Monday, March 4, 2013

American Kestrel with Prey

Just a mini-posting for this week. Not much going on this week bird-wise in Windsor. Some White-fronted Geese are still at Hillman Marsh... I want to go see them, but just don't have the time resources at present.

I'm in absolute awe of the birds in the Toronto/Hamilton area. A Western Grebe, Harlequin Duck and Snowy Owl are visible at one park along Lake Ontario. Can you sense my jealousy??? I want to twitch these, but I just can't afford the 8-hour round trip car drive. :-(   Another excellent blogger from Ottawa was blogging about the wonderful birds up there such as Pine Grosebeaks, Black backed Woodpeckers, and Bohemian Waxwings, again, I want to twitch these but can't afford the 18 hour round-trip car ride. :-(

A little closer to home, a local Northern Shrike is still doing the rounds in the Ojibway Prairie. Jeremy Bensette and myself were birding recently and scoped this bird from the Titcombe turnaround circle off Matchette. This Northern Shrike was 200m away, and Jeremy noted that it was probably only 20m from the road off Matchette. Incredibly, Matchette Road is closed at EC Row, (the road has no traffic), so I just drove up along Matchette and pulled over. The car made an excellent blind, and we just watched the bird at very close range.  This was my absolute best look at a Northern Shrike ever, and it was extra cool because it was oblivious to my presence, in fact, I drove away from it after watching it jump from treetop to treetop to fallen snag branch (see below). Generally, if I see this bird on foot, and it is very skittish, keeping a 100m distance.

Moments later, just 400m down the road, we saw an American Kestrel with a huge mouse (or vole). It struggled to take flight with such a large dinner in its talons. Its good to see these birds are eating well in Windsor!

Good birding,

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