Friday, March 30, 2012

Other NE Pics

Lots of other birds to recommend NE by besides the cranes!  We had Dark-eyed (slate colored) Juncos, Western (and Eastern) Meadowlarks, Red-tailed Hawks, and two rotten Bald Eagles who kept harassing the Northern Pintail. 

In these last three pics, you can see one adult eagle already on the ground with something.  Another adult blew in and roiled the pintail continually so they couldn't set down.  Obviously they are looking for an edge; somebody won't look quite right, and that bird would then become the target.  I understand the predatory angle; pintail are just so sexy. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Turkey Vulture

On a trip last Friday to La Crosse, WI to see/talk peregrines, also was able to see a Turkey Vulture land on a vliff ledge, and noodle around, as if the bird might have started some nesting activity.  The first three shots of are the bird flying in, and sitting on the ledge.  Next three are the same shots, with a red circle to help find the bird.

Monday, March 26, 2012

NE Part 2

One of the mornings we were in NE, the visibility was .2 miles.  Lots of moisture from 81 and 84 degree days.  Art-y cranes in the mist shots!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

NE 2012 part 1

Had another great trip out to NE last week.  Had some challenges with my camera and lens, so was pleasantly surprised that I got any worthwhile images at all.  Interesting to be out there with 81-84 degrees during the day.  Cranes were at their peak, according to locals.  What an amazing experience.  Just standing at the edge of a river or field and watching these almost-ancient birds gather and eat/communicate is pretty humbling. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Downy Woodpecker Tangles

We're almost at the end of current photos of Downy Woodpeckers!  This was an interesting interaction between two males a few weeks ago; they briefly tangled a few times as they both made their way up a couple of trees in a park.  It was very gentleman-y - almost like a South Park wussy-slap.  Seemed to be pretty evenly matched, too - neither emerged as the heir apparent to whatever cavity must be the coveted one in the area.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Red tailed Hawk camera in NYC

The New York Times has set up a live-streaming camera on a 12th-floor window ledge outside of the office of the president of New York University. This year we're partnering with New York City Audubon to bring you expert commentary and interactive features about raptors and their roles in their urban ecosystem.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Red bellied Woodpecker

Just got back from a great trip to NE - 300,000 or so of my closest friends in town.  Will take a bit of time to sort photos and post, so wanted to get some pics up.  This is a male Red-bellied woodpecker recently banded at Springbrook. You can see how they get their name when you have them in hand - the reddish feathers on the belly.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Young Red-tails

This past weekend was pretty terrific for weather in the Twin Cities.  I birded my butt off, and got some great FOY birds for the season! 
Found these two SY Red-tails in a local cemetary.  There is a small body of water which I thought might be open, and contain some of the great waterfowl I keep hearing about.  Instead, there was about a 3-foot-square patch of open water, with one pair of Mallards, and these two hawks perched above.  I didn't hold out much luck that they would be successful in their hunting quest, but one never knows when there is a combination of patience, ingenuity and small hunting space.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Migration this week from e-Bird

Check out this info about winds this week and migration!  I will try to get this up each week so you can follow it; be sure you click on the interactive wind map.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Spring is Here!

Well, spring really did get here.  Yesterday in Twin Cities it got to be 59 degrees.  Had the day off to scope a location for National Park Service bird banding program coming up.  Found several species of birds either singing, or fueling up.  American Goldfinches were singing and eating on recently budded trees; American Robins were singing and eating; Red-bellied Woodpecker was working his tongue (see pic) into bark for grubs; got a red-tailed hawk with a very full crop!; and finally, Dark-eyed (slate colored) juncos, SINGING!  Birds of North America lists this as an occasional occurence on non-breeding grounds, so not unheard of.  Pretty great to see and hear, though!