel with prey
Robin eating berries

Stay tuned for more exciting birds that we've been seeing!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spring has Sprung! (Part 1)

Now that Spring is finally here, we have been seeing more birds! We started to see juncos a week or two ago at the feeders. We had seen a couple Red-tailed Hawks and a kestrel also. Just in the last week the birds have really started to show up. On the 6th, we went for an afternoon drive to Oak Hammock Marsh. That kind of marked the start of Spring birds for me. Since then we have started to see more and more birds. I haven't had to put too many new birds on my year list though, because when we went through U.S. to Ontario we saw most of the early Spring birds already.
We have also been continuing to see the Pileated Woodpecker
Female Pileated Woodpecker
 We saw some Snow Buntings on the way to Oak Hammock Marsh. Geese walked around at Oak Hammock Marsh, being very good photo subjects.
Canada Goose
 The ground squirrels were already out of hibernation and I managed to get some pictures.
Richardson's Ground Squirrel
 There was an odd goose with a white patch on the front of it's head, almost like a "W".
Canada Goose with strange white patch
 The geese were fighting a bit which gave me the chance to get some pictures of their wings spread out.
Canada Goose spreading wings
 Here's a picture of them taking off.
Canada Geese
 On the way out from Oak-hammock Marsh, we saw a Harrier, but it was too far away for any good pictures.
We were near Lockport, and I glanced out the window of the van. "There's a big nest." I said. My eyes widened and I called for my dad to stop the vehicle as a Red-tailed Hawk landed in the nest. I got some pretty good pictures. Then a immature Bald Eagle flew over too.
Red-tailed Hawk in nest
Immature Bald Eagle
 Wow! What excitement, I was not expecting that. The Red-tailed Hawk landed in a nearby tree in plain view, but I never managed to get a picture because I was trying to get through some bushes. I got a picture of it screeching and flying away, but it wasn't very good. Too bad I didn't get very good pictures of it sitting. We came to Lockport and stopped at the river for a minute, I got a picture of a gull flying over.
Ring-billed Gull
 Outside of Lockport my dad spotted something on top of a street light. A Red-tailed Hawk!
Red-tailed Hawk
 It flew away and I got some excellent pictures of it flying.
Red-tailed Hawk diving
Stay tuned for more posts on the Spring birds here!