Famous for a Reason [Guest Post]
A Suet Bandit (Pine Martin)
Guest Post by Marg (aka makeupanid)
Last weekend I traveled to Algonquin Park with a Flickr friend and fellow birder. You would think being a birder that I would have been to Algonquin recently but I haven’t been there in years! I wanted to add Gray Jays and Pine Grosbeaks to my Life List-which is the only reason I was willing to get up at 4 a.m. on a weekend. I get enough of that during the week with my regular job! Algonquin has famous the world over and for a good reason. It is a Nature Lovers paradise. The boreal forest sweeps across it and it is full of birds, mammals and I’m sure reptiles too. But I was there for birds and some mammals-a Pine Marten and Fisher were on our species list. No luck on the Fisher but as you can see we got the Pine Marten-you can read all about him by clicking on the photo. This post is about birds.
-14C (6.8F) upon arrival
I wanted to see Gray Jays and Pine Grosbeaks, Spruce Grouse, Boreal Chickadees, Three-toed Woodpecker, and Black-backed Woodpecker-I wasn’t asking for much-was I? The very first bird we saw was a Pine Grosbeak at the Park Gate feeder. And later on one posed very nicely for us at the Visitors Center feeder. My very favorites were the Grey Jays, they are cute and tame.
Too Cute (Gray Jay)
The Gray Jays are adorable-Sibley calls them oversized chickadees and that’s just what they are like. These ones turn their noses (bills) up at sunflower seeds, and peanuts-they only wanted cheese! Of course we obliged. They also are incredibly smart -being corvids-they hide their food and only visit their nests 1 to 2 times a day to keep predators away. We only saw the males because the females are already on the nests. I did see the Black-backed Woodpecker but no photo-it was fleeting just enough of a look for a check! The Three-toed Woodpecker obliged us for quite awhile, it was nice seeing a woodpecker with yellow on his head for a change. No luck on the Spruce Grouse (others saw one briefly but not me) I only saw his tracks in the snow. The Boreal Chickadee did not show himself either, but I heard him and he has a much deeper voice than his Black-capped cousins. We kept telling the Black-caps to bring their cousin to us but they were not listening to us. Guess I’ll just have to go back sometime!
I’ve met many wonderful people on Flickr-Mon@rch being one of them! I’m sure he thought I was insane the first time I emailed him, I was so excited to meet another bander. Even though I am not a bander yet-I am in training (if only I could quit my full time job I would become one quicker!) There is so much to learn.
Three-toed Woodpecker on a Birch
Marg is a great friend, amazing photographer and I would consider her a bird bander. I am honored to have her as a regular visitor on this site and now she has done a guest post about her amazing adventure to Algonquin Park. I was only kidding when I first mentioned the guest post but she seemed to have outdone herself in writing a post about birds that would be all lifers to me. Thanks for helping provide such amazing photos and content to this the Mon@rch Nature Blog! And thanks for being such a great friend!!!
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