June 21, 2017

Hovering Jay.
A close relative of the Blue Jay.

We have a suet feeder for woodpeckers that blue jays ad grackles keep raiding.
It is a piece of log with holes drilled into it that is filled with homemade suet.

Woodpeckers can hold on and feed without problem. The jays have to hover and stab at the suet as this one is doing.

Cyanocitta cristata

The pigment in Blue Jay feathers is melanin, which is brown. The blue color is caused by scattering light through modified cells on the surface of the feather barbs.
source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Blue_Jay/lifehistory

June 19, 2017

Blanding's turtle.

Went looking for a fawn a friend saw, missed it but found this Blanding's turtle near the parking lot of the trail.

Watched until it was safely across the road.

Emydoidea blandingii

Blanding's Turtles live in shallow water, usually in large wetlands and shallow lakes with lots of water plants.

It is not unusual, though, to find them hundreds of metres from the nearest water body, especially while they are searching for a mate or traveling to a nesting site.

Blanding's Turtles hibernate in the mud at the bottom of permanent water bodies from late October until the end of April.
source - https://www.ontario.ca/page/blandings-turtle

June 18, 2017

Map Turtles.

I was trying to think up a good title for this image.
I thought of something like
99 map turtles on the dock,
99 map turtles...

Didn't fit but now I've got 99 bottles of beer on the wall stuck in my head.
Is it yours now.
Misery loves company.
.
Graptemys geographica

Female northern map turtles may take more than 10 years to reach maturity. They nest from June through July and lay a single clutch of up to 17 eggs. They hatch in the fall, and in some cases the hatchlings overwinter in the nest. The incubation temperature of the eggs determines the gender of the hatchlings.

source -https://www.ontarionature.org/protect/species/reptiles_and_amphibians/northern_map_turtle.php

June 17, 2017

June 16, 2017

American robin

Junior! I've told you to leave me alone when I'm having a bath. Go eat a worm or something.

Turdus migratorius
An American Robin can produce three successful broods in one year. On average, though, only 40 percent of nests successfully produce young. Only 25 percent of those fledged young survive to November. From that point on, about half of the robins alive in any year will make it to the next. Despite the fact that a lucky robin can live to be 14 years old, the entire population turns over on average every six years.
source - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/gu…/American_Robin/lifehistory

June 15, 2017

Ruby throated hummingbird.

Male ruby throated hummingbird, Rondeau Provincial Park, July 15, 2017

Usually see the female but this male has started coming into the feeder.

Archilochus colubris

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are eastern North America’s only breeding hummingbird. But in terms of area, this species occupies the largest breeding range of any North American hummingbird.

June 14, 2017

Bath time.

The sloughs are starting to dry up due to lack of rain. Mostly stagnant which the birds may not find appealing.
More traffic at the pond like this Baltimore Oriole.

Icterus galbula

Smaller and more slender than an American Robin, Baltimore Orioles are medium-sized, sturdy-bodied songbirds with thick necks and long legs. Look for their long, thick-based, pointed bills, a hallmark of the blackbird family they belong to.

source -https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Baltimore_Oriole/id

A new yard visitor.

Anne spotted an Eastern Fox Snake heading into our little pond.
A quick photo through the window was all I could get.
By the time I got outside it was in the heavy brush next to the yard.

New yard reptile.

Pantherophis gloydi

The eastern fox snake is the third-largest snake in Ontario and can reach a length of up to 1.7 metres, although most individuals are smaller. Its body is yellow to light brown with large, dark brown blotches down the back and two alternating rows of smaller blotches along the sides. This snake has a reddish brown head with dark bars around the eyes and a yellow chin. Its belly, which is also yellow, has alternating brown patches. The scales of this species are lightly keeled (ridged down the centre) and its anal plate is divided.
source -https://www.ontarionature.org/protect/species/reptiles_and_amphibians/eastern_foxsnake.php

June 12, 2017

Little wood satyr?


Not sure if this is a wood satyr or not but that is what we could in the field guide.
Lots of butterflies around the hop bush/tree in the yard.

June 11, 2017

Midge bloom.

This immature common grackle came into the pond which is saturated with midges.

Not sure if it had a drink of water or if it was the special of the day, Midge Soup.

Quiscalus quiscula

Common Grackles appear black from a distance, but up close their glossy purple heads contrast with bronzy-iridescent bodies. A bright golden eye gives grackles an intent expression. Females are slightly less glossy than males. Young birds are dark brown with a dark eye.
source -https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Common_Grackle/id

June 10, 2017

In nature nothing goes to waste.

Not even waste.
This Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly was on the road at Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada.

Not sure what type of scat, such a polite word for poop, it was but there were half a dozen butterflies on it at one point.

Papilio glaucus
This unique species of swallowtail is a quick and strong flier, gliding when able. The males are a bright yellow, while the females can exhibit two different color forms; yellow and black and black and blue. The darker form is more common in the southern states.
source Garden with Wings.

June 09, 2017

White eyed vireo.

From earlier this spring.
Nice when the name matches the bird.

Vireo griseus
The White-eyed Vireo bathes by rubbing against wet foliage.
source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

June 08, 2017

On the Boardwalk.

Out on Tulip Tree Trail today and came across a young raccoon. It wasn't sure about me.
Eventually it turned around and went back to Mom.

A few minutes later I saw about 8 kits and Momma did seem happy to see me.

June 07, 2017

Tulip Tree.

One of the trails at Rondeau Provincial Park is named the Tulip Tree Trail.
Oddly enough there are tulip trees along the trail and right now they are blooming.
As you can see they come by their name legitimately.

 Liriodendron tulipifera

The tulip tree is a large, fast-growing tree, up to 35 metres tall with a trunk up to 160 centimetres in diameter. As its name suggest, the tulip tree produces beautiful yellow-green flowers that are about 5 centimetres long. They have 6 petals and are shaped like tulip flowers and bloom in the spring. Its leaves are 7 to 12 centimetres long and are straight across the top, with 4 lobes beneath. They are light green and turn yellow in the fall. The tulip tree's bark is smooth and dark green when the tree is young, then turns brown and ridged.
source -Ontario.ca

June 06, 2017

Hummer in the Solomon's Seal

A female ruby throated hummingbird was searching through the low growing Solomon's Seal a few days ago.

Archilochus colubris
Ruby-throated Hummingbirds normally place their nest on a branch of a deciduous or coniferous tree; however, these birds are accustomed to human habitation and have been known to nest on loops of chain, wire, and extension cords.

June 05, 2017

Caspian Tern.


Seen from the pontoon boat along Rondeau's sand spit near Erieau.

Hydroprogne caspia
The oldest recorded wild Caspian Tern was at least 29 years, 7 months old when it was found in Louisiana in 1989. It had been banded in Michigan in 1959. The average life span of Great Lakes Caspian Terns is estimated to be 12 years.
source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

June 04, 2017

Red eyed vireo.

A red eyed vireo from earlier this spring on one of the trails at Rondeau.

Vireo olivaceus

A tireless songster, the Red-eyed Vireo is one of the most common summer residents of Eastern forests. These neat, olive-green and white songbirds have a crisp head pattern of gray, black, and white. Their brief but incessant songs—sometimes more than 20,000 per day by a single male—contribute to the characteristic sound of an Eastern forest in summer. When fall arrives, they head for the Amazon basin, fueled by a summer of plucking caterpillars from leaves in the treetops.
source- Cornell Lab of Ornithology

June 02, 2017

Green heron

Anne spotted this green heron from the pontoon boat while cruising the shoreline of Rondeau Bay.
I drive the boat, she finds the birds. Today we had great blue heron, whimbrel, black terns and this green heron.
Very interesting to watch it pluck an insect, usually a midge, and drop it into the water to entice a fish within striking range.

Butorides virescens
The Green Heron is one of the world’s few tool-using bird species. It creates fishing lures with bread crusts, insects, earthworms, twigs, feathers, and other objects, dropping them on the surface of the water to entice small fish.
source- Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

June 01, 2017

All the field marks.

This yellow rumped warbler is showing the yellow rump, head and wing patches.
Nice of him to co operate.

Setophaga coronata

When Yellow-rumped Warblers find themselves foraging with other warbler species, they typically let Palm, Magnolia and Black-throated Green warblers do as they wish, but they assert themselves over Pine and Blackburnian warblers.