A couple sunny days here has meant some opportunities to take not grey photos of some of my favourite locals! This is one of 4 (last time I counted) American Coots at Lost Lagoon and they are getting more used to the foot traffic around there. This one decided to swim right towards the camera and show off that glaring red eye with the sun neatly reflected in it.
One really cool study by Lyon et al. (1994) manipulated the colouration of the chicks of American Coots to find the purpose of bright orange filaments and red beaks. These conspicuous features make the chicks easily spottable to predators, so for evolution to select for them, there must have been some advantage that outweighed that cost. The authors found that adults preferentially fed more flashy chicks than chicks that had their flashy ornaments trimmed. Two possible explanations arose from this: perhaps the colorful displays signaled to parents that the offspring was of higher genetic quality or age, allowing the parent to feed the more fit or needy chick. Alternatively, the bright orange could be attempting to match the colour of the naked skin of the chick, which may bias parents to feed that chick as orange skin colouration may indicate that a chick is in need. Either way, this neat feature of American Coot chicks is an impressive show of natural selections fine balance between cost and benefit.
If you were following my Facebook photo page last year, you may remember that I featured this beautiful species a couple of times in March/April. During a recent visit to my parents in Montreal, I was able to return to the same wildlife refuge, in the same part of the woods, and got some nuthatches to follow me around and pose very nicely for me. It looked to me as if they are regularly fed by humans if this area, even though I did not observe anyone doing so while I was there. But I must have profoundly disappointed the nuthatches, however, since I did not feed them once, in spite of all their efforts to get my attention!
White-breasted Nuthatch | Sittelle à poitrine blanche | Carolinakleiber | Sitta carolinensis: Taken in Refuge faunique Marguerite-D'Youville, Châteauguay (Québec), Canada, in February 2020, with a handheld Nikon D7200 and AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR (ISO 400 | 500mm | -0.33 ev | f/5.6 | 1/2500), cropped (77%). Wild, as shot; not baited, called in or set up.
These Red-breasted Nuthatches are pure acrobats, typically positioning themselves upside down on the seed feeder to get at the tastiest morsels. Usually they just toss the seeds out (for the thrifty Dark-eyed Juncos to eat below) to get at the peanuts, but we must have been all out at the buffet.
So cool to experience different phenomenon personally.
Over the past week, in different locations near sunset time we have watched this amazing event of crows gathering and the group getting larger and larger (seems almost apocalyptic) as they head towards their sleeping area.
Here is a little information I found on the subject.
One of the great animal phenomena of the world is the congregation of large numbers of birds into a single group to sleep together. Such communal sleeping groups are known as "roosts." Many species roost in groups; such things as crows, robins, starlings, blackbirds, swallows, and herons. Most do this only outside of the breeding season. Some species, like starlings, also forage together in great numbers. Others, such as herons, disperse out from these gathering areas to forage singly. For crows, roosts are primarily a fall and winter thing. Numbers peak in winter and then decrease near the beginning of the breeding season (usually in March). It appears that all crows will join winter roosts, even territorial breeding crows. Most breeding crows sleep on their territories during the breeding season, but join the roosts afterward.
I saw my first Canada goose the other day! Fun fact, Canada geese are monogamous (they mate for life). They find their partner when they reach around two years old and stay together for the rest of their life (~24 years). This one was all by itself though 💙
Really feeling Spring-ish out there. Croci are coming up, buds appearing on many plants. In a few weeks these guys will begin to show up and I'll be interested to see if there are even more than last year's late March swarm.
A large bird native to North America, Canada goose can be seen very frequently here in Vancouver. This is largely due to their success in living in a broad range of habitats - especially in urbanised areas.
The four forests... part 1:
into the crackling trees.
It was another early morning trek to the beach arriving just before the sun would rise. This gave me enough time to follow the main trail for a bit before the sun started to rise, once it did i took a detour down a small side trail which led me to the first patch of forest. I quietly entered the forest, passing through the first layer of trees to be presented with the thousands of twigs covering the ground of the inside. this made trying to be quiet quite a hard task. although I continued despite how slow i was moving. After walking like a slug for about 30 minutes. i decided to go back to my normal pace since I didn’t hear a sound in the forest. i started walking again the forest filling with the sounds of twigs snapping and leaves crunching. i clambered through the forest for another five minute before stoppingI seeing that the edge of the forest was nearby but the way out was unfortunately blocked by a thicket of brambles. I took another step forward snapping a large branch as i did and at the same moment a barred owl came erupting out of the undergrowth, it flew right up into a nearby tree which was then flocked by a variety of birds each chirping away alarm calls. I snapped a few pictures before it took off through the forest to another tree not to far away. I then started approaching the new tree...
Story continued in the highlights birdsandbirdys experiences on my profile.
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So @jeanmaximepelletier is back and bringing this party to a nice, respectable level with this fire throat... Please go check out, follow, and like his gallery. Thank You for tagging #warblercrazy !! - selected by @meadowlandsphoto ・・・ ・・・🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Repost from @jeanmaximepelletier - Blackburnian warbler / Paruline à gorge orangée (Setophaga fusca)
This spring, I captured a few different profiles of this beauty and here is the gorgeous side view :-) A few of this species arrived late and seemed very tired and hungry. This was a frenzy hunting scene so great to observe!
House finch / Roselin familier (Haemorhous mexicanus)
Went to explore a new place this Sunday. Really enjoyed that park. A good group of feeders were there and a very big group of finch was using them when I got there. They were surprisingly shy and I just got one real occasion to take some pictures.