Common Redpoll and Pine Siskin
For the past few weeks my northern guest have continued visiting my bird feeders! Three years ago the Pine Siskins actually stuck around all summer and nested in my back yard! Wouldn’t it be neat to have both Pine Siskins and Redpolls spending the summer with me this year??
American Woodcock photo by Grace – April 2007
One of the easiest ways of finding the American Woodcock (aka Timberdoodle) is to take a trip into a wet meadow around dusk and then wait. Not long after the sun sets you will witness one the most amazing flight display of any of our birds here in the North East. The male Timberdoodle will do its peent call for about 10 or 15 minutes and then take flight into the sky in a circular direction! The American Woodcock has developed a unique flight feather that allows the bird to create a whistle sound when heading towards the sky! After 2 or 3 circles, the bird will return to the earth with the most beautiful lullabies that you will ever hear! Once it has returned to the same location in which it started . . . the American Woodcock will return in peenting again and then repeat its flight display until it’s too dark to see! Below is the video that I captured on Easter Sunday of their display here in Allegany State Park!
Yesterday while looking for some Waterfowl . . . we came across this very cooperative Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) who put a show on for us. We watched it dive underwater, grab some vegetation from under the ice and come back up to chew all of the best parts of the plant. We could have watched this cute little guy all day long! These over-sized rodents get their name from some scent glands they have for marking its territory with a strong musky odor! Lucky we didn’t get to smell that odor today but did get some cool photos of the muskrat!
This evening I went on a dusk birding trip for some Short-eared Owls within our county (with my birdclub friend Mike D.). This has been a fun project that we have been doing for many years and are never successful in finding any owls (of course). We went a little early this time to look for waterfowl (scouting for tomorrows trip) and came across this bird. We discussed this large bird we found and trying to decide if it was a Red-tailed Hawk or Rough-legged Hawk (something didn’t look right). We moved my truck for a better angle, pulled the spotting scope out and noticed this bird had dark eyes. Could this have been a Short-eared Owl?? Naaa just a Barred Owl!! Wait . . . it wasn’t even dusk yet??
Yesterday I came across this enormous black and white woodpecker with a conspicuous bright red crest, while it was working on excavating a huge hole. Actually, I found this bird not far from my mother’s house and was amazed that it allowed me to pull my vehicle right next to it . . . . and it wasn’t spooked!! This Pileated Woodpecker has very little red on its forehead and was lacking the red on the malar region making it a female. Looking at the first photo up close . . . you will notice her brown coloring contrasting with its black wing feathers, which can sometimes be difficult to reliably age the bird (believing that the faded brown feathers were her Juvenal feathers). But, seeing the gray/tan eye coloring (Adults have bright red eyes) will confirm that this woodpecker is a second year bird (meaning she was born during the summer of 2007).
Birdclub meeting this evening and not sure when I will be posting again! (edit: decided not to go at the last second! It’s snowing and the roads are not that good. Looks like a Netflix and catch up with LOST that I missed last night) So, here are a few videos that I would like to share with everyone! So, put your feet up . . . its Friday! (more…)