Monday, June 23, 2014

Babies - Killdeer, Blue Jays, Red-winged Blackbirds

Many species of birds are fledging their young!  This baby killdeer ran to a parent and tucked underneath on a beach in Minneapolis area. 

This baby blue jay was one of several chicks begging for food, at a park near their nest. 

Two different red-winged blackbird nests - one lone chick in a water retention area, and two chicks in a tree (actually just 100 yards away) near a small lake.

Peregrines Fledge!

Some local peregrines took wing in the last couple of weeks. They stayed close to the building where their nest box was for the first week or so, then have dispersed to the tops of surrounding buildings. They can still see their parents, and are watching them catch their prey.  Those skills will take a while to develop. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Cedar Waxings

Cedar Waxwings might be some of the most photogenic of all birds.  Note I did not say they were the most amenable subjects.  However, this group was very intent on feeding, and not interested in me. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Interesting Female Red-winged Blackbird

This past Sunday, I encountered an interesting female red-winged blackbird.  First I noticed that she had no tail!  She was on a floating boardwalk in a local park/nature center, availing herself of bread left from public feeding Canada geese.

She was attended by a male who aggressively drove off another female who came too close, so I assumed they must have a nest nearby.

Note the brightness of her epaulets!  Some thought (Johnson et al, The Auk, 1996) that the brightness signals status in female-female aggressive encounters.

Peregrine Chicks

Peregrine chicks in the Mps metro area will be fledging soon.  This clutch of four on an office building were well fed!  The male brought in some supper while the female attentively kept an eye out.