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Oct 21, 2017

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)


CARETAKER CROWS
April Overall, recently writing on behalf of the Canadian Wildlife Federation says Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds instilled a real fear of everything avian in many people; crows in particular, but that these smart birds do us a service every day.  They hang around on the sides of roads as you make your daily commute.   As you're working from 9 to 5, crows are working also, cleaning up our roads,   They happily eat roadkill, solving a messy, sometimes stinky, clean-up problem.   She recalls Canuck the Crow, a well-known Vancouver area bird, made famous for stealing evidence at a crime scene.   It was a shiny knife and Canuck the Crow took off with it.   Luckily, police spotted the theft, gave chase, and recovered the weapon.   But then if crows sometimes miss the roadkill, there are always the Turkey Vultures...are there not?  

Photos by BarrytheBirder
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BarrytheBirder

Oct 20, 2017

Humboldt Penguins (Spheniscus humbolti)

Photo: Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images
Two Humboldt Penguins, above, a threatened species that only nests in Chile and Peru, stand on the rocks at Damas Island, in front of Punta Choros Beach, Coquimbo, Chile.  There are only 12,000 pairs of Humboldt Penguins: 8,000 in Chile and 4,000 in Peru.

Photo: Wilfred Wittkowsky/Wikipedia
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BarrytheBirder

Oct 19, 2017

A remarkable insect...

Photo: Yuri Smityuk
hHUMMINGBIRD HAWK MOTHh
A Hummingbird Hawk Moth (Macroglossum stellatarum) is seen feeding on a flower in Tottori, on the coast of the Sea of Japan, in western Japan.   These moths can be found throughout the northern 'Old World' from Portugal to Japan.  They occasionally appear on Canada's east coast, notably in Newfoundland.
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BarrytheBirder


Oct 18, 2017

Australian eagle attacks boy at birds of prey show


A wedge-tailed Eagle, part of a birds of prey show, at Alice Springs Park in Australia, flew at a young boy and latched onto the lad's head with its talons, instead of flying to a designated perch.   The boy received superficial wounds and was treated immediately by first aid attendants.    The eagle is Australia's largest bird of prey and was to be part of the show's finale, but when the eagle attacked the boy the event ended immediately.
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BarrytheBirder 

Oct 17, 2017

Australian Outback spectacle

Photos by Steven Pearce
Australian wildlife photographer Stephen Pearce captured stunning images of Budgerigars in a murmuration of up to 10,000 birds near a water hole outside Alice Springs.   Very large flocks like the one encountered by Pearce are rare.  Usually, flocks range from as few as three up to 100 birds.  The photographer said there were 7,000 to 10,000 birds over the course of a morning and they only take a few seconds to drink and take off.   The birds were also quick to take off because of predators, including falcons and kestrels.   They had increased their numbers over a few days around a waterhole after a long dry spell. 




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BarrytheBirder

Oct 16, 2017

Rare Puerto Rican Parrots survive hurricane.

 Photo: P.Torres/FWS
Photo: Ricardo Briones

Photo: Dennis M Rivera Pichardo
Hurricane Maria recently wiped out the only the only tropical rain forest in the US. forest system and the bird population suffered a devastating blow.   The Puerto Rican Parrot, an endangered species is of special concern.  Once numbering in the tens of thousands, the population dwindled to 13 by 1973 but conservation helped return the number of captive and wild parrots to over 500.   Seven captive birds died in Hurricane Maria, but the loss of wild parrots is unknown.
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BarrytheBirder

Oct 15, 2017

2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Photo: Markus Varesvuo, Finland
Peregrine catches a Ruff
2nd Place, National Awards
2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Markus Varesvuo says: 'I was photographing in a photo hide on a marsh where a pair of Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) was nesting.   The parent in the picture had just caught a prey bird, Ruff (Philomachus pugnax), and was taking its catch to chicks in the nest. 

Photo by Husain Hakim Alfraid, Saudi Arabia
Cliff view
2nd Place, National Awards
2017 Sony World Photography Awards

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BarrytheBirder

Oct 14, 2017

Swan ablution

Photo: Andrew Milligan / PA
A cygnet splashes in the loch at Callendar Park
FALKIRK, UK.
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BarrytheBirder

Oct 13, 2017

Pine Farms Orchard's ducky denizens

 Photos by BarrytheBirder
Ducks are like fish...
...they don't care if they get wet


Seen here are the Muscovy Ducks at the Pine Farms Orchard, two days after Thanksgiving Day, and although it rained all day, these big birds were happy to be out of their pens and wandering around to look for and seize any tasty-looking morsel.


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BarrytheBirder

Oct 12, 2017

Southern migration takes wing...


BIRD WATCHER
by Jane Yolen

 Across the earless
face of the moon
a stretch of Vs
honks homeward.
From the lake
laughs the last joke
of a solitary loon.
Winter silences us all.
I will miss
these conversations, 
the trips at dawn
and dusk,
where I listen carefully,
then answer
only with my eyes.

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if you wish.
BarrytheBirder

Photos by BarrytheBirder

Oct 11, 2017

Pacific Loon on Lake Simcoe

Photo: Robert Royce
Frank Pinilla reports on eBird Checklist a Pacific Loon at Minet's Point, near Barrie on Lake Simcoe, last Thursday, October 5, at 12.39 p.m.   That's about 1,400 kms. from the south coast of Hudson's Bay, which is normally the farthest east Pacific Loons are found in Ontario.   Neat sighting.
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BarrytheBirder

Oct 10, 2017

Also known as 'Pinkfoot' or 'Pinkfeet' (plural)

 Photo: Steve Round
Pink-footed Goose
(Anser  brachyrhynchus)
Pink-footed Geese take off (above) to feed from the Montrose Basin in Scotland.   Staff and volunteers at the Scottish Wildlife Trust have recorded more than 60,000 geese arriving to spend the winter in the reserve.   Although there are other species of geese with pink feet, the Pink-footed Goose is best identified by its very short beak (see blow).

Photo: Jeff J. Mitchell
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BarrytheBirder

Oct 9, 2017

Study says cats kill 1 million Australian birds a day

Photo: The Guardian
Number is 'staggering' say researchers
The Australian Associated Press says more then 1 million native Austrlian birds are killed across the country by cats every day, new research shows.   The published study estimates feral cats kill 316 million birds a year, while pet cats kill 61 million birds annually; of which more than 99% are native species.   Everyone knows that cats kill birds, but this study shows that, at a national level, the amount of predation is staggering, and is likely to be driving the decline of many species.  Scientists estimate that there are about 11 billion native birds across the country, suggesting cats kill about 4% of the population every year.   Records were found of cats killing 338 species of native birds, of which 71 were threatened species, which amounts to about 60% of the threatened species in Australia.   Feral cats now cover 99.8% of Australia.   And this is just one country in the world.
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BarrytheBirder

Oct 8, 2017

When is a bird not a bird? ...when it's a Little Red Flying Fox.

 Photo: Glenn Campbell / AAP
Photo: Renee Tick / the zoo illustration
A colony of Little Red Flying Foxes is to be found in the Nitmiluk National Park, at the mouth of the Katherine Gorge in the North Territory, Australia.   An estimated 40,000 to 50,000 Little Red Flying Foxes call the park home, as they follow blossoming eucalypts (large flowering evergreen trees) around the country.


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BarrytheBirder

Oct 7, 2017

Dusky Moorhen ~ Gallinula tenebrosa

Photo by Lukas Koch / AAP
A Dusky Moorhen is seen at the 2017 Floriade Flower Show in Canberra, Australia.   Floriade is celebrating its 30th anniversary, down-under, and is open from September 16 to October 15.   The first Dusky Moorhen was seen and described officially in Australia in 1846 and is now found in Borneo, India, Indonesia, New Guinea, as well as Australia.
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BarrytheBirder 

Oct 6, 2017

Flamingos in Turkey

Photo: Cem Oksuz / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images
Flamingos are seen above flying over the Aegean Sea during their migration period in Izmir, Turkey.   I'm never sure how I should describe the appearance of the flamingo.   In one moment I can see them as spectacular creatures in colour and form, and then, a moment later, they strike me as somewhat awkward and ungainly.   I am of course always delighted to see them in person, even if not as often as I would prefer.
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BarrytheBirder

Oct 5, 2017

Bearded Tit Warblers ~ Panurus biarmircus

Photo: Robin Chittenden / Alamy
Bearded Tit Warblers live and feed almost exclusively
hanging on to reeds above wetlands, as pictured above in Norfolk, England.   There are almost a million of these birds in Europe alone, and across their range are cited by the I.U.C.N. as of 'least concern'.

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BarrytheBirder

Photo: Conrad Tan

Oct 4, 2017

Ducks and geese in Tibet

Photo: Zhang Rufeng / Xinhua / Barcfort Images
A Ruddy Duck is seen overtaking a flock of Bar-headed Geese, as they fly above a wetland in Niyima County, south-west China's Tibet autonomous region.
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BarrytheBirder

Oct 3, 2017

Crows go where they want - and do what they want in Dublin

Photo: Niall Carson / PA
A crow comes in for a landing on the antlers of a deer, at Dublin's huge Phoenix Park, in Ireland, as the rutting season gets underway.   Phoenix Park is also home to Dublin Zoo.  The deer came from Wales in 1662 and I'm guessing crows were there to welcome them, way back when.
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 BarrytheBirder  

Oct 2, 2017

Resident flock of Canada Geese at local golf course

Photo by BarrytheBirder
Carrying Place Golf & Country Club
I took this photo of Canada Geese at the edge of the main pond along the west side of Weston Road, on Thursday of last week.   This is a large flock of Canada Geese and they have been around for many years.   Golfing carries on here despite the presence of so many big birds which seem to avoid the fairways and cart paths, and stay near the edge of the pond or on the water.   Such a detente does not occur everywhere, but then, this is King Township.   But soon winter will freeze the pond and the geese will be displaced temporarily until the spring of 2018, at which time the geese, the golfers, and rapprochement will resume.
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BarrytheBirder

Oct 1, 2017

Cardinalis cardinalis



The Cardinal
by Jane Yolen

A showy gesture
on autumn's stage.

A brilliant blot
on winter's page.

A witty comment
on early spring

And summer's own
bright darling.




Photo by Barry Wallace


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if you wish.
BarrytheBirder

Sep 30, 2017

Bird tattoos


Pictured here are two participants in last weekend's 13th International Tattoo Festival at Tobacco Dock in East London, England.   
Splendid birds in full wingspan are traditional tattooing motifs and symbols of freedom.

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BarrytheBirder

Sep 29, 2017

Cardinals won't leave bird bath either...

 Photos by BarrytheBirder




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BarrytheBirder

Sep 28, 2017

Hot weather keeps robins in the birdbath




Photos 
by
Barry 
the
Birder












Please comment
if you
wish.

Barry
the
Birder

Sep 27, 2017

Orange Duck or Duck l'Orange?

 Photo:Prasanna Kumar Mamadala
Of course I have heard of tasty Duck l'Orange (French: Canard a l'Orange) for many years.   But this week, I have learned of the Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea), a.k.a. the Orange Duck.   I came across it in an email from my friend Kersi Parekh, which included a photo.   I immediately thought this might be one of the most beautiful ducks in the world.   I quickly compared it, in my mind, with the North American Wood Duck and the East Asian Mandarin Duck, plus a few others, and decided it did have a unique, colourful presence even if not the most beautiful appearance in the world.   Its numbers are steady or increasing in central and eastern Asia, but declining in Europe.   Nevertheless, it is rated by I.U.C.N. as "least concern".   Wikipedia claims it is mainly nocturnal and omnivorous but does that mean it feeds in the dark?   Perhaps it feeds bumping around underwater or while stumbling around on land, in the gloom of dusk and dawn.   Its lovely appearance however is best viewed in the full light of day.   

Photo: Sayanti Sikder
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BarrytheBirder

Sep 26, 2017

Snowy Egrets (Egretta thula)


BAD HAIR DAY
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BarrytheBirder

Sep 25, 2017

California Condors continue comeback

Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP
California Condors huddle around a watering hole in the Ventana wilderness east of Big Sur, California.   Three decades after being to the brink of extinction, the California Condor is staging an impressive comeback, thanks to captive breeding programs and reduced use of lead ammunition near their feeding grounds.
Please comment if you wish.
BarrytheBirder