In downtown Kitchener, there is a family of peregrine falcons, that is being tracked by several nature clubs. The mother has returned year after year. The father, was found in a driveway a month ago with a broken wing. He was taken to the University of Guelph, where surgery was performed on his wing. He is doing well and will hopefully be able to return to the wild. Of the four chicks, three have fledged successfully over the last week. The fourth disappeared from the nest area and is believed to have been picked off by another predator, perhaps a great horned owl. The chicks are acquiring flying skills and remain fairly close to the nest. They are being fed by their mother, who at this point is transferring what she catches to the chicks, in the air. This sequence has been caught in the following photos.
Mother peregrine carrying gull to the chicks.
Chick approaching mother to receive the gull.
One chick moves in to receive the gull from its mother, while another one, which had tried for the gull, flies by.
Chick flies off with the gull, while mother watches.
It is that time of year when young birds have fledged, but parents remain active protecting and feeding their offspring. Birdsongs are prevalent but the challenge is spotting and photographing the birds in the dense foliage. A brief trip to Snyder’s Flats yesterday revealed more than 30 species.
Recently fledged house wren
Very recently fledged catbird
Distraught catbird parent trying to draw me away from its fledglings
We have passed by the Montezuma NWR in Upstate New York on numerous occasions, travelling to and from Providence RI. With its large accessible wetland, it has looked like an intriguing place to visit. This past Sunday, we finally stopped and took the automobile circle tour. It is a great wetland, and we saw many birds, including great blue herons, great egrets and a green heron as well as numerous marsh wrens, and duck species. I hope we will have a chance to visit the reserve during migration season.
Today, we had to be in Hamilton. On the way home, we decided to stop at a number of locations around Burlington Harbour and in the Hendrie Valley. Despite the fact that these locations are at the edge of the Greater Toronto/ Hamilton Area (population in excess of 7 million), there is a great diversity of nature. It is a credit to those in the area who have worked hard to maintain such a vibrant ecosystem on the edge of one of the most industrialized areas of Canada.
Angry bird (red-eyed vireo), scolding and attacking a blue jay, along with about six nuthatches.
Caspian terns -fishing
Juvenile trumpeter swan (seen from above on a marsh boardwalk)
In late April, we had the chance to travel in south central England (Dorset, Somerset and Hampshire). While most of the following birds are considered common in England, it was a pleasure to see these species of a different continent.
Bullfinches (female and male)
Wren (winter wren)
Tufted ducks (female and male)
Greater black-backed gull
Great spotted woodpecker
Having been in Europe for the first half of May, I missed much of the warbler migration. Stops at Thickson’s Woods (Whitby), Prince Edward Point Nature Refuge, Long Point and Mc Gregor Point however still proved to be eventful. The following pictures were taken this month from those locations. At long last I managed to see a golden-winged warbler, but unfortunately a photograph proved elusive as she hopped from branch to branch, behind branches in the foreground.
Black-throated green warbler, after banding at Long Point
Magnolia warbler (female)
Magnolia warbler (male)
American redstart (female or juvenile)
Chestnut-sided warbler (female)
Black-throaed green warbler
Black and white warbler
Couldn’t resist. From Perth County, ON taken March 3.