Monday, April 30, 2012

Myrtle Warblers

Warblers are starting to come to Minnesota!  Our yellow-rumped warblers (Myrtle), also called "butter-butts" are some of the first.  We banded several at Springbrook a week ago.  The first four are an adult male; the last is a female. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cedar Waxwings

I'd better boogie to keep up with posting.  Banding season is in full force, and I'll have tons of goodies to post soon. 

Lots of questions as to how birds will react to warmer temps this year.  Amount of daylight is the same, but the fact that plant/bug resources are flourishing now might make some decide to take advantage of food for young. 

These Cedar Waxwings are exhibiting a courtship (basically trading a small item - stem?) that seems a little early to me, but we'll see what happens as records come in for timing of young. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Non-Avian but Cool

I know these are not birds, but kinda cool all the same.  Got the great opportunity to watch two kits and one adult for a couple of weekends.  Amazing how many animals can "make their living" in a metro area, and stay so secretive. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Assorted Flight Shots - GBH and BCCH

Continuing the "my new camera takes some great flight shots"; great blue heron and black-capped chickadee in local urban parks. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Ruby Crowned Kinglet eating/flight

Ruby crowned Kinglets are pretty entertaining to watch; when they glean their protein from under leaves or in the air, they are as aerodynamic as anything that flies.  Got a couple of neat shots this past weekend.  Check out the second photo - you can see the undersides of the feet; they are two-toned!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Brown Creepers and Butter Butts

I was absolutely stoked to find four Brown Creepers around a little local lake/pond.  They were singing softly while they did their foraging on the tree trunks.  Check out how well they camouflage!  You can also see those crazy feet/long toes in the first shot. 

Butter butts, aka yellow-rumped warblers, aka Myrtle warblers.  When they come, you know you've ben invaded.  Funny thing about this year; they are all in the trees, since there are leaves and no need to hang out on the ground for your protein packed goodies.  This bird made me laugh; all I saw for the first few minutes was the bird's butt - easy to see how it got it's name!  And generally the only part of their anatomy that warblers like to show you anyway - undercarriage and back end.  They are usually so high up that's it. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring Arrivals to MN

This is truly why we live in Minnesota!  The last few weeks have marked some great new avian arrivals to the state!  Some are early enough that the individuals are going to continue on north to actual breeding grounds, but it's nice for the species representation to at least be here for a bit!   

Chipping Sparrows have been here for a week or so. 

Female (first two pics) and male Eastern bluebirds are always a great spot of color on a usually drab brown/tan landscape of little new growth.  This year these little gems could find plenty of bugs eating on the fresh buds on trees!

Northern Flickers spend a lot of their time finding their protein in the ground, under leaves, and in the dirt.  was nice to see one posing so beautifully in this tree.  This female does not have the red mallor "mustache" of the males. 

Stay tuned!  Brown Creepers, Yellow-rumps and more to come!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Wood Ducks!

 If anyone has tried photographing Wood Ducks, they know that this bird in particular has a Freak Out gene.  You don't have to be unethically close to it; walking a path near a pond/lake is enough.  So - very pleased when these particular birds seemed amenable enough for some photos.  A couple of them were engaged in some territoriality concerns, which might have benefitted me since I wasn't the biggest concern.  Very pretty ducks -