Sunday, May 31, 2015

Big, Little and In Between

 Quite a size difference between the Pileated Woodpecker and Ruby-throated Hummingbird! 

 One of my all-time favorites - Eastern Kingbird.  Very amenable at letting me watch him hunt. 
Eastern bluebirds - quite a mouthful of nesting material!

Coops and Broad-wing Smackdown

 Got to see something interesting yesterday.  Was out with a friend to band Eastern bluebird chicks at a local park.  Spent a little time in the park beforehand.  Heard a Broad-winged hawk's distinctive whistle call, but did not see the bird.

As we were getting ready to band the chicks, saw the Broad-wing overhead, making several passes. Then saw a second bird; you can tell from the primaries molting in on both sides that it is another bird. 

 Then - saw a Cooper's hawk.  Not uncommon to find them both in town, obviously.  But in the same airspace?  I did wonder a little bit how that would work out. 
 And here we have it - a real dogfight.  One of the Broad-wings whistled during the whole thing but the Coops didn't say much.  Probably only lasted about five minutes.  Not sure who the winner was; both birds drifted off.  One of the Broad-wings came by a few minutes later and was not chased off.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May 9 - International Migratory Bird Day

 May 9 was International Migratory Bird Day!  I got out to a few parks and took some photos of birds.  Wanted to show the importance of urban green spaces to birds.  Not great overall photos, but interesting species.  American Pipit on a crummy beach area.  Lots of birds just passing through.  Some getting ready to breed.  Some already with chicks.  Nice snapshot in time of a day in Minnesota in May.