No announcement yet.

Rainbow Dragon's Dares

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    May 11 Daily Dose of Nature

    While we're on the subject of phalaropes, this is a Red Phalarope (Phalaropus fulicarius):

    Click image for larger version

Name:	phal-small.png
Views:	168
Size:	358.6 KB
ID:	689996

    "But it's not red, Laura!" you exclaim.

    This is true. It's not red because I photographed this bird last December in its Basic (non-breeding) plumage. In Alternate (breeding) plumage, a female Red Phalarope is a rich chestnut red colour all around her neck and on her underside. The male in breeding plumage is similarly coloured, just a little duller.

    This bird was a rare find for me, since Red Phalaropes are a largely pelagic species. They breed in the arctic, across the northern coasts of Canada and Russia, the north and western coasts of Alaska, the western coast of Greenland, the coasts of Iceland, and on most arctic archipelagos. They winter out at sea, off the western coast of Africa, the western coast of Mexico, South and Central America and east of the Caribbean islands and the southern United States. And they migrate almost exclusively via sea routes, 80-160 km offshore. A few Red Phalaropes do migrate over Ontario, however, so sometimes we get lucky.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	phal2-small.png
Views:	175
Size:	315.1 KB
ID:	689997

    This bird stopped in at a conservation area that's local to me last winter, and spent several days foraging in a shallow pond on some mud flats. Thanks to the alerts I receive from eBird (one for rare bird sightings in my area and one for any species reported in my area which I have not yet seen myself) I was notified of the presence of this bird and was easily able to locate it, right where other birders had reported seeing it, hanging out with a Dunlin in what was essentially a large mud puddle.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	phal+dun-small.png
Views:	154
Size:	615.6 KB
ID:	689998

    Since Red Phalaropes molt their breeding plumage feathers before heading south for the winter, I'm unlikely to see one in its summer finery any time soon. You can find photos of Red Phalaropes that are actually red on All About Birds.


      Monday, May 11 - Rainbow's Days of Fitness Day 19

      Knee Push-ups Challenge - Day 2: 20 seconds - done on my toes

      Baseline - Day 23: 36:35 - Level III with my mother.

      yoga flow: 25 minutes

      Total: 62 minutes

      Other stuff:

      2 km hiking
      8 minutes meditation

      Only Homemade Food - ​​ - Total Days: 131/131
      A Salad a Day - ​​ - Total Days: 121/121
      No Video Games - ​ - Total Consecutive Days: 152
      No Seated Television - - Total Consecutive Days: 71
      GBOT (10:30) - - Total Days: 45/89
      GOBOT (6:30) - - Total Days: 62/89


        The Phalaropes are really beautiful!


          May 12 Daily Dose of Nature

          I finally made it through all of the photographs I took on Global Big Day on Saturday. I found one additional bird in my photographs which I'd not been able to identify in the field (some of the waterfowl at the sewage lagoons were pretty far away) bringing my total to 56 species for the day. I think that was pretty good considering I did not have access to Rondeau park and did not use a car at all but only birded in locations which I was able to walk to from my home. (For comparison, the most species I've ever observed--and been able to ID--in one day was 72, which I achieved last year on May 11. But on that day I spent most of the day in Rondeau and also visited a local conservation area which has great wetland and tallgrass prairie habitat.)

          Here is my species list for the day:

          Canada Goose
          Mute Swan
          Wood Duck
          Northern Shoveler

          American Wigeon
          Lesser Scaup
          Ruddy Duck
          Horned Grebe
          Mourning Dove

          American Coot
          Semipalmated Plover
          Least Sandpiper
          Wilson's Phalarope
          Spotted Sandpiper
          Lesser Yellowlegs
          Turkey Vulture
          Cooper's Hawk
          Bald Eagle
          Red-bellied Woodpecker
          Downy Woodpecker
          Least Flycatcher
          Tree Swallow
          Bank Swallow
          Barn Swallow
          Cliff Swallow
          Ruby-crowned Kinglet
          Brown Creeper
          House Wren
          European Starling
          Grey Catbird
          Hermit Thrush
          American Robin
          House Sparrow
          House Finch
          American Goldfinch
          Chipping Sparrow
          White-crowned Sparrow
          White-throated Sparrow
          Savannah Sparrow
          Song Sparrow
          Red-winged Blackbird

          Brown-headed Cowbird
          Common Grackle
          Nashville Warbler
          Hooded Warbler
          Yellow Warbler
          Pine Warbler
          Northern Cardinal

          Rose-breasted Grosbeak

          Vote for your favourite to be featured in an upcoming Daily Dose of Nature. (Species in red are one's we've already visited.)

          Today's bird is this little lady, who I found at the edge of a small woodlot behind one of the local public schools in my town.

          Click image for larger version  Name:	hoodedwarbler1.png Views:	29 Size:	484.2 KB ID:	690453

          Click image for larger version  Name:	hoodedwarbler2.png Views:	29 Size:	509.8 KB ID:	690454

          This is a female Hooded Warbler (Setophaga citrina). If I observed a bird that looked like this in the fall, I would not know if it was a female or an immature male; but by their first spring, male hooded warblers have the full black hood for which this species is named, and any Hooded Warbler without a fully black hood can be diagnosed as female.

          Here is a male bird I photographed last spring:

          Click image for larger version  Name:	hoodedwarbler4.png Views:	28 Size:	528.7 KB ID:	690456

          He will retain his bright yellow face, forehead, and underparts, and his fully black hood year-round, making adult male Hooded Warblers easily recognizable in all seasons.

          The "hood" of a female Hooded Warbler is quite variable with age. First year females have no black feathers but show an olive-green upper hood and an all yellow chin and throat. Female birds two-years-old and older start to show more extensive hoods with some black feathers. Sometimes their black is only a border on the front edge of their hood. Other times it is more extensive. But female birds are not known to ever achieve the full black hood of an adult male.

          Both male and female Hooded Warblers frequently fan their tails, displaying large white spots on their tail feathers. Here is my bird from this weekend fanning her tail:

          Click image for larger version  Name:	hoodedwarbler3.png Views:	29 Size:	515.8 KB ID:	690457

          and here is a male Hooded Warbler fanning his tail:

          Click image for larger version  Name:	hoodedwarbler5.png Views:	28 Size:	625.5 KB ID:	690458

          The adaptive purpose of this tail fanning action is not fully understood, but it's thought that it may help to flush prey (insects) from the thick forest understory in which Hooded Warblers prefer to forage.

          Individual male Hooded Warblers each sing a slightly different song and are able to recognize the songs of their neighbours and even remember them from year to year.
          Attached Files


            Very good, you deserve a badge for that.

            My vote is for Killdeer.


              That is an impressive list of birds - well done! I would like to see photos of the swallows


                I'll vote for the hawk!


                  What a list!

                  I vote for the House Wren. I like small birds!


                    I’d go for the killdeer, also. We have them here, and I’ve been practically on top of them in the field the last several days. Several of them sitting within 20 feet of me squawking loudly as I come toward them on the path. I think I saw a baby on one day.
                    But the hawk would be fun, too😎


                      Turkey vulture! We don't have any vultures. I believe our carrion bird are crows, ravens and buzzards.


                        Tuesday, May 12 - Rainbow's Days of Fitness Day 20

                        Knee Push-ups Challenge - Day 3: 1 minute - done on my toes - 15 push-ups this day. 30/42 week-to-date for The Pushers Week #1.

                        Baseline - Day 24: 35:00 - Level III with my mother.

                        yoga flow: 22 minutes

                        Total: 58 minutes

                        Other stuff:

                        1 km hiking
                        10 minutes meditation

                        Only Homemade Food - ​​ - Total Days: 132/132
                        A Salad a Day - ​​ - Total Days: 122/122
                        No Video Games - ​ - Total Consecutive Days: 153
                        No Seated Television - - Total Consecutive Days: 72
                        GBOT (10:30) - - Total Days: 45/90 - Once I let this one slide, it is so hard to get back on track! I thought I might make it this night, but then I fell asleep in the evening and napped for ~ 90 minutes. I still had far too much stuff to get done on Tuesday to even dream of making it to bed on time after that.
                        GOBOT (6:30) - - Total Days: 62/90


                          May 13 Daily Dose of Nature

                          Thank you for your votes CaptainCanuck Whirly Belerith Colin DorothyMH Io6 . You've given me an interesting list of birds to work with. It is still May, however, and Rondeau Park re-opens in two days. So I may need to sneak a few warblers into the mix as well, especially if I get any absolutely demanding to meet you all, like today's subject.

                          Click image for larger version

Name:	blackblue1.png
Views:	122
Size:	339.1 KB
ID:	690840

                          Click image for larger version

Name:	blackblue2.png
Views:	107
Size:	370.0 KB
ID:	690841

                          I was out in my yard this morning, cleaning up the dog dirt, when I spotted this little guy perched in my oak tree. This is a male Black-throated Blue Warbler (Setophaga caerulescens). Unfortunately, I had a poop and scoop bag in my hand at the time, not my camera. By the time I was able to get back inside to grab my camera and get back out again, the bird had flown off. I thought I was out of luck with this bird. But a little bit later, when I was standing at my back fence with my camera, scanning for warblers in the woodlot behind, my little Black-throated Blue friend returned and spent several minutes perched on nearby tree branches, fairly out in the open and easy to photograph.

                          Black-throated Blue Warblers do not molt into a confusing, dull plumage in the fall. Male Black-throated Blue Warblers display this same handsome pattern of blue, black, and white feathers, year round. While the immature males of many of our warbler species more closely resemble female birds than they do their fathers, young male Black-throated Blue Warblers are an exception. They look like slightly duller versions of the adult males of their species. Male Black-throated Blue Warblers are readily identifiable at any age and in any season.

                          Female Black-throated Blue Warblers also look the same in the fall as they do in the spring. They just don't look much like their male counterparts.

                          Click image for larger version

Name:	blackblue3.png
Views:	103
Size:	386.0 KB
ID:	690842

                          Click image for larger version

Name:	blackblue4.png
Views:	125
Size:	473.6 KB
ID:	690843

                          Male and female Black-throated Blue Warblers look so different from one another, in fact, that the early Ornithologists observing them originally described them as two different species! The only similarity in plumage between the males and females of this species is that little patch of white on the wings, sometimes referred to as a "pocket handkerchief".

                          Here's a male and a female Black-throated Blue Warbler side-by-side:

                          Click image for larger version

Name:	blackbluecomparison.png
Views:	128
Size:	410.5 KB
ID:	690844

                          The bird on the right has no white "handkerchief". This indicates that she is an immature (first year) female. She is still identifiable as a Black-throated Blue, however, by her long pale and thin eyebrow, and the pale crescent under her eye. This combination of facial markings is diagnostic for a female Black-throated Blue Warbler.


                            Ooh, the male one is so beautiful! 😍


                              Isn't he pretty, NancyTree ?

                              I'm hoping to see some even more colourful birds once I'm able to get back into Rondeau tomorrow.


                                Wednesday, May 13 - Rainbow's Days of Fitness Day 21

                                Knee Push-ups Challenge - Day 4: 20 seconds - done on my toes - 0 push-ups this day. 30/42 week-to-date for The Pushers Week #1.

                                Baseline (version 1.0) - Day 25: 25:00 - Level III with my mother.

                                Total: 25 minutes

                                Other stuff:

                                1 km hiking

                                Only Homemade Food - ​​ - Total Days: 133/133
                                A Salad a Day - ​​ - Total Days: 123/123
                                No Video Games - ​ - Total Consecutive Days: 154
                                No Seated Television - - Total Consecutive Days: 73
                                GBOT (10:30) - - Total Days: 45/91
                                GOBOT (6:30) - - Total Days: 62/91

                                I did not mean for Wednesday to be my easy day this week. But I ran out of time to do anything else and decided it would be counterproductive to stay up past 2AM to continue working out. On the plus side: I appear to have designed a successful squirrel baffle for my new bird feeder pole, I got my father's new credit card activated, I completed my May 13 update for Rainbow's Heroic Year and I got all kinds of yummy food prepped, including an unsweetened carrot pudding, blueberry oatmeal crumble, batter for oatmeal banana pancakes, and Zastria 's oven roasted ratatouille. That ought to keep my father and I going for a few days at least. Also: I successfully peed into a bottle. I am Ready for Rondeau!