Feathers on Friday

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

The Northern Flickers arrived a few days ago, and yesterday I saw this one sitting on our roof,

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More Feathers on Friday Posts:

Bird Boy

Birds in Your Backyard

The Cats and the Birds

Wolf Song Blog

Kathie’s Birds

Birding in Central Park

We arrived in New York City on Saturday, July 6th, and on Sunday morning at 9 am I went on a bird walk with Bob DeCandido (“Birding Bob”) and Deb Allen in Central Park. It was a very hot day (we found at the end of the day there had been an extreme heat and humidity warning for City), but we saw some great birds including an early migrant — a female Black-and-white Warbler, which was very exciting.

I counted 27 species in total on the Central Park walk, and added Chimney Swift, Great-crested Flycatcher, Black-crowned Night Heron, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Northern Cardinal, and Black-and-white Warbler to my “Year List”.

The walk started at the Turtle Pond dock and it was very nice to be greeted by about 15 Red-eared Sliders,

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A Red-eared Slider,

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A Red-bellied Woodpecker,

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Part of the group watching a Great-crested Flycatcher,

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I saw three Black-crowned Night Herons throughout the walk ,

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A Northern Flicker nest,

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What would Central Park be without seeing a squirrel?

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A shy Carolina Wren,

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A pair of Mallards at the boat pond,

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A Double-crested Cormorant drying off at the Boat pond,

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I was only one foot away from this Mallard. That’s the beauty of Central Park — the birds are so used to people,

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I had an excellent time with the other birders, got some good photos, and saw some great species. Central Park is such a wonderful place, and Bob and Deb are great park guides!

Here we are at the end of our walk, with Bob and Debra on the right. Thank you again for such a wonderful time (and the only real birding I got in while in NYC)!

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Feathers on Friday

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

This Northern Flicker was foraging for food along the side of the road and I was able to take this digiscoped photo,

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Weekend Birding!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms and especially to my own mother who is so supportive of my birding!

After such a long winter many of the breeding birds have arrived and also the birds that migrate through our area. The Barn Swallows showed up yesterday along with the Swainson’s Hawks.

I’ve been able to go birding at the slough and lake around our house, and this week I’ve seen two life birds — a pair of Cinnamon Teals and four Western Grebes!

My Baillie Birdathon is coming up very soon — the 30th and 31st of May! I’m ecstatic to have raised $935 when my goal was $500! My  Edmonton Nature Club friends Curtis and Michelle, who already made an incredibly generous donation to my birdathon this year, have now proposed something new. In an email to ENC members, Curtis wrote,

“We’re not participating in the Birdathon this year… but Charlotte is. She’s doing well, her online donations have reached $900 as of this post. If Charlotte’s online donations make it over $1000, we’re going to pledge the following: $2/bird seen to Charlotte’s effort, $2/bird seen to Beaverhill Lake Bird Observatory, and $2/bird seen to the Edmonton Nature Club.”

If you are interested, you can find my Baillie Birdathon donation page here. As a reminder, my goal is to see 80 birds (I came very close last year, with 79), and half of my funds are going to Bird Studies Canada and the other half to my local naturalist society in Alberta. And if you are doing the Birdathon too, please mention it in the comments below with a link to your page.

Some of my digiscoping from yesterday, including a Northern Flicker,

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A Muskrat eating some reeds,

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A Wilson’s Snipe,

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A pair of Tree Swallows,

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A preening male Blue-winged Teal,

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Back from the YOW, Part 3

Aug. 12: By the end of today I will be the only YOW left at Old Cut. This morning we opened the nets at 5:45 and they stayed open until noon. Today was the best day yet for migrants and larger birds. Canada Warblers, one Baltimore Oriole, one Brown Thrasher, one Northern Flicker, one Chestnut-sided Warbler, and one Blue-winged Warbler were some of the highlights of the banding this morning.

In the late afternoon after everyone had left, Ana and I went for a walk around Long Point Provincial Park. We walked along the beach where hundreds of Ring-billed Gulls were, then we went through the campsites where there was a Northern Mockingbird hopping on the ground. On our way back to Old Cut, we made a detour and walked through a wetland conservation area. While there, for about an hour, dozens of Common Grackles flew constantly over our heads, heading for their roost sites, and many Cedar Waxwing sat in trees gleaning insects.

Hatch-year male Canada Warbler,

Brown Thrasher,

You have to have a special license to band gnatcatchers because their legs are so small; in fact the smallest band LPBO has will fit right over a gnatcatcher leg. So if Blue-gray Gnatcatchers get caught in the LPBO nets, they are let go,

For banding all of the large birds and some of the migrants, we had our names drawn from a hat to see who would have the chance with the really neat birds. Unfortunately my name wasn’t chosen, so I didn’t get to band any of the really neat birds.

This Northern Flicker made quite a lot of noise while being handled,

This Chestnut-sided Warbler was molting its tail feathers so it didn’t have much of a tail,

Arguably the best catch of the day, a Blue-winged Warbler,

Aug. 13 (the last day): It was very different waking up in my bedroom without Katie and Saskia. Ana, Matt, and I opened the nets at 7 am and on the first net round we caught a bird that LPBO doesn’t catch much of in the fall — a male Hooded Warbler, and I got to band it! On our Big Day we saw a Hooded Warbler, but you get a whole new look at a bird in the hand.

Hooded Warbler,

Stu dropped me off at the airport in Hamilton at 5:15 pm and six hours later I was back in the Edmonton airport. My parents were waiting, and after a long drive we were home just after midnight.

I have never had so much fun at a camp or workshop before as I had at the YOW! It was very hard to leave Long Point, I made some great new friends, learned so much, and visited some beautiful places. I can’t wait to return to Long Point as an intern, volunteer, or just for a visit. I would especially like to be able to show my family Long Point.

I learned so much at the YOW from so many people — from censusing and banding birds, to making a study skin, to learning about molt patterns, aging, and sexing birds. At the beginning of the workshop, we each received a YOW participants reference guide, which is full of great reading material and wonderful information on banding.

I will never forget the great learning experiences, and the great fun I had at Long Point! Thank you to everyone at LPBO, Bird Studies Canada, and the Doug Tarry family!