By: Pat Coate
Besides the very entertaining sandhill cranes, there were other nice wildlife sightings on a recent trip to the Muskoka Lakes area of Ontario. I really enjoy seeing the moose in this area and was happy to find a mom with her calf at the back of this bog. They were kind of far for photos but I had fun watching them via binoculars.
dressed for his coronation
in ebony cape,
But would royalty be caught
backing down a dead hickory?
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).
I made a quick trip over to Quaker to do a few “work” related things and you would never guess how many critters that I encountered!! I first came across something that looked like a duck in the middle of the road. Quickly remembering that grebe rescue from last winter . . . . I soon realized that it was just a bold Ruffed Grouse. It had put its crest up, turned its head looking at me from one side to another! By the time I pulled my point-and-shoot camera out, got the camera started, zoomed in and began framing . . . . the grouse flew away! I continued down the road sad that I didn’t get the picture but still happy to have seen it . . . . (more…)