Couldn’t resist. From Perth County, ON taken March 3.
The Boundary Bay IBA and Reifel Bird Sanctuary (Ladner) are great places for bird watching, year round. They are particularly good for ducks and raptors, at this time of year. Without exaggeration, I easily saw more than 100 bald eagles a day, and more than 50 great blue herons a day. In addition, there were very large numbers of swans (tundra), back-crowned night herons, harriers, as well as some short-eared owls (Boundary Bay).
Wood duck (female)
Great blue heron
Wood duck (male)
Juvenile bald eagle
Male snowy owlSnowy owl
After many days of snow, followed by freezing rain, it was nice to drive out in the country today, in the sun! Managed as well to see four snowy owls, including a very white male! Still hoping to manage to photograph them in flight! (Wellington County, Ontario).
January is a great time for birding in Florida. The following pictures were taken at Merritt Island NWR, Ding Darling, NWR, St. Mark’s NWR, the Corkscrew Sanctuary, the Viera Wetlands and Marco Island.
Peregrine falcon attacking bald eagle
American white pelicansWhite ibis
(Little) Blue heron
Florida scrub jay
Juvenile red-shouldered hawk
Great crested flycatcher
Anhinga chicks with mother
Juvenile bald eagle
Black-crowned night heron
Over the last week, I have had the opportunity to watch anhingas, great blue herons and bald eagles build or enhance nests. It has been noteworthy that this is a shared activity, but that the female is apparently the “boss” and “accepts” contributions from the male.
After a snowstorm and two days of unseasonably cold weather, I correctly guessed that the short-eared owls would be hungry, and actively hunting. Today was the best day I have had for photographing these owls!
Winter months are an excellent time to see hawks in both Southern Ontario and Kentucky, where I spend most of the winter. Most of the North American hawks, tend to be short distance migrators (broad-winged travel further), and many species such as the red-tailed can be found year round. The rough-legged, seldom seen in the summer is prevalent in the winter. Today (in Kentucky) was a good day for Cooper’s hawks, red-tailed hawks, northern harriers and red-shouldered hawks.
Cooper’s hawk taken from front door of house
Yesterday, it was cold and windy (-13 degrees Celsius, but much colder with the wind chill). But the cold weather had given me “cabin fever” so I decided to go looking for birds. It proved to be a good day, with almost 30 species seen, and a snowy owl as well. I had hoped to catch the owl in flight, but it was content to sit on its post and watch the world go by. I was finally too cold to stay. and so, I did not manage to catch the owl in flight. Maybe next time!
Another day……another owl. Still did not manage an “in flight” picture. It remained in the tree for more than an hour and it was -20 Celsius.
In the photo above, the owl is coughing up an “owl pellet”.
Today I went to my favourite location in Wellington County for finding snowy owls. I have been very successful in this area in previous years, but this year I have struck out over three trips to the area. I did however see this short-eared owl, which is considered rare for the county.
This week, I was fortunate to see whooping cranes in three different counties in the Henderson area. The whooping crane is critically endangered and they survive in the wild today due to exceptional work by dedicated people committed to saving this magnificent species. Sadly, most years, some of the cranes are shot in their winter homes (this has happened in Indiana, Kentucky, Texas and Louisiana) while others are killed in collisions with power lines. It is estimated that there are about 100 in the wild in Eastern North America. For more information visit the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (https://bringbackthecranes.org).
Whooping crane with snake
Whooping cranes in flight
The short-eared owls put in a wonderful aerial performance yesterday, near the Somerville Mine in Southern Indiana!