Sunday, May 31, 2015

Big, Little and In Between

 Quite a size difference between the Pileated Woodpecker and Ruby-throated Hummingbird! 

 One of my all-time favorites - Eastern Kingbird.  Very amenable at letting me watch him hunt. 
Eastern bluebirds - quite a mouthful of nesting material!

Coops and Broad-wing Smackdown

 Got to see something interesting yesterday.  Was out with a friend to band Eastern bluebird chicks at a local park.  Spent a little time in the park beforehand.  Heard a Broad-winged hawk's distinctive whistle call, but did not see the bird.

As we were getting ready to band the chicks, saw the Broad-wing overhead, making several passes. Then saw a second bird; you can tell from the primaries molting in on both sides that it is another bird. 

 Then - saw a Cooper's hawk.  Not uncommon to find them both in town, obviously.  But in the same airspace?  I did wonder a little bit how that would work out. 
 And here we have it - a real dogfight.  One of the Broad-wings whistled during the whole thing but the Coops didn't say much.  Probably only lasted about five minutes.  Not sure who the winner was; both birds drifted off.  One of the Broad-wings came by a few minutes later and was not chased off.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May 9 - International Migratory Bird Day

 May 9 was International Migratory Bird Day!  I got out to a few parks and took some photos of birds.  Wanted to show the importance of urban green spaces to birds.  Not great overall photos, but interesting species.  American Pipit on a crummy beach area.  Lots of birds just passing through.  Some getting ready to breed.  Some already with chicks.  Nice snapshot in time of a day in Minnesota in May.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Great horned owl family

Great horned owls in local park were heavily photographed again.  I avoided much of it.  Today there was only me!  Found the male on his own, not far off the trail. 

Two youngsters and the female.

One of the youngsters stretches his wings!

Red-tailed hawk on Great Birding Day

 This is the same young (hatched last year) red-tailed hawk that made several circles over me on same Great Birding Day.  Though some of the photos seem oddly oriented, the bird really did appear to be "going straight up" as it climbed altitude. 

Great Birding Day

This is what spring feels like.  Birds either getting to town, or getting ready to nest. 
Eastern bluebird. 

Chipping sparrow.

Downy woodpecker cavity.

Whole series of Northern Flicker

Completely different and occupied cavity.
Common Grackle.

Hermit thrush

Most likely male osprey.  No "necklace" and he
does have bands. 

You can see the federal (silver) and black
project bands here.

Brown Thrasher!

Red-bellied woodpecker.
More ruby-crowned kinglets than humans
it seems last few days.