Friday, February 24, 2012

Net Results: Winter Bird Population Survey 2011-2012

Net Results: Winter Bird Population Survey 2011-2012: The 20th year of RRBO's Winter Bird Population Survey has been completed. Over the 20 December to 20 February survey period, 39 species we...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Heart Light

Heart Light by JKissnHug
Heart Light, a photo by JKissnHug on Flickr.

Open your heart to Valentine's Day. My best wishes on this day of caring and sharing love.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Trumpeter Swan

Trumpeter Swan by JKissnHug
Trumpeter Swan, a photo by JKissnHug on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
I watched as this rare Trumpeter Swan led its mate and three offspring to the other side of Stony Creek Lake in Shelby Twp., Michigan. I hid behind trees and woody thicket as they paddled by me, offering me a fantastic opportunity to photograph them without them noticing me.

Trumpeter Swans - Adults

Trumpeter Swans - Adults by JKissnHug
Trumpeter Swans - Adults, a photo by JKissnHug on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
This pair of adult swans was feeding alongside a pair of Mute Swans.

Trumpeter Swan - Juveniles

Trumpeter Swan - Juveniles by JKissnHug
Trumpeter Swan - Juveniles, a photo by JKissnHug on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Stony Creek Lake - Shelby Twp., Michigan

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Battle Stations

Battle Stations by JKissnHug
Battle Stations, a photo by JKissnHug on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
The battle over the feeder perches is in full battle mode as the perched Common Redpolls fend off the challenges of invaders.

Common Redpoll

Common Redpoll by JKissnHug
Common Redpoll, a photo by JKissnHug on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
On this cold and blustery February afternoon, I decided to follow up on local birder reports of Common Redpolls and Pine Siskins flocking to the feeders at the Stony Creek Metropark nature center. Being the curious birder that I am, I decided to check it out for myself.

The nature center has an open and airy viewing room with comfortable chairs and large windows overlooking the mature forest and a flowing creek bisecting the landscape. A very nice birdfeeding area was adjacent to the nature center building offering thistle and all-purpose birdseed in separate feeders. I watched for several minutes as the resident backyard feeder birds made a brief dash at the feeders. I watched the Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, American Goldfinch, Northern Cardinal, House Finch, Dark-eyed Junco, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers all coming in for a sampling at the birdfeeders. I was delighted with what I was seeing on this gray day, however, I wanted to see those rare nomadic visitors of winter - the Pine Siskin and Common Redpolls.

I did not wait long for the first House Finch to appear and then one by one a few Pine Siskins made an appearance at the feeders. I kept looking as the Siskins and Goldfinches fed together at the thistle feeders. I kept watching and hoping for the Common Redpolls to show up and they came in by the twos and threes to the feeders. As I watched, more Redpolls started jousting for feeding perches at the feeders and the birdfeeding party was in full force with Siskins, Goldfinches and Redpolls all taking turns pushing each other off the perches of the thistle feeder. This frenzy of feeding activity lasted 30 minutes, and, as if on cue, they all flew off into the forest leaving the American Goldfinches, Dark-eyed Juncos, Chickadees and Titmice to the space at the feeders. Happy to have seen the birds I had come to see, I returned to my car in a quest to see the Trumpeter Swans reported at the Southdale Picnic area, not far from the nature center.