April 22nd – Still Frigid.

News from some of our collaborators:

Common Mergansers. Most have headed up north to breed but we’re still seeing a few on the river. Like Wood Ducks, they nest in tree cavities. -DO

Hi Rick!
Fiiinnneeee….I’ll email you with photos ?. All’s well here; I am enjoying daily dawn walks, schoolwork-ish (it’s not as much as what we would be learning in school, but still fun), music practise, etc. Every day I bird in the early morning at two local lakeside parks — I’m hoping to gather some good data about bird populations at those hotspots from this!

Female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. -ELO

Although I love getting to know the regulars, it’s exciting when every now and then some notable birds show up! Aliya went birding at my local park a while ago, and saw the first MYWAs there…and I found them a few days later (April 14). The result: happy Eila, not-so-happy neck :). Flocks of TRES have returned and are busy cleaning up the gnats that are overwhelming the lakefront. I saw my first RCKI on April 13th, and then saw another two days ago…it was a beautiful male puffing up its crown and belting out a song for 5 minutes from in the bushes, while I stood 1.5 metres away! I also watched a HERG [Herring Gull] chase a pair of RBME [Red-breasted Mergansers], trying to land on them only to find the merganser dove down and popped up a few meters away. They went on like that for a good 10 minutes…maybe the HERG was mad at the mergansers for stealing a fish or something? It was pretty entertainting though!

Interesting choice of nesting “tree” for this Red-breasted Nuthatch. -ELO

Yesterday was a great woodpecker day: I saw/heard DOWO [Downy Woodpecker], HAWO [Hairy Woodpecker], RBWO [Red-bellied Woodpecker], 2 YBSA [Yellow-bellied Sapsucker] (a new local bird), and RBNU [Red-breasted Nuthatch] & WBNU [White-breasted Nuthatch]. Attached are photos of the nest-building RBNU and the YBSA.

You wouldn’t think the bird would fit into that entrance hole; claustrophobia obviously not an issue. -ELO

Sorry for the lack of pics…scrolling through my recent photos has made me realize that I have been neglecting my camera. I guess that’s a hazard of getting great of binocs!

Glad to hear all is going well. Cheers!

Great Horned Owl on nest with young. -CB

[About a week ago, Cody built and put up a nesting box for Wood Ducks.]
So far the box hasn’t had much attention given to it but I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I did however find a pair of Great Horned Owls nesting back there for the 4th year now. They have moved 3 times though because of clearing the ash trees back there and then last year’s nest was not the best spot; this year is a very good spot and they have a single fledgling now. Not too good of a picture but I try to keep my distance [As all photographers should!]

Eila O’Neil

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