Monday, August 29, 2011

Urban Red tailed Hawk

I've had the good fortune to have "run into" a few interesting Red-tailed hawks of late. The first two shots are of the same bird in a western suburb of the Metro area. It is perched on an osprey platform (the ospreys are long gone on their way south) in a field. The plumage is quite light. I couldn't get anything else, photo-wise - the bird was quite comfortable with me stopping on the road, judging from the foot-tuck, and that is a good sign that I didn't stress this bird out.

And here was a bird less than two miles from my house! All of the next shots are of the same bird - I did notice him/her because of the crow hassling! Another bird with interesting plumage - sent these to friend Bill Clark to get his take.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New Flamingo Chick at Como Zoo!

Last Thursday, Como Zoo welcomed a new Chilean flamingo chick! He/she is four days old in these photos. The parents are quite attentive, as shown here (and I did take photos to boost that cute factor.) So interesting to note that the beak will obviously change shape dramatically, and those short stubby legs will change in proportion to body as the chick grows.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Eastern Phoebe

Great weekend weather paired with seasonal changes in daylight made for some great birding this weekend! Lots of hatch year youngsters about, who don't know yet that you shouldn't let humans with cameras THISCLOSE to you. I have more green heron shots than I think I had in culmination to date. Also just some great moments of feeling like you get to watch and be a part of birds' lives, even for a little while - while they hunt, preen, check out stuff. It's kinda humbling and kinda nice.

Eastern Phoebe just hanging out.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Amber Offense and Defense Dream Teams

This the Steelers put to rest that goofy "dream team" nonsense from Philly last night. Did get me thinking about what my own dream team would look like. I did spend considerable time deciding which species of raptors most closely mirrored the "personalities" and "adaptations" of each position. (Should be without question that my dream team runs a 3-4 defense).

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Osprey - one more time

. . . and from the title, I reserve the right to actually post more osprey if I feel like it and get photos watermarked and resized. :)

Many of the female osprey (adults) have already started their travels south for the season. Won't be too much longer and these fabulous birds will be but a memory until they return next spring. Until then - a few more photos to enjoy!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Walker MN birds

When I visited friends in Walker, MN a few weeks ago, I expected to see the requisite Northern Goshawk. I did - twice - or at least the feathered butts of two goshawks. Was surprised to see as many Broad-winged hawks as I did (second photo). Red-tails were even around - in trees along
some open areas.

Fabulous red breasted nuthatches in Itasca State Park. This one was removing a fecal sac from the nest cavity!

Not a great photo - but can obviously tell this Scarlet Tanager!

And finally - Chipping Sparrow with lunch!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Past Birds (but worth posting)

Many people ask me, when they see me constantly with my camera, "what do you do with all those photos?" Good question. Someday - the Book. But in the meantime - trying to have some photos up for whomever reads the blog. Sometimes - just takes a cool bird, or something about them, that puts a smile on your face. Viva la avians, huh?

At any rate - WAAAAY back in May, when we were all just wide-eyed and desperate for the influx of migrants, we got this great Eastern Palm-warbler. I don't want time to diminsh how great this bird was in May. One of the great things about it is the ability to help tell its age from the cinnamon feathers on the crown.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Warbler Surprise

Springbrook banding on Sunday was brutal with mosquitos - but worth with with 62 individuals of 16 species! Heavily loaded with Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers, Black-capped Chickadees - and a female, SY Hooded Warbler! With a brood patch! No way to know if she bred there at Springbrook with timing. In all the years of the banding program, this is the first capture of this species. Pretty exciting! Though most range/breeding maps don't put them anywhere near us, there are some reliable breeding records in places to the north and to the south of us.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


One of the truly best experiences you can have is literally stumbling on a fantastic bird species - one that you might have seen from afar, or one that you just don't see that often, even if you "know" it should be around.
My dad and I were heading down a section line between fields when we could clearly see the silhouette of hawks in the tree. As we got closer, it was pretty apparent that these were no ordinary (sorry, guys) red-tails. Look at those pants! FERRUGINOUS! It was a pretty warm day so we didn't stay long, but they seemed almost as curious about us as we were about them.