Sunday, March 8, 2015

Osprey Arriving

Hopefully we are done with winter.  It has been a long, cold and wet one.  Today we are finally back to having spring-like weather with temperature closer to normal.

A sure sign spring is on the way is the arrival of the Osprey.  I went to check a nest this morning and found what is probably the male bringing in sticks.  The Osprey males generally bring in most of the nesting material and the female arranges the sticks.

The lack of the "necklace" on this one indicates it is probably the male however younger females may not have a prominent necklace.

I look forward to going back with the longer lens to try for some good shots.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Fishing Finesse

 Scoping out the fish.....

 The Line Up.....

The Strike.....

Lift off.....

Checking the take.....

Off to eat lunch.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Sexual Dimorphism

- the difference in appearance between males and females of the same species, as in color, shape, size and structure.

In some species, there are vastly different color variations between the male and the female such as in the House Finches.  During mating season the male becomes bright red in the head and breast area.  The female is tan and white.

Sometimes differences can be subtle such as in the Red-bellied WP.  The slight difference in the extension of the red on the head.

In the case of Eastern Bluebirds, both are blue with rufous colored breast feathers and white belly feathers.  The female is much more subdued particularly the blue on the head.

The male and female of the Eastern Towhee have similar marking appearances with the exception that the upper part of the body of the female is brown versus the black of the male.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Black, White and Shades of Gray

Dark-eyed Junco
I cannot believe we woke up to yet more snow today.  I think it took a lot of folks (me included) by surprise at how quickly it came down and began accumulating.   My internet has been down for almost two days and with not watching much TV, I was a bit surprised when I woke up.

The snow is pretty but I am so tired of winter.  Hey Gladys....if you are enjoying Florida, be glad.  Your area is getting lots of snow today.


It has been a very active day with the birds heavily feeding.  The eye usually goes to the more colorful birds so I am focusing on the more subdued in this post.  They have their own gentle, quiet beauty.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

The Yellow-rumped Warblers are beginning to take on their breeding colors.  They look quite handsome when they get their dark mask.

AWhite-breasted Nuthatch strikes its classic pose.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Think They Look Gentle?

Over the last several days even more Pine Siskins have arrived.  They have eaten an amazing amount of thistle seed over the past week.  When you step outside they fly up to the tree tops in a large group and proceed to make their little trilling sound.

Sometimes they can look so sweet and peaceful.....

but first thing in the morning when I put additional food out on the deck rail, the food aggression/survival of the fittest attitude takes hold.  I had been having trouble with a very aggressive, bossy Robin that had claimed territory over the suet feeders and would chase any other bird away.  The little Pine Siskins hold their ground and several have ganged up on the Robin.

The Robin has chilled out and no longer hangs around all day to chase other birds away,  The Pine Siskins were able to do something that despite all efforts I had been unable to do.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Northern Cardinals

It has been absolutely miserably cold today.  We had a brief but beautiful snow for about 20 minutes late yesterday afternoon.  I wished it had been earlier in the day so I could have gotten some pretty shots.

We have one more night of intense cold before the temperatures begin to moderate somewhat.  The kind of cold we are getting right now is so not normal.

The Cardinals have been steady visitors at the feeders munching on sunflower seeds.  I am glad I had just filled the seed bin before the cold, ice and snow hit.  As they are such an ever present bird, I sometimes forget how pretty they are.  They make a bright splash in the landscape when not much other color is around.

The males almost seem more red during the winter while the female takes on a golden hue with whispers of red.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Hungry Birds

We were pretty lucky in what fell overnight was mainly sleet.  I was really dreading freezing rain that would have coated trees and power lines.  I am hoping that the possible snow tomorrow is nothing more than just a brief flurry or nothing at all.

There is a hard packed layer of ice on the street today and the only vehicle I saw was the mail truck late this afternoon that several of us ended up going out and giving a little push when she started spinning and couldn't go.

The birds were a little late getting started this morning as there was still a bit of sleet going on.  I had taken in the suet feeders and thistle sock so they would not be coated over with ice and put them back out right around 0700.  It did not take the birds long to come out after that and they have been steady at the feeders all day.

I ended up putting some food along the deck railing  just so more could come eat.  Many of them showed up with ice showing on their feathers.  I know they had a cold miserable night with more cold coming tonight.

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Nature lover, animal lover, lover of life.