Sora #180 new bird!

Never heard of them? Neither had I,  however we have all heard them and mistaken them for frogs or just assumed we were hearing general marsh sounds. This is one of the many songs they sing:

The Sora is found in freshwater marshes, flood fields, and swamps, where they walk around like little chickens pecking at the water. The biggest threat to these birds is wetlands being drained, as this is where they nest.  Having been over hunted, they have made a come back due to the high survival rate of chicks.

Wild Turkey

In the country you never know what is going to come strolling thru your yard … this youngster seems to have become separated from it’s flock and has come by the feeder three days in a row now.  Maybe we have a new fowl on the farm.

Brownheaded Cowbirds

Cowbirds are brood parasites.  They deposit their eggs in nests belonging to birds of other species.  Some of the birds they parasitize remove the eggs from their nests or cover them with new nesting material so they are not incubated.

They do like to be around large animals such as cows so they can eat bugs caused by the herd disturbing the ground.

Gray Jay or Whiskey Jack

These are one of my favourite birds, easily trained to come for food, they are a delight to hand feed.  They don’t migrate and stay in their territory year round.  They manage to do this by storing enough food in bark and crevices to be able to feed all winter. The young have an early start, hatching mid winter, hardy as can be, true Canadians.  Canadian Geographic conducted a survey and found out that this bird was voted most suitable to be our national bird and it was nominated.     

Grackles

Such a common bird, I can’t get over how the light reflects such beautiful colours.  These early birds were digging through the leaves looking for bugs or worms, they seemed to have some success even though the ground is fairly frozen still.

Trumpeter Swans

When you see a tagged bird, you can send the details in the to Birds Bander’s, and they will get back to you with information as to the age of the bird and where it was banded.  these birds are migrating so it would be interesting to find out where they are from. https://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/BBL/bblretrv/

Within 24 hours I received two certificates which can be viewed as you scroll through the batch of swan photos.

Trumpeters were at one time hunted to the point of reducing its numbers significantly, they have now bounced back to a population world wide of about 18,000.

click here to view the certificate pdf

Click here to view the certificate as a pdf

Tundra Swans #144

Tundra Swans are identifiable by a tiny yellow patch below their eyes, other than this they look a lot like Trumpeter Swans.   These have a strong international population of about 300,000 and are doing well.  They nest in the far north up in Alaska and Baffin Island, they are just passing through these parts after spending the winter in the south.

I met a nice birder with a powerful scope, through the scope we could clearly identify the yellow patch, however it was a cold day and my lens was only so powerful, trust me the yellow patches were there 🙂

This was a new bird for me, I had made a category for it which sat empty after I realized I had a case of mistaken it’s identity.  So finally here is my first post of Tundra Swans.