Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Puffed up Downy Woodpecker

This puffed up Downy Woodpecker graced me with his presence today and enjoyed the peanuts. I think Mr. Grackle extended him the invite!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

My first Pileated Woodpecker!

This weekend up at our log cabin, I finally got to see my first Pileated Woodpecker! My friend Eddie is always sending me pictures of his 20 Pileateds and making me envious. I shot this photo from inside the cabin because I knew they were notoriously shy and he might fly away as soon as I went outside. (Sure enough he did, but at least I got this one as proof.)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Mr. or Mrs. Finch?

This one definitely needs a clean up in my bird bath! I think it's a mister....

Friday, September 26, 2008

Reminiscing about the Bald Eagle

Okay, I'm done complaining about my bird drought. Today I am reminiscing about the Bald Eagle I photographed last winter. I'll be looking for them again.....

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pssst....Mr. Grackle

Psst.....Mr. Grackle!

Are you talking to me?

Yes, come over here. I want to make a deal with you!

Here's the deal Mr. Grackle. I haven't been getting many birds in my backyard. Just a handful of sparrows, Bob the mourning dove and you. I want you to spread the word to the cardinals, nuthatches and anyone else you come across that I have some new feeders and to come visit me!

And of course you will be rewarded in peanuts! Here you go!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Female Mallard goes shopping

Yep - I'm still stretching out my 'shopping center' pond photos. Here's my lovely female Mallard.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A well-groomed Mallard Duck

I am still having a bird drought. Brief glimpses in my yard, lost opportunities in the park and I won't be at the cabin until this weekend. So I "cherry-picked" a photo opportunity. I know there are mallard ducks at the shopping center pond close to my house so in desperation, I drove out there. (Now if I hadn't said anything, would you have thought it was a nice little pond out in the woods somewhere....??)

Making himself more handsome if possible.

Yes, you are a handsome boy and I was grateful for the photo opportunity. Thank you!

And no, I won't tell the other ducks you live in a pond at a shopping center!

Monday, September 22, 2008

For my Indian Summer picnic friends

For everyone participating in Muse Swing's Indian summer picnic - please visit me at Northern Michigan Experience.

Mourning Doves are back...

Hey - you down there! Can you save some seed for me?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Just a flower today

A flower for my blogging friends today!

Wish me luck on finding some birds today! I'm coming up with nothing! We're up at the log cabin and I have all my feeders filled. I'm ready! Just having black squirrels and chipmunks visiting for now....
Anyone else having this problem?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A day in the life of my cardinal

Hanging around - letting everyone know he's here by chirping non stop!

Here he is with a hunk of suet in his mouth. That's a first for me - never seen a cardinal on a suet feeder before! Have you?

Being chased by baby to feed her! (He didn't cooperate, he was being grumpy and running from her.)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I need a butterfly field guide!

I spent time chasing this butterfly (or moth?!) around my yard trying to get a good shot. They just don't stay still for more than 1 second.

Of course, I'm not able to identify it. I am going to purchase a butterfly field guide this weekend. Until then, is anyone kind enough to identify this for me?

Thank you!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The case is solved!

Your honor, in the case of Bob the Mourning Dove being accused of beheading St. Francis, some new evidence has come to light which will prove my client's innocence.

Whew! Thank goodness those grackles make a good attorney! I wonder who did this?

Who, who would do such a thing to St. Francis?


Friday, September 12, 2008

Who did this to St. Francis?!

I need answers. St. Francis has been beheaded!

This is terrible! Who could've done this?!

Well I didn't want to say anything and I was just minding my own business getting ready for winter but....I did see Bob the Mourning Dove in the vicinity....

We the jury find Bob the Mourning Dove guilty!


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Proof that Chickadees like me!

This was taken last year at Hartwick Pines State Park in Grayling, MI. It was amazing - as soon as I stepped out onto the deck - black-capped chickadees were swarming me- landing on my hat and shoulders. These chickadees are used to being hand fed in the winter by visitors. Now if I could only get these chickadees to vouch for me with the chickadees at the log cabin...I'd be all set!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cardinal needing a clean up

This guy was quite the character. Squawked (literally made this raspy noise that I couldn't believe a cardinal could make!) at every sparrow that tried to join him on the feeder. I'm sure his appearance didn't win him any prizes either! :-)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Blue Jay enjoying the sun

Here's my Blue Jay enjoying the sun and seeds!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Shy and not so shy

This black-capped chickadee was at first being unusally quiet in the tree. Then he came down to my empty bird feeder and starting doing his loud "chick a dee, dee, dee call." I knew what he wanted. I put the camera down, put seeds in my hand, stood next to the bird feeder and waited patiently. He came down and landed on my thumb, cocked his head at me for 3 seconds and then flew away without taking the seed. I'm still building trust....

I see you Mr. Chickadee!

"And I see that you have no bird seed lady!" Come on!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Green Heron - a good fisher!

I think my hubby would like to pick up on the Green Heron's fishing skills. I watched this fellow snag 3 fish in under 10 minutes. Did you know that they will use bait such as bread crumbs, worms and insects to fish in shallow water and snag their small fish?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Molty Loons

My adult loons are molting and getting ready for their drab winter coloring. While these photos don't have the clarity I would've liked - I wanted to share their "poses."

Friday, September 5, 2008

Juvenile Loons on the loose!

Here they are - the loon chicks I've been watching grow all summer. Somehow they both managed to survive the eagles, turtles, high-speed boats (those people need to be careful around the loons - but that's another story) and discarded fishing line that I picked up numerous times in the lake. I feel like I can breathe a sigh of relief. They are well fed and taken care of by their parents and will soon be ready to migrate.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Get out - the loon party is over!

In Wednesday's post, I described the Loon's "social gathering" and how it starts. Now here's the funny part - how it ends! The hosting Loons proceed to chase off the visiting loons rather abruptly off their lake. Kind of like "party is over, get off our lake!" My husband and I never laughed so hard watching this Loon pair kick these other loons out. In fact, one was chased right between our 2 kayaks but alas I wasn't quick enough with the camera.

Time to go!
No really, the party is over!

See you next summer! Maybe you can host the party next time.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Loon Social Gatherings

I was very excited this past weekend to observe a "loon social gathering." A loon or a pair of loons will host a social gathering on their lake. If they have chicks, they will hide them or one mate will stay behind to take care of them while the other loon visitors are on their host lake. Loons are actually quite social when they do not have to defend their territory or protect their chicks.

They will swim in a circle - almost like a dance and take turns peering and diving into the water. I cannot find the words to describe how beautiful this was to observe but can tell you I felt like I was witnessing one of nature's miracles.

Loons swimming their circle dance.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

She's a good Loon mom

My loon babies have now become juveniles. As fall is approaching, they are now able to fish for themselves and have the ability to avoid prey. The parents usually leave first for migration with the juveniles sticking around as long as there is open water before leaving.

What's especially interesting is these juveniles are able to feed themselves, in fact I watched them catching their own fish. But the mother was still catching fish and bringing it to them to eat. She may be overprotective but she's definitely a good Loon mom!!

*In the photo below, the juvenile female on the right is enjoying a fish mom just handed to her.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Update on my baby Loons!

I'm still up north at the cabin but had to do a quick post this afternoon to show you one of the Loon babies I found this morning. Can you believe how big he's gotten? (Check back on my earlier loon posts to compare.) I will be back tonight and will catch up with all my nature blogging friends. Hope you had a great labor day weekend!

P.S. Jessica at Five Pines has a Toledo bird book for any interested persons in that area. Be sure to check out her blog (her Five Pines link is in my sidebar.)