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    Thanks for that. It's always great to know about the bigger picture!


      Wow, 120 days home made food + 110 days a salad a day! Awesome!
      The Blue-grey Gnatcatcher looks nice, it doesn't exist in Europe, so the Dutch wikipedia page has only 3 lines of text. How come you see that much different birds on 1 day? Are there that much birds or is it that you know how/where to look? When I go into the forest, most of the time I see only the same few


        We had a lot of trees lining the river either come down or be in danger of doing so after all the flooding and storms this winter and many were cut down. They seem to have left some of the trunks to be a habitat for insects and small animals, which is great to see. Bulldozing sounds a lot harsher Looks like a good selection of birds to see on your walk though


          Zastria snags (standing dead trees) provide important habitat for birds and other wildlife. Fallen trees are important to natural ecosystems too. It's understandable that people want to take down trees which are in danger of falling on humans and/or human structures, but allowing as much of the tree as can safely be left behind to be left in place to complete its natural lifecycle (and decomposition cycle too) certainly helps to maintain the ecological health of the area. In the case of the trail I hiked yesterday, the hedgerow that used to be between the trail and the water has now been replaced with a rubble ridge I am assuming is meant to provide some sort of protection against flooding and erosion of the trail. Many of the trees which were in the ravine between the trail and the adjacent agricultural fields appear to have been removed too though. I could not see why that was necessary. (But I don't know all the details of the plan to fight flooding in that area.)

          NancyTree I live in an area where two of the major North American flyways overlap (southwestern Ontario--which you can barely see on this map as the yellow of the Mississippi Flyway and the Purple of the Atlantic Flyway are both superimposed on top of it). So a lot of waterfowl migrate through my area each spring and fall.

          Click image for larger version

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          The small songbirds have more spread out migration routes, but crossing large bodies of water is a challenge for them. As I live near the north shore of a major lake (Lake Erie), these little birds are typically tired from their long journey across the lake, and looking for a place to rest and refuel in my neighbhourhood before continuing their migration journeys northward each spring. The trail I hiked on Saturday is right on the north shore of Lake Erie (or, more specifically, on the shore of Rondeau Bay, which is a sheltered bay on the north side of the lake). So the effect of songbirds taking a break from their high altitude flights to rest and forage for a bit is even more pronounced there.


            That explains why a lot of the birds you post are totally familiar to me but there are some that I sm like "wtf I never saw anything similar" current home AND where I grew up are on purple path.


              'rin yep. We definitely get some more central birds that are at the easternmost limit of their range where I live. But you will get coastal birds where you live that rarely make it as far inland as my neighbourhood.


                May 3 Daily Dose of Nature

                Here is a Blue-grey Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea):

                Click image for larger version  Name:	BGG-springmale.png Views:	0 Size:	579.8 KB ID:	687058

                The above photograph is a male bird I observed in Rondeau in April 2019. Males in breeding plumage are identifiable by the black monobrow that extends across the forehead and above the eyes.

                Here is the bird I photographed yesterday:

                Click image for larger version  Name:	BGGspringfemale.png Views:	0 Size:	489.4 KB ID:	687059

                Lack of that black bar (in a spring bird) indicates that this bird is a female. Females also tend to be a little bit more grey/subdued in colour than the males, but this is a subtle difference that can be difficult to distinguish in the field, where lighting conditions have as much to do with how blue or grey a bird appears than the bird's sex. Here are a couple more photographs of the same bird, shot with the light at a better angle:

                Click image for larger version  Name:	BGGspringfemale2.png Views:	0 Size:	321.1 KB ID:	687060

                These next photographs are of a bird I observed in November 2018:

                Click image for larger version  Name:	BGG-november.png Views:	0 Size:	308.6 KB ID:	687061

                By November a Blue-grey Gnatcatcher is in its "Basic" (non-breeding) plumage. The males lose their black eyebrow, and both male and female birds are a little greyer than they are in breeding plumage. The males typically still show slightly more blue than the females, but again: this difference is subtle. Blue-grey Gnatcatchers in non-breeding plumage cannot be reliably sexed by appearance alone, in most cases.

                This last photograph is of bird I observed in Rondeau in August 2019:

                Click image for larger version  Name:	BGG-juvenile-August.png Views:	0 Size:	386.1 KB ID:	687062

                Lighting conditions can play tricks with colour, as we've seen above. But I think the complete lack of blue in this bird's upperparts, coupled with the pale grey wash across its breast and a bit of cream wash around the flanks indicate this is a juvenile bird.

                In the above photograph, you can see nicely the bird's extra-long tail, which typically accounts for over 45% of the total length of a Blue-grey Gnatcatcher. Gnatcatchers move this tail about constantly while foraging. This movement may help to flush small insects from the foliage of broad-leaved trees where these birds prefer to feed, making it easier for the bird to capture and devour its prey. As their name implies, gnatcatchers are insectivorous and do eat gnats, although gnats make up only a small percentage of a gnatcatcher's diet. These birds also eat other small insects and spiders.


                  I like that bird, great to see how colors change in season and light! First picture is really beautiful!
                  The explanation of the resting site makes sense, I'll look up if there's a spot like that in my area


                    OMG that's so cuteeee! <3


                      May 4 Daily Dose of Nature

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                      Saw one of these guys in the woodlot behind our yard yesterday. This is a Black-throated Green Warbler (Setophaga virens), identifiable as a male by its solid black chin, throat, and upper breast. The "black-throated" part of this bird's common name is pretty obvious. The "green" moniker, I'm not so sure about. It's meant to describe the colour of this species' back. But their backs just look dirty yellow to me, and it's these birds' bright yellow faces that stand out in the field (especially since Black-throated Greens are one of our canopy-dwelling warblers, so I often don't get a good look at their upper sides).

                      Here is another photograph of the bird above:

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                      From the rear view it is not possible to sex this bird. But the yellow face, "green" back, white undersides with black streaking along the flanks and a yellow wash across the vent make this bird identifiable as a Black-throated Green, even from this angle.

                      Here is another bird I photographed last August:

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                      A bird like this seen in the spring would be a female Black-Throated Green. But most male birds lose their solid black throats in the fall. So, given the date of this photograph, I cannot reliably sex this bird.

                      This next photo is, I think, the clearest photograph of a Black-throated Green Warbler I've taken to date.

                      Click image for larger version

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                      This is another spring bird, and all of the diagnostic field marks for Black-throated Greens are clearly present--except for the throat which would tell us the sex of this bird. This bird appears to be gathering nesting material, which may indicate it's a female. Female Black-throated Green Warblers do most of the nest-building work, but males contribute to nest construction as well. So the sex of this bird may have to remain a mystery.


                        So beautifully hued! And very nice pictures btw.


                          Thank you NancyTree mcastilho HuskyDog .


                            Saturday, May 2 - Rainbow's Days of Fitness Day 10

                            Baseline - Day 14: 14:00 - Level III with my mother.

                            Express Tone - Day 21: 50:00

                            Total: 64 minutes

                            Other stuff:

                            6 km hiking

                            Only Homemade Food - ​​ - Total Days: 122/122
                            A Salad a Day - ​​ - Total Days: 112/112
                            No Video Games - ​ - Total Consecutive Days: 143
                            No Seated Television - - Total Consecutive Days: 62
                            GBOT (10:30) - - Total Days: 42/80
                            GOBOT (6:30) - - Total Days: 56/80


                              Sunday, May 3 - Rainbow's Days of Fitness Day 11

                              Baseline - Day 15: 31:30 - Level III with my mother.

                              Total Abs - Days 24 + 25: 9:40 - Level III

                              yoga flow: 16:00

                              Total: 57 minutes

                              Other stuff:

                              2 km hiking
                              12 minutes meditation

                              Only Homemade Food - ​​ - Total Days: 123/123
                              A Salad a Day - ​​ - Total Days: 113/113
                              No Video Games - ​ - Total Consecutive Days: 144
                              No Seated Television - - Total Consecutive Days: 63
                              GBOT (10:30) - - Total Days: 42/81
                              GOBOT (6:30) - - Total Days: 56/81


                                Monday, May 4 - Rainbow's Days of Fitness Day 12

                                Baseline - Day 16: 23:50 - Level III with my mother.

                                yoga flow: 39:00

                                Total: 63 minutes

                                Other stuff:

                                1 km hiking
                                5 minutes restorative yoga
                                10 minutes meditation

                                Only Homemade Food - ​​ - Total Days: 124/124
                                A Salad a Day - ​​ - Total Days: 114/114
                                No Video Games - ​ - Total Consecutive Days: 145
                                No Seated Television - - Total Consecutive Days: 64
                                GBOT (10:30) - - Total Days: 42/82
                                GOBOT (6:30) - - Total Days: 57/82