Monday, April 22, 2019

Hooded Grebe's Courtship Dance

Wow - A friend shared this video with me through facebook and I was amazed at the courtship dance these grebes partake in. Amazing. If this video is obscured by the dimensions of my blog, follow the this link to the source at National Geographic:

To learn more about this South American species click here:

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Does Point Pelee's New Observation Tower have a Design Problem? + Birding Rap Song?

For the last year or so - Point Pelee has been building a new $1.5 Million tower near the tip of Point Pelee.  With great anticipation - many birders are excited about finally getting access to the tower to see the views from the tower. But... I can't help but point out something that might be a design flaw on the tower. Look at the photo below and see if you can find it on your own. My thoughts continue below the photo.

Well, the design flaw is there is glass paneling along some of the viewing areas. Glass paneling may cause bird strikes and bird mortality. I don't want to be critical about this before the tower even opens but I can't help but think that this tower is on one of the major migration routes in north america and perhaps millions of birds migrate by this point every year.   A reader of this observation might roll their eyes --- but hear me out --- I was at Put-In-Bay Ohio - which is an island similar to Pelee Island along the Lake Erie Archipelago and visited a solid cement tower (no glass) a few years ago (the tower is a historical monument for the battle of Lake Erie which happened around the war of 1812). One of the employees told me that every year during migration, a shocking number of birds are found dead around that tower!

I'm not a biologist - just a common layperson - but this is the second time I find myself scratching my head at Point Pelee's project oversight. I am still a little bothered that Point Pelee's management decided that building a village of 10 + Otentniks (cabins) in prime interior forest habitat at Point Pelee (do they have an ecologist looking over their decisions?)

I guess time will tell if these glass panels are an issue. If they do ... you heard it here first.

On a lighter note - I was on Twitter today and someone shared this birding rap video and I couldn't help but reshare. If you don't like wrap music or hip-hop culture - feel free to skip it. I thought it was pretty amusing. Anything to build the naturalist community! (Oddly enough - this song makes reference to bird-strikes and reflective windows).

Whole lotta people need to hear this 
It’s a lot of birds on my life list 
Mockingbirds say what they want to 
Albatross taking care of big chicks 
I should run a whole blog at this rate 
Use mandarin ducks for click-bait 

#TeamFish always wanna start fake beef 
But we not even playing in the same game 
They know birders the bomb, they ticking us off 
Look at us crazy for watching the hawks 
I know that mean they just not exposed 
But somebody just gotta show em it’s dope 
So whether they trained or out in the wild, 
I’m hearing the birds, I’m writing them down 
Tan pronto que las aves quieren cantar 
They singing they singing like Destiny’s Child 

Everybody wanna see Tits  (a reference to great tits Parus major)
Everybody wanna see chicks (a reference to baby birds in a nest)
Everybody wanna be this 
If I was you I’d start my list 
Follow my lead y’all catch my drift 
All these reflections I’m calling ‘em out 
Windows is killing too many to count 
If you not a birder then you gotta bounce 
I got the bins, come get em now 
We do anything for the count 
Do anything for the count 
They flying north, they flying west birds flying south 

Seeing me win, it gotta hurt OO OO ouch 
Im seeing ‘em all and you tryna stop me 
NOPE not from the couch!


Friday, April 12, 2019

Red Admiral , Trout Lily , Hermit Thrush - More Springtime Arrivals

Another springtime weekend is upon us! Over the last few days - I've tried to go for a walk every day after work. Some highlights, as the title of this posting suggests - were Trout Lily, Sharp lobed Hepatica, Red Admiral, Hermit Thrush and Winter Wren. 

Another good bird I noticed this week was a Hairy Woodpecker - which might be a breeder at Ojibway Park. These woodpeckers are a little bit rare in Essex County so they always nice to see. 

If the weather is good tomorrow - I might try to go out to Point Pelee.  

Good Birding!

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Yellow bellied Sapsucker @ Black Oak Heritage Park

Today was just a fantastic day to be outside. 18C and sunny. I went for a bike ride this morning from my house in the South Cameron Woodlot area to Malden Park, then through Spring garden, then through the Tallgrass prairie on the Titcombe pathway, then to the Black Oak Heritage Park. I might have biked 15-20km today!

Lots of great birds were seen today. Some birds included:
Yellow bellied Sapsucker
Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Bluebird
Carolina Wren
Song Sparrow
Field Sparrow

Several Eastern Commas were fluttering around as well.

At one point along the pathway through Spring Garden - there was deafening song of Chorus Frog.  I stopped to look and was amazed that even though I was surrounded by loud frog song - I couldn't see any!  Sure enough I slowly started to see a few. I was caught off-guard as to how small they are. It seems like they are so small - that they could fit on a quarter.

Seeing Yellow bellied Sapsuckers for the first time each year is always exciting. In Windsor - they are only present during the month of April ... until their southbound migration in the fall.

Good birding!


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