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Feb 22, 2018

Owls of Europe - most species are endangered

Great Grey Owl
All photos: Alamy Stock Photos

Owl Sense - by Miriam Darlington
There are 13 species of native owls in Europe and author Miriam Darlington, in her newest book, states that all 13 species are endangered and there numbers are all down.  She suggests the causes are new challenges of climate change and expanding human population encroaching on wild territories.   As examples, she writes that Eagle-Owls are down 60% in Finland, while in the UK, Barn Owls have sunk to less than 5,000 pairs.   And although owls have been around for 60 million years, the encroaching human tribe is a mere 200,000 years old.   Furthering that contrast, Darlington sardonically states there are, reputably, drug dealers in Liverpool, who use Eagle-Owls for protection rather than dogs.   Our world is forcing birds withersoever.   Then what?  

Tawny Owl
Eurasian Eagle-Owl


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BarrytheBirder

Feb 19, 2018

Downy Woodpecker


                                                    Downy Woodpecker (Male)                                                 
                                                                                              Photos by BarrytheBirder
Downy Woodpecker (Female)


Downy came and dwelt with me,
Taught me hermit lore;
Drilled his cell in oaken tree
Near my cabin door.

Downy leads a hermit life 
All the winter through;
Free his days from jar and strife, 
And his cares are few.
                                    -- John Burroughs
Please comment if you wish.
BarrytheBirder

Feb 17, 2018

Endangered in New Zezland...

Photo: Murdo Mcleod / The Guardian
KEA
(Nestor notabilis)
The endangered Kea, captured here at the Ben Lomand Track at Queenstown in Fiordland, southern New Zealand, is the world's only alpine parrot.   It is a large bird (almost 50 cms.long) and one of the most intelligent of birds, but also mischievous and destructive.   It is known to make and use tools.
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BarrytheBirder  

Feb 16, 2018

At London's Natural History Museum...

Photo: Lakshitha Karunarathna

Finalist: Roller Rider
Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition 2018
London's Natural History Museum

Lakshitha Karunarathna was on safari in Maasai Mara National Reserve, in Kenya, when he spotted a Lilac-breasted Roller riding a zebra.  Normally, this bird perches high up in foliage.


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BarrytheBirder

Feb 15, 2018

Chicken breed is completely black on the outside and inside

 Photos: amusingplanet.com
AYAM CEMANI
a.k.a. "Completely Black Chicken"
This chicken originated in Java, in Indonesia, and was introduced to Europe in 1998, by a breeder in Holland. The Ayam Cemani gets its black colouring from a genetic trait known as 'fibromelanosis', that produces black pigment cells.   Every part of this bird is black: inside and outside.  These chickens do however lay cream-coloured eggs, but they do not sit on their eggs.   Eggs are therefore hatched by artificial incubation.   Ayam Cemani are one of the world's most expensive chicken, with single birds having cost up to $2,500, and they are so exotic that it has been called the "Lamborghini of poultry".   They can be sourced online in Canada.



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BarrytheBirder

Feb 14, 2018

Year of the Bird Calendar 2018

Photo: Victoria Sokolowksu/GBBC
Trumpeter Swans
2018 Year of the Bird Calendar
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology 
Great Backyard Bird Count begins Monday, February 19
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BarrytheBirder

Feb 13, 2018

Bird Photographer of the Year 2017

Photo: Alejandro Prieto Rojas
BBest Portrait CategoryB
Pink Flamingos are seen feeding with their young in this photograph by Alejandro Prieto Rojas of Mexico, who was the Gold Award Winner and Bird Photographer of the Year 2017 Winner in the Best Portrait Category, at the Natural History Museum in London, England.
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BarrytheBirder

Feb 12, 2018

Off the coast of Ecuador...

Photo: Pablo Cozzaglio / AFP / Getty Images
Hitchhiking in the Galapagos
A Galapagos Marine Iguana sunbathes with a small ground finch on its back at Tortuga Bay Beach on the Santa Crus Island of Galapagos, Ecuador.
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BarrytheBirder

Feb 11, 2018

It's that's time of year again...

Photo: Joe Maher / Getty Images
Taking stock at ZSL London Zoo
Zookeeper Zuzana Matyasova feeds and counts Humboldt Penguins during the Zoological Society of London's annual stock take, in England.   The ZSL, at Westminster, is the oldest scientific zoo in the world, dating from 1828.
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BarrytheBirder

Feb 10, 2018

A break from the frigid Canadian winter...

Photo by Denise Georgekish
FRITILLARY BUTTERFLIES
This photo is meant to provide a momentary diversion from February's cruel arctic caresses.   The summertime photo of fritillary butterflies was taken by my sister Denise, at her home on the eastern shores of James Bay in Quebec.  Climate change is allowing more and more sightings of these lovely creatures at more northerly positions in Canada.   I know little about fritillarys, but my best guess about the ones pictured above are that they either 'Atlantis', 'Great Spangled' or 'Aphrodites'.   Perhaps you, dear reader, have a surer guess,
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BarrytheBirder     

Feb 9, 2018

Creative Photography


Photo: Xavi Bou / National Geographic
Starlings ~ Arbeca, Spain
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BarrytheBirder

Feb 8, 2018

Fratercula arctica


Photo by Chris MacDonald
This charming photo of Atlantic Puffin was taken by Chris MacDonald and is currently featured on Nature Canada's website. Accompanying the photo is an excellent information piece by Valerie Assinewe.
Barry theBirder

Feb 7, 2018

Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year

Photo: Jennie Stock

wwWINDBLOWN EGRETww

Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year
2017 WINNER ~ ANIMAL PORTRAIT
Jenny Stock took this photo of a Little Egret, in breeding plumage, as it was feeding in a shallow section of Herdsman Lake on a windy day, when it turned and a breeze took control of its feathers.
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BarrytheBirder

Feb 6, 2018

Jabiru mycteria

Photo: Andre Dib / WWF
Jabirus are native to Middle and South America and are pictured above in Brazil's Pantanel wetlands.   The name Jabiru, in the Tupi-Guarani language, means 'swollen neck', due to the distinctive red around its neck (see photo below).  The neck is an inflatable pouch which accommodates its collecting and eating of fish.   The Jabiru is also known as Tujuju.


Photo:Joaquin Baldwin
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BarrytheBirder 

Feb 4, 2018

Gannet gives up its vigil...

Photo: Chris Bell / Friends of Mana Island
 Nigel dies surrounded by concrete gannets
Nigel the gannet who lived for the past five years on Mana Island, just off the south coast of New Zealand's 'North Island', has died.   He was surrounded by 80 life-sized concrete replica gannets.   The concrete gannet decoys were installed to attract live mating gannets to the island which had not seen a gannet in 40 years.  But Nigel was the only live gannet to appear on the island between 2013 and 2018.   He wooed many of the concrete gannets and built love nests for them but his affections were never reciprocated.   Then, early this year, three more gannets appeared at Mana Island.   Sadly, Nigel did not befriend the three newcomers and he inexplicably died shortly after their arrival.   Nigel's vigil may have been in vain, but all the people who observed his last five years are hopeful that a colony of gannets is about to spring forth on Mana Island.
Please comment if you wish.
BarrytheBirder

  

Feb 3, 2018

European Goldfinches and American Goldfinches

Photo: The Guardian
European Goldfinch
(Carduelis carduelis)
Behold two more birds with the same name (goldfinches) but found an ocean apart. The European Goldfinch (above) was described and illustrated as early as the mid-1500s.   It is found in Europe, North Africa and western Asia.   Global warming is greatly increasing the numbers of these birds in the northern parts of its traditional range, notably in Great Britain.   The species has also been introduced to New Zealand and Australia, plus Uruguay.
The American Goldfinch (below) is a voracious seed-eater that is found from southern Canada, throughout the USA and northern Mexico.   Bird feeders in northern parts of its range allow it to survive in very cold winter temperatures.

Photo by BarrytheBirder
American Goldfinch
(carduelis tristis)
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BarrytheBirder

Feb 2, 2018

Show your red belly...









Photo by Ken Thomas
When it comes to Red-bellied Woodpeckers (Melanerpes carolinus) of which I've seen a few, I'm often frustrated like many others, by not always seeing the red belly feathers.  The bird has a knack for hiding them, it seems.   Here are two photos that readily show the two aspects of this situation, however.   I took the photograph below at a bird feeder in a friend's backyard.   The friend's name is Ted Bird.

Photo by BarrytheBirder
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BarrytheBirder

Feb 1, 2018

Carduelis tristis


Photos by Barry Wallace
American Goldfinches always welcome in winter


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BarrytheBirder

Jan 31, 2018

Robins ~ an ocean apart

 Photo by Amando Babini / EPA
European Robin
(Erithacus rubecula)
The European Robin (pictured above) is known simply as the Robin or Robin Redbreast in the British Isles.   It is a small insectivorus passerine...specifically a chat.   It was once classified as a thrush, but is now known as an Old World flycatcher.
The American Robin (pictured below) is a migratory thrush, named after the European Robin because of it reddish-orange breast.   Despite the similarity of some colour markings, the two species are not closely related.
The name Robin, in both English and German, dates from medieval times, when babies were given the name, meaning 'famed, bright and shining'. 
  

Photo by BarrytheBirder
American Robin
(Turdus migratorius)
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BarrytheBirder

Jan 28, 2018

Which came first...the chicken or the egg?

Photo: Michael Probst / A/P
A freshly hatched chick ponders its next move after breaking through its eggshell at Germany's 160-year-old Frankfurt Zoo, which is home some 4,500 animals and 450 species.
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BarrytheBirder

Jan 24, 2018

Staying alive...

Photo by Barry Wallace
Canada Geese gleaning grain in January
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BarrytheBirder 

Robins ~ an ocean apart


Photo by BarrytheBirder
American Robin
(Turdus migratorius)
The European Robin (pictured below) is known simply as the Robin or Robin Redbreast in the British Isles.   It is a small insectivorous passerine, specifically a Chat.   It was once classified as a thrush, but is now said to be an Old World flycatcher.
The American Robin, pictured above, is a migratory thrush, named after the European Robin.   Despite the similarity of some colour markings, the two species are not closely related as the European Robin which belongs to the Old World flycatcher family.

Photo: Amando Babani / EPA

Jan 23, 2018

World's biggest wildlife reserve...

Photo: The Guardian
2.9 million sq. kms. of southern seas
will create vast Antarctic preserve
A huge reserve of Antarctic seas, twice the size of France, Spain and Germany combined, is to be established in the Weddell Sea and the Ross Sea areas of the southern continent.   At the outset, the protection arrangements are to last for 35 years.   The deal has been agreed upon by 24 countries and the European Union and will increase protection of penguins, whales, Leopard Seals and other species, as well as understanding and mitigating climate change.  No-fishing zones and research preserves are to be established and Greenpeace has joined the effort.   Scientists estimate that the Southern Ocean produces about 3-quarters  of all nutrients that sustain the rest of the world's oceans.
Please comment if you wish.
BarrytheBirder

Jan 22, 2018

Bird rescues bird

                                                                                  Photo byTed Bird

SStarling stuck in Schombergg
My long-time friend, Ted Bird, of Schomberg, discovered a Starling, (pictured above), trapped in a birdseed feeder on his backyard deck, a day or so ago.   How it got into the feeder is a mystery, but Ted says it was easily released.  This is a simple reminder of the winter-feeding imperative of our feathered friends.
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BarrytheBirder 

Jan 21, 2018

Ontario Winter Birds - 17

 Photos by Geoff Simpson  
Sharp-shinned Hawk
(Accipiter striatus)


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BarrytheBirder

Jan 20, 2018

Ontario Winter Birds ~ 16


Photos by BarrytheBirder
RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH
(Sitta canadensis)


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BarrytheBirder

Jan 19, 2018

Ontario Winter Birds - 15

Photos by BarrytheBirder
White-breasted Nuthatch
(Sitta Carolinensis)


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BarrytheBirder

Jan 18, 2018

Ontario Winter Birds - 14

 Photos by BarrytheBirder
SNOWY OWL
(Bubo scandiacus)


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BarrytheBirder

Jan 17, 2018

Ontario Winter Birds - 13

 Photos by Barry Wallace
RED-TAILED HAWK
(Buteo jamaicensis)


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BarrytheBirder

Jan 16, 2018

Ontario Winter Birds - 12

 Photos by BarrytheBirder
TRUMPETER SWAN
(Cygnus buccinator)


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BarrytheBirder

Jan 15, 2018

Ontario Winter Birds - 11

 Photos by BarrytheBirder
WILD TURKEY
( Meleagris gallopavo)


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BarrytheBirder

Jan 14, 2018

Ontario Winter Birds ~10

 Photos by Barry theBirder
American Tree Sparrow
(Spizella arborea


Please comment if you wish.
BarrytheBirder