Saturday, April 30, 2011

North Park Nature Center

Common Ones:
Robins, RW Blackbirds, Grackles, Cardinals, Mallards, Geese

1st Sighting Ever!
Kentucky Warbler (very rare here I guess), Blue-winged Teal, Rough-winged Swallow, White-crowned Sparrow

Yellow, Yellow-rumped, Palm

Chipping Sparrow, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, White-breasted nuthatch, Blue-gray gnatcatcher, Baltimore Oriole, House finches, Tree swallow, Red-bellied woodpeckers, Great Blue Heron, Wood duck, Sharp-shinned hawk, juvie Red-tailed hawk

Lots of Ohio Buckeye leafing out and blooming, maple blooms, box elder blooms.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Eagle Cam 2011 Tragedy

Yesterday the eagle mom got hit by an incoming airplane in Norfolk, Virginia. I've been watching these sweeties since they hatched about a month ago.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Palos Squirrels

This one's for Juji...

Still no Pileated Woodpecker :( But got some shots of a mama squirrel relocating her little one! In Illinois we have Grey Squirrels and Fox Squirrels - here's how to tell the difference. A birder passer-by told me that the "drink-your-tea" songs were male Eastern Towhees.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Brown Creeper

Saw my first creeper (at right) at Montrose today. He's after the flies and other inverts that are attracted to the sap flowing from the tree. Yellow-bellied sapsuckers are woodpeckers that drill shallow holes in the trees to lap up the sap. They are considered to be "keystone species" because they provide so much food for invertebrates, birds, and other animals.

The sapsuckers (below) are on their way up to Northern Wisconsin or perhaps Canada and some overwinter as far south as Panama :D

Thursday, April 7, 2011

My 2nd Fox Sparrow

While dress shopping on Superior St. downtown :(... Was it disrespectful of me to take this photo?  ...certainly couldn't have taken it if she/he had any apparent life left in her/him. I had just seen my first ever Fox Sparrow the week before at Montrose scratching in the leaf litter.  They're just stopping through this time of year.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Early April Birds... Montrose Bird Sanctuary

I had no idea you could see so many migrating birds this soon, esp. considering the maddening cold spells we've been cursed with lately. We saw 30 species of birds at the hedge, beach, and harbor around 4pm.

The common noisy ones:
Robin, Grackle, Red-winged Blackbird, Cardinal, Black-capped Chickadee, European Starling

Mallards, Canada Geese, Ring-billed Gulls, DC Cormorants, Killdeer, Common Mergansers, and a Mute Swan.

Wooded Lovelies:
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Downy Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebe, Dark-eyed Junco, (First-ever!) Golden-crowned Kinglets flitting around catching insects, (First-ever!) Fox Sparrow.

The Fox Sparrows are migrating up to Northern Canada. I saw one "double scratching" the ground in a wooded area to unearth insect larvae - looked like a sweet little solo bird jig. And I used my new phone apps out in the field for the first time - iBird Pro makes it easy to ID birds & calls. It tells you fun facts about things like migration, monogamy, and "double scratching". I also learned that the Fox Sparrow performs a broken-wing display to lure threats away from the nest. And I uploaded my first Wildlife Sightings to the Project Noah site using their new Android app!