Hanging around, nothing left to do but frown…
Hanging around, nothing left to do but frown…
Hanging Around, Nothing Left to do but Frown…
Perhaps the most appropriately named warbler, this special bird is said to nest almost exclusively in pine trees and is one of the earliest nesting warblers within it’s range. These special birds were a thrill for us to find and watch. Closeup images of the male bird were taken at Big Spring State Park, while the nest was located in a Short-leaf Pine located on a parking lot within Shaw Nature Reserve.
The chicks were adorable and near-helpless, only able to open their gigantic craws at anticipation of a juicy insect meal.
During the time Steve and I strained our necks watching the child care from ~50 ft below, we were able to observe that when dad visited the nest he always approached from the side of the nest facing us as seen in the image below. Mom always visited on the opposite side, affording us poor looks. It was interesting to observe that both parents approached the nest in a slow and indirect manner, usually starting low in the nest tree or an adjacent neighbor. They would then hop from branch to branch, often in a spiral up the tree to reach the nest. I do not remember watching either parent make a direct flight to the nest.
I’ll leave you with the Pine Warbler advertisement song and with hopes of seeing them as soon as possible in the next spring.
This image was taken of a GHOW nest this year that was located in a park not too far from my house. The owlets have recently left the nest, but will be dependent on mom until near the end of this summer. This pair of “Cat-Owls” have used this cavity in this snag for their nest site for at least the past three years. I will be sharing more images taken from the nest over the next week or so.
Technical details: Canon EOS 7D camera, EF500mm f/4.5L USM lens, ISO 640, f/6.3, 1/160 sec
Today’s photo is one of the Red-tailed Hawks that make a home in St. Louis’ Carondelet Park. This is indeed, a wild bird. Of course Sarah was with me on a Sunday when we arrived here looking to photograph some of the Crossbills that visited us this year. While keeping my eyes peeled on the hemlocks for the Crossbills, I heard Sarah whisper, “Do yourself a favor and slowly look up”. I did and found this hawk perched ~15″ from me! Even once it discovered I was there it did not flush immediately but stayed and looked around a while.
Oh yeah, the MO chapter of The Nature Conservancy has prepared a slide show containing some of my bird photographs along with some pathetic creature. Please feel free to have a look by clicking: Missouri Birds: Images From Bill Duncan
“It is delightful to observe the assembling of these feathered people from the woods and reedy isles; herons white as wave tops, or blue as the sky, winnowing the warm air on wide quite wing; pelicans coming with baskets to fill, and the multitude of smaller sailers of the air, swift as swallows, gracefully taking their places at Nature’s family table for their daily bread. Happy birds!”
Compared to it’s close relative in the Zonotrichia genus, the White-throated Sparrow, the White-crowned Sparrow is a bravado. These guys, especially the juveniles like the one pictured here, are quite curious and bold. They will readily fly to the tops of the vegetation they are hiding in to get a better look and are quite responsive to pishing. I find White-throats to be cowardly in comparison and quite a bit more difficult to get a clear photograph or looks at. Happy snowy Monday.
“The Unstoppable Coppertop!”
The BTGW nests primarily in conifers such as white pines, spruce and hemlocks in Canada’s boreal forests. Did you know…? A major source of wood pulp for the paper and tissue industry are the trees that are harvested from the boreal forests of the world. There are two easy things we can all do to limit our burden on these resources.
1) Recycle: Recycling is quite easy in much of the country and has a significant role in limiting the need for virgin wood pulp. Also consider purchasing products made from recycled paper products.
2) Limit use of unnecessary paper products: A horrible player here are solicitous catalogs and junk-mail. There are ways we can drastically reduce the pounds of this we receive in a year’s time. https://www.catalogchoice.org/ The disposable paper towels and other sanitary wipes are other industries that use significant percentages of wood pulp. There are many ways we can reduce usage of these products as well.
Yes, wood pulp is a renewable resource, and yes, humans are part of planet and will always be users of these resources. However, what many do not realize is that replanting trees is not the same as replanting natural habitat. Many bird species, including several wood warblers will only nest in specific, old-growth trees. These habitats have taken hundreds of thousands of years to develop the complex interactions of this original, world wide web. Planting a monoculture of cultivars developed to best meet the needs of man comes nowhere close to replacing the splendid diversity or wilderness aspects of these places hold.
“The only conclusion I have reached is that I love all trees, but I am in love with pines.”
“Black-throated Green Warbler, September 2012”
I know it’s not Monday, but it is the first day back after a nice holiday break. Same thing, or even worse…
This GBBG was spotted this past September during the local Audubon Society’s pelagic seabird trip to Carlyle Lake. The species is the largest gull found on the North American continent. They will eat any protein source they can find, including carrion and prey upon anything they can overpower, including smaller birds. This striking guy is a first-year bird and this species will not breed until their forth year. Interesting is the differences in behavior among these often difficult to distinguish gulls. This guy almost always flew solo and higher than the flocks of Ring-billed that constantly followed the boats.
“Great-Black-backed Gull, Autumn 2012”