A New Record!

We have a new champion! This young squirrel has finally mastered the leap from the tree to the bird feeder. It’s a new backyard record! Time to cut the branch again and give him a new challenge.

 

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Spring!

It’s the first day of spring!  Such an incredibly magical time when every day brings changes.  The migrating birds are starting to come through, crocuses are popping up, I saw the first flowers of the Skunk Cabbage, and we’ve had a couple warm, sunny days.  I put aside some time this past Monday to head to a Metropark near me and see some of the early migrating birds returning home.

 

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The Sandhill Cranes are back.  They were probably less than thrilled to see that we still have some ice, but it is melting quickly.  I watched a couple that were willing to come very close to me.  Their feathers are some of my favorite–so beautiful!

 

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There were a number of old nests lying around, and one of the Sandhill Cranes went over and lay down on one.  Seemed like she was trying it out for comfort.

 

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I also saw a bunch of Great Blue Herons back in their rookery for the first time this year.  It’s always a bit surreal to see those great big birds high up in a tree.

 

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There were many Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles around.  The sound of the Red-winged Blackbirds is one of my favorite early signs of spring.

 

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One Grackle seemed to be warning me away from his sunflower seeds!

 

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It’s a wonderful feeling to know that some fantastic birding is only a few short weeks away.  What’s not to love about spring?

Posted in Blackbirds, Cranes, Grackle, Ibises and Herons | 2 Comments

My favorite Flicker yet!

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Every once in a while, you get a picture you’ve been dreaming of.  I can’t tell you how much I love this bird!

Posted in Woodpeckers | 2 Comments

Another Flicker at my feeder

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I am completely mesmerized by these birds!

Posted in Woodpeckers | 3 Comments

Fight!

We’re getting a big snowstorm today in SE Michigan.  They have been predicting this for a few days, so I made an effort to spend some time by the river yesterday morning when it was nice and sunny.  I was hoping to spot some diving ducks–some of my favorite birds.  There were Hooded Mergansers, and Common Goldeneyes, and Redheads.  I was having a great time watching and photographing them (even though they stubbornly refused to come close) when I heard a terrible racket from a group of wild domestic geese (what is the correct term for these geese?  They are wild in that they live in the wild, but they are descended from domestic geese, correct?  I don’t know much about these types of geese).  Two males (I assume) were fighting while two females (I assume) were watching (cheering?,  scolding?) from the sidelines.

 

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Along with the geese, there were Trumpeter swans calling and the noise was very loud.  They couldn’t help but draw my attention.  The fight continued.

 

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I’ve seen squabbles between birds many times, but this one looked and sounded pretty intense.  The battling pair moved towards the middle of the river and the fight seemed to escalate even further.  The onlooking female geese got a little closer to the action, honking the whole time.

 

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The dramatic conclusion can be seen in the following series of photos.  One goose got the other by the neck:

 

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and pushed his head under the water:

 

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I’m guessing this indicated who the winner was, because the dominant goose seemed to celebrate while the “loser” swam away, looking a bit defeated–and wet!

 

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And that was the end of it.  It really was a pretty fascinating interaction to watch!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Posted in Waterfowl | 2 Comments

Deer

There have been so many deer coming to our yard this winter.  They keep eating the seed out of my sunflower feeders.  One night last week I looked out and there were 8 deer in our garden.  We’ve had a few bucks with beautiful racks.  Here are a few recent photos.

 

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I love these beautiful animals!

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A Flicker at my feeder

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