Friday, July 31, 2015

July 2015-Bushtits, Nighthawks, Chukars, Western Tanager, Ruff, Dusky Grouse,

Following are some of the birds that kept us busy in July.  We visited Reifel Sanctuary, Kamloops and many local spots.  Once again I have included some tidbits of information I found online.

In the early part of the 20th century the Anna's Hummingbird only bred as far north as Southern California.  The planting of nectar producing plants and warmer weather as expanded its range, along the coast,  as far as the Yukon.
We watched an interaction between this Racoon and Heron for about 15 minutes.
They went about their activities without paying too much attention to each other at the Great Blue Heron Reserve in Chilliwack.
The Raccoon appeared to be catching Crayfish.
A late singing Marsh Wren at Reifel.  Eastern and Western Marsh Wrens look and sing differently leading to the possibility
they may be 2 different species.
One can't visit Reifel without getting a picture of Sandhill Cranes.

A disorientated young Chukar was calling to its group in Kamloops.  
An adult Chukar waits and calls back to the young one.
Chukars are a widely distributed, introduced species predominately from Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The Lewis's Woodpecker very seldom digs into wood for bugs.  Instead it flycatches and gleans insects from the trees surface.
There are many species of tanagers in the world but the Western Tanager is the most northerly.  At the northernmost part of its range it only stays for 2 months-just long enough to breed, raise young and return south.
I remember as a child growing up in northern Alberta seeing 100's of Common Nighthawks in the evening skies.  Now I am lucky to see a few a year such as this one in the Kamloops area.
Ruffs always cause a bit of excitement but it was soon learned this was an escapee from Simon Fraser University.  It is called a "faeder' or female mimic.  While the more ostentatious males squabble over females these mimics take advantage of the diversions and jump in to breed with the females.  This was taken at Boundary Bay, Delta.
We found a family of Dusky Grouse east of Sun Peaks.  This young one stopped to pose.  I would like to get  a picture of an adult male displaying some day.
Bushtits seem to like each other's company.  The yellow eye identifies a female while males have dark eyes.  Male birds may also help a pair of Bushtits to raise their young.

End of this blog.  Scroll down for previous blog.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

June Birds 2015-Lazuli Bunting, Common Loon, Merganser chicks, Painted Turtle, Virginia Rail, Pika, Clark's Nutcracker, Swianson's Thrush

Although I spent a lot of time photographing the development of young falcons (see previous blog) this month,  I still managed to find a few more creatures to record.  I hope you like the little bits of added information I glean from the internet.  Some of these things I didn't know and found interesting.
Lazuli Bunting June 22 2015 N. Parallel Rd. Abbotsford.  This bird is named for the gemstone "lapis lazuli".
Lazuli Bunting June 3 Abbotsford.  This bird is not as bright as the bird above indicating it is probably a first spring bird.  I was having a hard time finding these birds this spring and then I found 4 at the end of N. Parallel Road.

Eagle family June 3 Abbotsford.  One of the largest Bald Eagle nests was found in Florida.  It was 2.9 meters in diameter and 6 meters high.
Common Loon June 5 Nicola Lake.  Loons need from 40 yards to 1/4 mile to take off.
Common Mergansers June 5 Nicola Lake.   In all likelihood these chicks were hatched in a tree cavity.
Killdeer chick June 4 Separation Lake.  The adults were giving me the broken wing act.   Adults will charge a large ungulate, all fluffed up, to try and scare it away from the chicks.
Painted Turtle Lac Du Bois Lake.  This one was on an egg laying mission.  It is the only native pond turtle in BC. 
Virginia Rail June 4 Lac Du Bois Lake.  The rail can swim under water by propelling itself with its wings.
Meadowlark June 4 Pennask Lake Rd.  If you are looking for a Meadowlark's nest look closely on the ground.  It may have a roof on it and a tunnel leading in.
Female Wilson's Phalarope June 4 Separation Lake.  Polyandry-the male raises the young and is drabber than the female.
Pika June 15 Manning Park.  The Pika does not hibernate.  In summer it collects material to eat during the winter, high up the mountains and sometimes under 20 feet of snow.  If it runs out of food it will eat its own feces and that of other animals.
Clarks Nutcracker June 15 Manning Park.  This bird has an amazing memory.  It can remember where it hides 1000's of seeds.
I returned to the falcon nest site I featured in my last blog, 4 days after the chicks fledged.  The adults and  fledglings were interacting with aerial antics.
Swainsons Thrush June 23 Cheam.  A fight between male Swainsons may consist of a singing duel featuring song volume and frequency.  It can be quite exhausting for them.
Willow Flycatcher June 23 2015 Cheam.  Willow Flycatchers songs are innate, not learned from other Willow Flycatchers like most other songbirds.  Young Willows, raised with Alder Flycatchers in captivity, a closely related species, sang the Willow song when they became adults.
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