Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Common Terns

Common Tern
Sterna hirundo

These small, graceful terns dive to catch fish, 
and were once call "sea swallows".

Almost everybody's back!  But I'm still on the lookout for the
resident Osprey, and for these little beauties!
Yes, this is in the harbor in front of my house,
taken last summer while paddling around
in my kayak.

Day before yesterday, a Red-winged Blackbird appeared at my 
feeder to let me know he had returned, and this morning
a Willet was noisily flying across my meadow!

THEN?  The warblers will return and pepper my stand
of willows!!  But I'll not wish the time away
as I wait, for spring isn't long enough.
(It would be nice, however, if the weather cooperated!)

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from around the globe!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle
Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Did you know that with a visual acuity 4 - 8 times better than a human's, the bald eagle is a formidable predator?  

An eagle riding a thermal at an altitude of nearly 1,000 feet uses it's binocular and peripheral vision to spot prey across a distance of nearly 3 square miles.

The bald eagle plucks fish from the water with its talons without diving into the water.
Not to demoralize the stately bald eagle, but it is a stated fact
that they prefer to feed on carrion, 
and are known to "pirate" live fish from Osprey.

Perhaps the path of least resistance?

Click HERE to view more amazing Camera Critters
from all over the world.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Only His Hairdresser Knows For Sure

Wordless Wednesday

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from all over the world!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Great Blues Return!!

March 30, 2010 marks the return of the Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias) to Cape Breton.  At least to my little corner of the world!  I spotted 3 flying overhead, presumably heading to the small island in front of my home where they have a rookery.  And a fourth, just minutes later, heading in the same direction!  Much to my delight, they are one of the last birds to leave us in the fall and one of the first to return in the spring.

Did you know that none of the members of the heron family has a preen gland, from which most birds obtain oil to condition their feathers?  Instead, herons have 'pulvi-plumes', feathers that disintegrate at the tip, becoming a cleansing powder, which the bird spreads with the comblike edge of its middle toe.

For more interesting facts and pictures of herons,
check out Daily Heron!

To see more Nature Notes go to Rambling Woods.