Monday, July 27, 2009

Bathing Beauty

This American Robin (Wisconsin's state bird) seemed to be enjoying his bath more than the look on his face would lead you to believe. Photos of birds galore can be enjoyed at Bird Photography Weekly - go check it out!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Three Stages of Song Sparrows

The Song Sparrow seemed to be my "bird of the week" last week. First, a colleague mentioned that she had a nest in her holly bush with some just-hatched chicks in it. She invited me over to take a look - and a photo. I couldn't tell what they were just by looking at these blind and naked little bodies with gaping mouths but within a few minutes a chirping adult Song Sparrow could be seen perched nearby and then coming and going from the bush. At home I consulted my book on nests, hatchlings, etc. and this nest type seemed to fit the bill for Song Sparrows. This weekend while walking down the driveway a lot of chirping from a tree caught my attention and I spied this juvenile Song Sparrow at the edge of our swamp. This must be a favorite spot for them since I see them here every summer. A little farther down the road, I saw this adult sitting on a branch and realized I had come full circle with this bird. Nest, hatchlings, fledgling, adult. A pretty common little bird but not every week that you see all the stages in their life cycle! Check out more birds and their photographer's stories at Bird Photography Weekly.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Cedar Waxwings

I happened upon a pair of Cedar Waxwings while on a hike in our neck of the woods this holiday weekend. They seemed to be collecting nesting material and I thought they were getting kind of a late start but then read the following information regarding their nesting habits: Late Nest Builders Waxwings generally nest later in the summer than most songbirds since they synchronize hatching with fruit development. Both sexes bring nest material but females do most of the nest building, lay 4 or 5 pale blue or blue-gray eggs with black or gray blotches and incubate them for 12 days. Nestlings spend another 13 days in the nest before fledging. 1 - 2 broods raised. This makes sense since the big pin cherry tree in our yard is full of fruit that is not yet ripe. The cherries usually ripen up mid-July and I've seen loads of Cedar Waxwings feasting there in the past.
Coincidentally, there was a nest visible very near where I spotted these two. I think this nest might belong to a Red-eyed Vireo however. Fly over to Bird Photography Weekly for more bird photos from all over the world.