Thursday, February 21, 2013

Avian Photo Essay Part Two: Passerines

So finally, here is the second part of my photo essay:

Rare or Otherwise Notable Passerines

Northern Shrike, Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area, OH.  Feb 8.

American Crow:  I have already covered this species in detail in previous posts, nut I though it would be fun to repost some of my favorite shots as well as some newer shots from the roost.

My favorite photo of all time:) 
Hundreds of crows at a time dropping into the roost
The entire roost lifts up and swirls about in the air for about half a minute
before alighting back in the trees.
90 or so crows with the glint of the setting sun on their flight feathers. 
A small section of treetops that are overloaded with crows.

Juvenile Horned Lark. One of dozens of that species at ADM Grains on 5 Jan.

Brown Creeper.  One of three in my yard on Jan 26. 

This and another Carolina Wren are both regular year-round feeder visitors
in my yard, especially in the winter and some summers.  One summer, they
bred in the garden, fledging three young!

Townsend's Solitaire:  like the American Crow, I have already dedicated a couple of posts to this and just wanted to share some new photos (9 Feb), as well as mention that the solitaire only has ONE FOOT!  I did not even notice this during my first five hours of observation.  I think it must have been born with it, because it functions so well in spite of it.  It also explains the lack of a bright eye ring on one side–it has to hold on to the branch with its good foot and preen with its stump.  Therefore the eyering on the "stump" side of its head is much brighter than the one on the other side.  I have included some photos which illustrate that it has a stump leg quite well but I somehow didn't notice until after I heard that it had only one foot.

Varied Thrush, 27 Dec.  This bird was seen by a looooot of people during its long stay
at some feeders in Barry County. 

Most of the flock of an incredible 64 Bohemian Waxwings at Rose Lake
WRA.  Among them there were only 8 Cedar Waxwings.  Wow.  That
means that the flock was 88% Bohemians and only 11% Cedars.  Not some-
thing you see very often.  Seen on 11 Jan.  

This tiny bird came as a huge surprise to me and my family when we
discovered it under our pine tree, eating berries and insects off a pokeweed
plant.  After that it flew into our garden, where we managed to take a few pic-
tures.  It actually stayed until the 15th, even visiting the bird bath a couple of times.
The eBird weekly totals graph for Nashville Warbler from Sep-Nov of 2012 suggests that
this one was the only Nashville Warbler in our area that late in the year. 

10 of the 11 Chipping Sparrows in my yard on Oct 25.  A very large number of
chippers for that time of year.

Flock of 123(!) Snow Buntings on 5 Jan at ADM Grains.

This late-ish Red-winged Blackbird was a good surprise at the feeders on 26 Oct.

These photos are of a group of 18 White-winged Crossbills at Mt Hope
Cemetery, 16 Nov.

Photos of a group of 38+ Pine Grosbeaks on the feeders at Whitefish Point
on 17 Nov.  

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