Friday, February 27, 2009

Owl Cam

It's not every day you can peek inside the nest of a Great Horned Owl and watch the chicks growing on an hourly basis. Oh wait, yes it is! Wisconsin's own WE Energies provides a web cam photograph of the goings on inside an owl nest and several Peregrine Falcon nests at their various power plant facilities around the southeastern Wisconsin area. This adult was captured catching a nap up close to the camera lens. The nest appears to have three young owls. Most of the time they look like a fuzzy white pile of dryer lint but they will mature quickly.This is a Peregrine Falcon at the Pleasant Prairie location.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Bird Photography Weekly - Snowy Egret

SE Wisconsin got more than five inches of new snow Saturday and it was 10 degrees this morning so I'm digging into my Florida Birds file for this week's posting. This Snowy Egret was photographed on the Naples beach last March. Ahhhhhhhh.... Go check out all of the fantastic bird photos posted at Bird Photography Weekly.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Bird Photography Weekly - White-winged Crossbill

Hallelujah! I had almost given up hope of seeing these birds this winter. It is a huge year for White-winged Crossbills in Wisconsin. There are reports on our birding network every day of people practically tripping over them on their way out the door and I have spent weeks scanning the top of every cone-laden spruce tree I passed but had not been able to spot even one - until Sunday. On my way home from the northwoods (where I had been doing my GBBC) I saw a flock of birds fluttering around the tops of some spruce. Oh happy day, there they were! I watched and watched (two passing cars stopped to ask if everything was ok) and got the best photos I could considering the distance. Find more bird photos from all over the globe at Bird Photography Weekly.

Great Backyard Bird Count 2009

It was a great weekend to count birds in Northern Wisconsin. Nothing out of the ordinary showed up at my feeders but I finally managed to stumble across a flock of white-winged crossbills - my first! This is the list I submitted to Cornell along with a couple of photos of those counted.

Chickadee - 14
White-winged Crossbill - 12
Blue Jay - 5
Goldfinch - 5
White-breasted Nuthatch - 2
Red-breasted Nuthatch - 2
Downy Woodpecker - 2
Hairy Woodpecker - 2
House Finch - 2
Bald Eagle - 2
Common Redpoll - 1

Monday, February 9, 2009

Bird Photography Weekly - Snowy Owl

After weeks of reading the numerous Snowly Owl sightings in southeastern WI reported on our Wisconsin Birding Network, I finally had a day off to try spotting one for myself. It was only because two very experienced and knowledgable birders were willing to spend their morning acting as my guides that I was able to see not one, but two, of these beautiful birds. The one pictured here was just snoozing in the sun on top of an electrical pole next to the raod. We drove right under him and he barely opened his eyes.(I wish the photo quality was better.) The other was spotted on the ground way out in the middle of a field. Without hesitation,my guide jumped out of her car and set up her spotting scope just so I could get a better look than the bins were offering. As a bonus, they also knew just where to look for horned larks, snow buntings, and rough-legged hawks so I added four new birds to my list last Friday. Thanks Marilyn and Kathy-birders are the best! Check out all the bird photos this week at Bird Photography Weekly.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Rare Winter Visitor

I don't know what brought this little lady to the north woods of Wisconsin mid-January when she should be somewhere in the Pacific northwest but she is causing a real stir among birders there. This female Varied Thrush was first noticed in the yard of Rhinelander resident Brian Karnosky on January 17 and he immediately knew this was something way out of the ordinary. The news travelled fast and for the last three weeks, Brian and his wife have graciously welcomed birders into their home to get a look at the bird they've affectionately dubbed "The Diva".
Not only was I was lucky enough to visit the Karnosky's and have the chance to see her this weekend, she cooperatively sat still just long enough for me to take a couple of photos. Check out Bird Photography Weekly for more bird photos.