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Beautiful Osprey!

on Fri, 07/25/2014 - 7:00pm

Pandion haliaetus  |  ORDER: ACCIPITRIFORMES  | FAMILY: PANDIONIDAE

We were on a pontoon ride on the Grand River with our dear friends last weekend and were all blessed to see (and I photographed) so many wonderful birds, Green Herons, Belted Kingfishers and these beautiful Osprey. We hadn't noticed it until I downloaded the photos ... do you see the fish in the left Osprey's talons? (Also see slides 1 and 2 on the homepage.)

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology "Unique among North American raptors for its diet of live fish and ability to dive into water to catch them..."

The List

on Tue, 04/22/2014 - 3:11am

Below is a list of 52 birds that I have photographed to date. NEW to the list this winter, a Ring-necked Pheasant (31 - photo below) and a Hairy Woodpecker (52). Also, seen for the first time this winter but not photographed, a Northern Shrike. Another very interesting bird!

I am also working on building pages for each bird and have started with the Eastern Bluebird (2) and a series of Woodpeckers (50-52).

  1. Blackbird, Red-winged
  2. Bluebird, Eastern
  3. Bunting, Indigo
  4. Cardinal, Northern
  5. Chickadee, Black-capped
  6. Crane, Golden-crowned (Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park)
  7. ***, Sandhill
  8. Crow, American
  9. Dove,

Brown Thrasher

on Tue, 04/22/2014 - 2:22am

Brown Thrasher | Toxostoma rufum
* L 11 1/2" WS 13"

Brown Thrashers are mimics, along with mockingbirds, catbirds, and starlings. So many times I have listened intently for any kind of defined series, a repeated pattern, but no matter how hard I tried, I can never hear one. And no wonder! The Cornell Lab of Ornithology (website) says, "The Brown Thrasher can sing up to 2,000 different songs and may be the champion mimic in North America."

*National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Birds of North America, (book)"... In the early spring males deliver varied song (over 1,000 recorded

Woodpeckers

on Sat, 03/08/2014 - 12:55pm

Red-Bellied Woodpecker Photo by Vanessa L Mitchner Jan. 26, 2014
Picidae is the family name for Woodpeckers, (Order: Piciformes) and they are truly amazing birds! The Red-bellied Woodpecker (male) is featured here at left and right below as well as slide one of the home page feature. Slide two and below center is a female Hairy Woodpecker (left) and a female Downy Woodpecker (right).

Red-Bellied Woodpecker Photo by Vanessa L Mitchner, January 30, 2014
From Bird Watcher's Digest we learned that all woodpeckers peck wood to create a nest cavity but not all of them do that for food. Flickers, red-bellied and red-headed woodpeckers (along with 19 other species from the Melanerpes tribe) do just about everything else but peck

Eastern Bluebirds

on Sat, 02/08/2014 - 12:59pm

Eastern Bluebird
(Sialia sialis | Order: Passeriformes | Family: Turdidae) Unlike the Robins, around here we see Eastern Bluebirds on a regular basis throughout the winter, like this one on the left who stopped by for my birthday (02/08/14 :). In fact, we probably see them more in the winter than we do in the summer. Of course it does help to have a heated bird bath outside of your front window! We also have many of the wild fruit trees and shrubs with berries that they like to eat such as Cedar, Chokecherry, Pokeweed, Wild Grape, Virginia Creeper and Sumac. 

Six Eastern Bluebirds, one Northern Cardinal
Eastern Bluebirds
Eastern Bluebird bathing in a puddle.
Eastern Bluebirds

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