Friday, January 29, 2016

Feathers on Friday

Semipalmated Plover

 Happy Friday! I saw a lot of these little guys on the beach during our recent trip to Gulf Coast of Florida.  It looks like they only have one leg but I guess this is a common behavior.  This shot was taken early in the morning right after sunrise.  They keep one leg up as a way to conserve heat. 

More Feathers on Friday post:

Prairie Birder

The Cats and the Birds

Birds in Your Backyard

Another Day in Paradise

Have a great weekend and happy birding!  I will be checking out some Bald Eagle nests in the area this weekend.  Stay tune for more details on that.  Don't forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Feathers on Friday

Red-shouldered Hawk

 Happy Friday!  I got this shot the other day of one of our resident Red-shouldered Hawks staring down at something on the ground.  Happy birding this weekend! 

More Feathers on Friday Post:

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Friend or Foe?

The Case of the Red-Shouldered Hawk

Chickadees paying no attention to what looms in the woods.

I think behavior between animals especially birds is fascinating.  A lot of the time, what you expect to happen does, but sometimes the direct opposite occurs.  Take the case of the Red- Shouldered Hawk, it is known to take birds at feeders.  Not as a much as the Cooper's Hawk but it still has that repetition.  Though after watching a nesting pair in my backyard for almost three years, as well as their offspring, I have never seen even the slightest bit of interest in taking one of the birds that frequent my feeders.  The birds at the feeder don't seem to be the slightest bit scared of the Red Shouldered Hawk either.  They go about their business as if there is no sharp beak and talons looming right next to them.  The hawks seemed to be more interested in hunting rodents, frogs, and snakes than the birds.

When this Great Horned Owl was in my yard, all the birds were nowhere to be found.  It was completely silent not a bird would brave out from their hiding spots in fear of becoming food for this  large owl.

This is the aftermath of a Cooper's Hawk's kill of a Morning Dove.  You can read more about it here.   Every time the Cooper's Hawk appears in my backyard, the yard is a ghost town.

So, why is the response different to the Red-Shouldered Hawk?  There must be a enough of a supply of rodents, snakes, and frogs to keep the Red-Shouldered Hawk from hunting the birds.  The disinterest of the hawks somehow must be sensed by the birds and squirrels. So, it looks like the Red-Shouldered Hawks are friends to birds and squirrels for now...  Have you experienced any bird behavior that made you scratch your head?  Share your stories in the comments or comment on the Facebook page. 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Which is Which? The Answers

Downy or Hairy Woodpecker?

1.) Answer- Hairy Woodpecker

This one was probably the trickiest and happens to be one of my shots.  The long beak that is as long or longer than the head helps to ID this one as a male Hairy Woodpecker.  The all black tail with no white and spots on the side(though tough to see) also confirms that it is a Hairy Woodpecker.

2.) Answer- Downy Woodpecker

Photo Credit: Magnus Manske/Common Wikimedia

The smaller beak and white with black dots on the tail feathers along the side help to identify this one as a male Downy Woodpecker.  

3.) Answer- Hairy Woodpecker

Photo Credit: Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren/Commons Wikimedia
The all black tail and longer beak help to ID this one as a male Hairy Woodpecker.  

4.) Answer- Hairy Woodpecker

Photo Credit: Cheepshot/Common Wikimedia

The long beak on this one helps to identify this one as a male Hairy Woodpecker.

5.) Answer- Downy Woodpecker

Photo Credit: Wolfgang Wander/Commons Wikimedia

The smaller beak and white side tail feathers help to ID this one as a male Downy Woodpecker.  

How did you do?  I hope you enjoyed this one and look for more tough IDs  in the future.  Happy birding!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Feathers on Friday


Happy Friday!  I got this group shot at Busch Gardens in Tampa, FL in November.  What a beautiful and fun bird to watch.  

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Don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.  Happy Birding and have a great weekend!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Which is Which?

Downy Woodpecker or Hairy Woodpecker?

It is that time again to test your bird identification skills.  These two common woodpeckers of North America are almost identical other than their size and few other features.  Can you tell these two apart?






How do you think you did?  Post your answers in the comments or on the Facebook page.  Stay tuned for the answers and don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.  I will credit the photos on the answers post.  

Friday, January 8, 2016

Feathers on Friday

American Oystercatcher

Happy Friday! Here is a shot of warmer weather for you on this cold day in upstate NY.  If you are on the coast of the Eastern United States or on the coast in the southern part of the Western United States, There is a good chance you will see this colorful bird foraging for oysters, mussels, and clams.  It's long, bright orange bill is well designed for eating shellfish that makes up almost all of their diet.  I saw this one on our recent trip to Florida.

Happy Friday and Happy Birding!  Don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.  Stay tuned for another Which is Which? coming soon!

More Feathers on Friday post:

Friday, January 1, 2016

Feathers on Friday- Happy New Year!

Black-Crowned Night-Heron

Happy Friday and Happy New Year!  I took this shot on our recent trip to Tampa/St. Pete area of Florida.  The Night-Heron is such a stunning bird and one I don't get to see much living so far away from the ocean.  

More Feathers on Friday post:

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook. Happy Birding in 2016!