March 18, 2018

Snowy owl.

Anne spotted 3 snowy owls, 1 eagle, assorted ducks and a muskrat while we were out birding today near Rondeau Provincial Park.
South view of a northbound bird.

Bubo scandiacus
John James Audubon once saw a Snowy Owl lying at the edge of an ice hole, where it waited for fish and caught them using its feet.
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March 14, 2018

Merlin, near Ridgetown, Ontario, March 14, 2018.

We were out looking for tundra swans when I spotted this merlin at the same time Anne saw a dozen swans.
We watched the merlin drop of the post and retrieve something, turned out to be a bird carcass, and return to the post.

Falco columbarius
The name “Merlin” comes from esmerillon, the old French name for the species. Merlins used to be called “pigeon hawks” because in flight they look somewhat pigeon-like. Their species name, columbarius, is also a reference to pigeons.
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March 11, 2018

Still waiting for spring.

Tiger swallowtail butterfly from warmer times.

Papilio canadensis
Eastern Tiger SwallowtailThe color of the eastern tiger swallowtail can vary. Males are yellow or yellow-orange with black tiger stripes. Their wings are bordered in black with yellow spots, and there are black "tiger stripes" running across the top of their wings. Their long black tails have blue patches on them.
Eastern Tiger SwallowtailFemales can range in colour from the yellow of the male to an almost solid bluish-black. The black form the the eastern tiger swallowtail is most common in the southern part of its range in areas also inhabited by the pipevine swallowtail, a butterfly that has an unpleasant taste. The black form of the eastern tiger swallow tail may be an example of deceptive coloration using mimicry.
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March 09, 2018

Chestnut-sided warbler.

I've been going through old photos and deleting the so-so ones.
During that process I'm seeing some old favourites like this warbler.

Setophaga pensylvanica

The Chestnut-sided Warbler sings two basic song types: one is accented at the end (the pleased-to-MEETCHA song), and the other is not. The accented songs are used primarily to attract a female and decrease in frequency once nesting is well under way. The unaccented songs are used mostly in territory defense and aggressive encounters with other males. Some males sing only unaccented songs, and they are less successful at securing mates than males that sing both songs.
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March 08, 2018

Bath time

Staying with a warm weather theme today, here's an enthusiastic warbler having a bath in the little pond.

Still snowing out there.

March 07, 2018

A summer scene.

Tired of winter? I am.
Here's a sora from warmer times.
Along the marsh at Rondeau Provincial Park, August 2015.

Porzana carolina
The Sora walks slowly through shallow wetlands a bit like a chicken that has had too much coffee, nervously flicking its tail and exposing the white feathers below.

March 05, 2018


A pair of male American wigeons that were walking in a shallow pond in a farmers field.

Mareca americana
American Wigeons eat a higher proportion of plant matter than any other dabbling duck thanks to their short gooselike bill. The shortness of the bill helps exert more force at the tip so they can pluck vegetation from fields and lawns with ease.
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