Friday, April 27, 2007

Warblers & Cranes

I went to Carlos Avery after work today and had a decent day. I saw a lot of Yellow Rumped Warblers, about 7 Sandhill Cranes and a number of Canada Goose on nests. Other than that, it was pretty uneventful. Here are a few of the photos from today:

Sandhill Crane:
Sandhill Crane 1

Sandhill Crane Pair:
Sandhill Crane 2

Yellow-rumped Warbler:
Yellow Rumped Warbler

Going through my photos . . .

I was going through my photos and keywording them. I had a few birds that I hadn't identified previously. The only bird that I'm really having trouble with is the bird below. I took the picture last year in Carlos Avery. It was a quick shot, and when I took it, I thought it was a female Red Winged Blackbird since there so many of those around at the time. Once I got home and looked it more I realized it wasn't that, but didn't know what it was. So if you know, or have a guess, as to what this might be, I would appreciate it. Thanks in advance!

PS: There isn't much to report on the RSH's right now. They are sitting on the nest all the time. Hopefully around the first week of May or so, we'll be seeing the young as well. Stay Tuned!

Unidentified Bird has been identified as Female Brown Headed Cowbird:
female cowbird

Sunday, April 22, 2007

RSH, GHO, and Crows

During the rain today, I noticed a bit of movement outside, so I grabbed my binoculars and spotted a Great Horned Owl that has be visiting our yard over the last month. My wife and I spent some time looking at the bird and enjoying the moment. The rain had let up a little bit, so I thought I'd take a chance at getting a shot. So I grabbed my camera, and went outside. As I rounded the corner of my house the owl got up and flew back farther into the woods. At that point the Red Shouldered Hawk was calling and came flying through the woods right past the spot the GHO had been sitting. I didn't feel like standing in the rain so I went back inside. As soon as I got in I heard a few crows calling repeatedly back in the area the GHO had landed. So being curious I walked back outside and into the woods a bit. The crows were sitting in the tree with the owl and incessantly calling at it. I walked back a bit farther and the owl got up and flew with the Crows hot on its tail. As soon as the birds took off the Hawk started calling and chased all three birds over the marsh and into the woods. It was a pretty interesting exchange considering the birds involved. Last year I saw a similar exchange with the RSH and about 20 or crows in our yard. The crows just land in the tree all around the hawk and called at it. Anyway, I didn't get any shots of this mobbing behavior, but I thought I'd pass it on.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

She's not leaving the nest much . . .

So there isn't much to report on the Red Shouldered Hawks as of late. The female has barely left the nest for the last week which I'm guessing means she's sitting on her eggs. Pretty much the only time she leaves the nest is eat when the male brings in food and to periodically switch out with the male. She's a very diligent mother! Here is a picture of the pair making a switch in duties.

Red Shouldered Hawks on Nest

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Sandhill Cranes and Bufflehead

Well I had a great time at Carlos Avery today. I saw a lot of birds including Bufflehead, Hooded Mergansers, Sandhill Cranes, Northern Harrier, and host of others. I took photos of the Bufflehead but the birds were so far away it was hardly worth it. Here are a few picks from the day:

Dancing Cranes:
Sandhill Crane Dance

Mallards in Flight:
Mallards in Flight

Northern Harrier in Flight:
Northern Harrier

Saturday, April 07, 2007

RSH eating a bit of lunch . . .

Well the current cold snap appears to have slowed down birds as whole, but the hawks appear to be doing just fine. They continue to mate, although there appears to be a direct correlation between the presence of my camera and when they chose to "frolic". Anyway, the female (I presume) appears to be spending quite a bit more time on the nest and the male seems to be bringing in food. The female calls (for minutes at a time) for the male who eventually shows up with food. He lands on a branch near the nest, and waits for the female to fly over to him to grab the food. She then eats it, and heads back to the nest. The pictures below are of the female eating a rodent.

It's a bit hard to see in this photo, but there is a rodent in the hawks claws:
Red Shouldered Hawk

Red Shouldered Hawk with rodent(2)

Red Shouldered Hawk with rodent(3)

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Keep on buildin' . . .

Nest building continues every day. The size of the nest has grown quite a bit with sticks and live evergreen branches. You can see the size change in the following 2 photos:

This shot was taken on March 21, 2007:
Red Shouldered Hawk.jpg

This shot was taken on April 2, 2007:
Red Shouldered Hawk on Nest

The hawks are active every day working on there nest and mating. I missed the mating shots but I did get to witness it a couple times which was quite cool. Here's another shot I got today that I really liked:
Red Shouldered Hawk