Monday, July 25, 2011


First - I am pretty verklempt that there will be football this season. This week is going to be fast and furious with details and trades and signings and schedules. Whew!

Spent the weekend at friends' cabin in northern MN. Have tons of pics to post backlog from stuff here, but putting together some for them and so they are handy to post. Haven't really gotten great Common Loon shots before - some nice ones of adults with chicks here, taken from a boat.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Purple Martins

As promised - everyone all together - OOOHH, AAAAHHH. Purple Martins really are pretty sexy. These shots were taken at one of the colonies where the team I am a part of banded 146 birds. In one day. It was a part of the 535 that we banded for the season.

These shots in flight are kinda neat. I will mention that the poor "Martin" at the top who looks upside down is actually a plastic decoy. It is there for the inevitable hawks who check out the birds. Looks this decoy did take a direct hit.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Amazing Goshawk

If I were you, I would do as the young goshawk says, and check out this link; it shows jsut how cool an adult goshawk's adaptations are for getting through small spaces (dense woods, shrubs, etc).

Sunday, July 17, 2011

More Osprey

As promised - some of many more to come. This bird had a Northern Pike - quite a good-sized fish!

These chicks peeked over from over the top of their nest platform. All were healthy and hopefully we can learn more from spotting their bands later!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Osprey part 1

Lots and lots and lots of osprey pics coming! It's the time of year when I get to assist banding osprey chicks, and watch some pretty incredible flights by these birds.

Apparently Red-winged Blackbirds don't realize how cool osprey are and won't give them a break.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tree Swallows

This is a pair of Tree Swallows - male on the left and female on the right.

Tree Swallows are not revered by many birders - especially those who have Eastern Bluebird boxes. True - they are little toughies and do try to displace bluebirds. But they are pretty aerodynamic to watch, and are downright pretty besides. At a recent banding we got a pair - here is a female in hand.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Barn Swallows

Don't you hate it when you try to get in a little "me" time (preening, stretching) and friends just won't leave you alone?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Mist Netting and Birds

I've always been proud of the brotherhood (or something akin to that) I belong to in bird banding. I think it is one way, amoung many, where contributions can be made to the continuing body of knowledge that is being compiled about birds, to learn about them and their needs. Recently, a doctoral student applied to use mist nets to learn about a target species, and was turned down with reasoning that this method would harm birds. She found out that there was very little evidence supporting that claim either way, and many of us are looking forward to the paper she wrote that says emphatically that mist netting is a safe way to capture birds.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Green Herons

I really,really love green herons. Have found at least four pair this year and am watching them for nesting activity. This bird shows you some of the many faces that herons have.