Friday, February 25, 2011
Get up close and personal with burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia). Mac Stone, wildlife photographer and field biologist for the National Audubon Society, hid his camera in a traffic cone and set it up outside of an owl burrow to capture these beauty shots of the birds. The video is a time-lapse of their daily movements and behaviors. Make sure you have sound up - that adds to this! (Burrowing owl video is second one on the page) http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/201102182
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Big thank you to friend Sue P, whose sharp ears and wanderlust for open spaces took her down a ways from a park we were both at this past weekend. She heard mobbing, and checked a red cedar tree for a possible predator - most likely a raptor. She found pellets and plenty of poop, indicating that an owl had been there. We took another look - and found this fantastic bird! Northern Saw-whet owls have been fairly easy to find in the Twin Cities this past winter. This bird has a small rodent in its feet, so he has obviously been hunting well. We were careful not to spend too much time just staring at him, though it was tempting. Owls do not fly off as readily as hawks do when they are stressed, which often leads people to think that they are "just fine" with the attention. Instead, they exhibit stress in different ways, and internalize much of it, so it is the responsibility of all of us to make sure to not intrude too much into their lives while we appreciate them.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Springbrook Nature Center has a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk who has been hunting squirrels and other tasty treats right around the main building. The feeders are well-stocked, and so there is the expected plethora of birds, as well as small mammals that appreciate the spilled seeds. The hawk started his Super Bowl Sunday with a shrew that he deftly caught, right outside a main viewing window. We also saw him - at very closer range - enjoy a Downy Woodpecker later on. Picked up feathers after his meal. Of course - I brought only my small camera so did not get good pics. The last pic in this series is of the bird sitting right over a suet feeder that we use on bird banding days.