June 9th – Unfortunate Timing

Eila chanced upon this Least Bittern and (unusual for her) had her camera ready to go. What a nice find!! -ELO

The banding season may be over but the birding season…..well, there simply isn’t a birding season – it’s all the time. A wide variety of people (of all ages) have been sending me anecdotal reports of their sightings and/or photos. Almost invariably they comment that they’re surprised that there’s so many neat birds in their immediate areas – they had no idea. Further, they’re surprised (sometimes amazed) that there are so many wild spaces around them. Some small, some large…but, again, they just weren’t aware that they existed. This is one of the positive spin-offs of COVID-19: people are paying attention to the natural world right around them.

To my mind though it might have been better if this pandemic, which is requiring that people stay home or close to it, started next year – the beginning of the collection of data for the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas. Just think of all the people searching out birds in their immediate neighbourhoods right at the moment. Let’s hope this zeal hasn’t worn off next year – it could result in a hell of an atlas!

This European Starling has found a good place to look for insects. -ELO

I was intrigued by this shot of a European Starling adapting to its habitat. They’re a pretty clover bird! I remember once watching a very resourceful starling: I was driving on the I 90 – the New York Thruway. There was a big lineup of cars and trucks at a toll booth moving very slowly. This starling would go through the grill of the trucks and emerge with a big insect (presumably toasted) which it would whisk away for its young. Minutes later it would be back, sometimes to another truck. How did it ever manage to learn that this was even an option!?

I’ve included a bunch of photos that folks have sent me at the end. But I thought I’d like to throw in this delightful letter from Kip. He and his folks have visited Ruthven on a few occasions and the little guy apparently is turning into a keen observer and birder…..as you will see.

Kip birding on the Burnt River (near Minden) – note the binoculars at the ready. -IB/RK

Hi Rick,
I’m going to tell you all the birds that are nesting in our yard and I am going to list them for you:
I found these nests:
Chipping Sparrow

In our nest boxes:
Hooded merganser
Common Merganser
House Wren
Tree Swallow

We know these are nesting in our yard but we have not found them yet:
Song Sparrow
Red-eyed Vireo
Brown Thrasher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
American Redstart
Winter Wren
Black-capped Chickadees
Chestnut-sided Warbler

Across the river:
Yellow Warbler
Mourning Doves

We often see:
Spotted Sandpipers
Canada Geese
Belted Kingfisher
Pileated Woodpecker
Barn Swallows
Cedar Waxwing

I hope you saw some cool birds, too!
Love, Kip
Recent Photos:

Diane found this Least Flycatcher in her backyard. -DG

It’s not just birds that are capturing interest. This ???? Moth was on a fence post bordering Ruthven Butterfly Meadow. It’s about 6 cm long – anyone know what it is? -DOL

Bobolinks abound in hay fields (especially old ones). -ELO

A House Wren holding forth. -ELO

You usually have to search and search (VERY quietly) for Virginia Rails. It’s not often they walk out under your feet. -ELO

Savannah Sparrow giving its all – welcoming in the day. -ELO

These 3 young Bald Eagles all look to be in really good condition. If food was scarce there might not be 3 of them any more….. -KMP

One of the proud parents of those 3. -KMP

How often do you get to see the emergence of a dragonfly!? -KMP

Eastern Kingbird. Up here it’s very territorial but in its wintering area you can see flocks of them. -KMP

Juvenile European Starling getting a look at the World, getting ready to join in. -KMP

Great Blue Heron in flight. -KMP

Marsh Wren – an easy bird to hear (in the right habitat) but difficult to sight….and even harder to photograph. -KMP

Painted Turtle. -KMP


1 thought on “June 9th – Unfortunate Timing

  1. Wonderful! Thanks Rick and everyone sending in pict. I look forward to them all the time!

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