Friday, July 31, 2015
While birding at Nonquon Sewerage Treatment Lagoons we came across these two Blue Dasher Dragonflies mating. The dragonfly which is completely blue is the male; the other is the female. The male grasps the female by the head with his claspers at the end of his abdomen. The male and female then fly in tandem and perch on a twig or plant stem. The female then curls her abdomen to pick up the seman from the male. The posture of the two dragonflies is called the "heart" or "wheel".
Thursday, July 30, 2015
The Common Whitetail or Long Winged Skimmer is a common dragonfly across most of North America. This is the male of the species as it has a white body; the female has a brown body.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Just outside the house these Purple Finches' have a nest high in an evergreen tree. We see them coming and going. The first photo is of a male, the second of a male and female together and the third of a female.
We identified these as Purple Finches (vs. House Finch, which is similar) as follows:
- Conical bill, rather than bill with curved culmen of the House Finch
- Female has deeply notched tail vs. slightly notched tail of House Finch
- Female has brown and white pattern on head, rather than plain head of House Finch
- Female has white undertail, rather than tall dark streaks of House Finch
The purple Finch is a new species for our Life List, which now stands at 141.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Sunday, July 26, 2015
Saturday, July 25, 2015
Here are four photos of birds on the sandbars and elswhere in Second Marsh. These photos were taken yesterday. We could identify the follwing species:
- Double- crested Cormorant
- Great Blue Heron
- Great Egret
- Caspian Tern
- Canada Goose
- Trumpeter Swan
There may be other species, but they were too far away to identify.
Friday, July 24, 2015
Thursday, July 23, 2015
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
The Yellowlegs (both the Greater and Lesser) are migrating. In the spring they migrate to Northern Canada and Alaska, where they breed. Their breeding season is short and they start their migration south as early as late June.
We believe this is a Lesser Yellowlegs for the following reasons:
- Bill is about the same length as the head
- Bill is straight - on Greater Yellowlegs it is slightly upturned
- Strips on flanks less extensive than on Greater Yellowlegs