Feathers on Friday

Yesterday, coming home from a trip to town to the Provincial Park, I saw two Bald Eagles on one of the sloughs near our house that isn’t frozen over entirely yet.

As you can see from the pictures, the landscape has changed very dramatically in the past week. We had our first snow of the season last Saturday, and it has been snowing almost daily since, with very cold temperatures for this time of year.

The adult Bald Eagle and the Lesser Scaup,

The juvenile coming in for a landing,

I watched the eagles until they left,

Winter has arrived

The first snow of the season fell yesterday, we didn’t get very much but more snow will come shortly.  I went out this morning to look for some birds and to check the ice on our slough to see if the ice was good for skating. I didn’t see many birds but the ones I saw were quite nice. At the start of the walk I saw a Bald Eagle (I saw one yesterday too), five Horned Larks, and a flock of about 100 Snow Buntings.

Early morning,

A Chickadee at my new feeder,

Our dog Lady came with me,

A deer bed,

Coyote tracks on the ice,

Northern Harrier,

Feathers on Friday

If you would like to join me for Feathers on Friday, please put the link to your blog post in the comments and I will add a link to my post.

I saw this Bald Eagle this morning near a very large slough near our corrals,

If you look carefully you can see one very big talon,

Must-see birds: September

I got the idea for a northern Alberta version of “Must-see birds” from Pat Bumstead’s and Bob Lefebvre’s Birds Calgary blog. Matthew Sim, who is another young birder, had the idea for the “Must-see birds” posts and writes them all.

September is the month of migrants. Many of the shorebirds have left, and so have our hummingbirds. I wanted to find the best Alberta birds for Must-see birds September (all photos by me):

1. Sandhill Crane

The Sandhill Crane is a large wading bird with gray body, white cheek patches, and a red cap on the adults. The Sandhill Cranes are starting to migrate, so look for them flying high in the sky,

2. Osprey

I spotted this Osprey at Kehewin Lake on the way to 4H camp. I took this picture as we zoomed past the nest platform in our truck. The Osprey is a large raptor with a white head, a black eye stripe and dark upper parts,

3.  Bald Eagle 

I saw this Bald Eagle yesterday as I was riding my bike, and as soon as I saw it I knew it would be perfect for this post. The Bald Eagle has a dark brown body, yellow bill, and a white head and tail,

4. American Kestrel

The American Kestrel has two facial strips (I think they look like sideburns), a rust colored tail and blue-gray wings. This kestrel has caught what I think is a mouse and was flying around with it,

5. Lesser Yellowlegs

The Lesser Yellowlegs is a large sandpiper with a short straight bill, yellow legs, and a spotted back. A good field mark is the white rump,

New peregrine falcon cam in Alberta

Next week there will be a new peregrine falcon camera ready to go in Edmonton, Alberta. You can read about it here at the Alberta Conservation Association (ACA) website. The nest and the camera are on the top of the city’s Bell (Telephone) Tower building, and the camera is sponsored by  Bell Mobility and Snap Security.

The bird is a female known only as E4.  She was born and raised on a natural sandstone cliff on the Red Deer River in the Summer of 2002. She has been nesting at the Bell Tower in downtown Edmonton since 2004.

You can read more about saving the peregrines in Alberta in this wonderful article, “The Last Peregrine” by Gordon Court, from Conservation Magazine.


Some other bird/nest cams I like:

Decorah Eagles: the pair of eagles have three chicks, who are getting ready for their first flight

Ellie and Albert, the pair of great-horned owls who made a nest at the Ellis Bird Farm (near Red Deer, Alberta, Canada)

Bobby and Violet, a pair of nesting red-tailed hawks in New York City. I have been watching this cam very diligently when I have the time.

Phoebe, an Allen hummingbird, with one chick who seems much to big for its nest!