Eastern Meadowlark at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on October 27, 2017

One of the birding highlights along the lakefront in Milwaukee this morning was seeing this Eastern Meadowlark at McKinley Beach. I was hoping for Western, but I just can’t see it here. It came in off the rock shore and landed in a grass area. It did some feeding, looked around some and away it went heading south. One of the other highlights was accidentally flushing a Short-eared Owl at Lakeshore State Park. The owl flew east over the harbor where 4 gulls appeared to harass it. I lost sight of it at that point. A very windy morning with cold temps, still nice to be out birding. Images were taken on October 27, 2017.

Looking for something to eat here…

Doing some feeding…

Getting something…

Bobolinks in Waukesha County Wisconsin on June 19, 2017

Out birding this morning in Waukesha County I came across some Bobolinks. There were 2 males and 2 females in an area where I assumed they were nesting. I took a few shots to share and left the area. It was a sunny morning with cool temps with some clouds moving in. Images were taken on June 19, 2017.

Bobolink, male calling

Bobolink

Binomial name: Dolichonyx oryzivorus

Category: Blackbirds

Size: 7” long, 11.5” wing span

Weight: 1.50 oz

Notes: A male Bobolink may have more than one mate. A well known birder in Wisconsin had called this bird a “skunk blackbird” because of the whitish stripe down the back of the head.

Bobolink, male preening

Bobolink, female keeping an eye on the nesting area

Bobolink, female keeping the balance…

Bobolink, male in the grass as we see them…

Bobolink, male just sitting pretty

Female watching the nest from a distance…

Bobolink, the female in flight…

Both sexes here…

Calling….displaying…

Distant shot of caterpillars in the bill…

The balancing act

On the lookout

Over looking the nesting area…

 

Baltimore Oriole eating caterpillars on a blooming tree at Lake Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin May 16, 2017

On a walk through Lake Park this morning in Milwaukee I was greeted with a male Baltimore Oriole eating caterpillars on a beautiful blooming tree. I observed this for about a minute with calling in between the feeding. Moments later a female Baltimore Oriole flew by the tree and off they went. This took place near the lighthouse. What a treat! Images were taken on May 16, 2017.

The call…

Sneaking around on the tree looking for caterpillars…

Sneaking around on the tree looking for caterpillars…

With a caterpillar in the beak…

The call…

Looking around…

With a caterpillar…

The call…

Looking…

Rusty Blackbird at Echo Park in Burlington Wisconsin on October 2, 2016

While watching the Great Egrets at Echo Park in Burlington Wisconsin this morning we were side tracked by a bird at the edge of a grassy small island. Janet S spotted the bird, thank you! When it came out into the open more I immediately knew it was a Rusty Blackbird by those cool colors.  A really great find, as this bird is just not seen often enough. The bird moved towards the dam, behind some grass and they flew east into a tall tree on the bigger island and that was the last we saw of it. On such a dreary, misty and rainy day, this was the highlight and a nice one! Images were taken on  October 2, 2016.

___rnewimg_3282_cr

Rusty Blackbird

Binomial name: Euphagus carolinus

Category: Blackbirds

Size: 9” long, 14” wing span

Weight: 2.1 oz

___rnewimg_3262_cr

Looking for small bugs on the leaf I would think

Looking for small bugs on the leaf I would think

___rnewimg_3201_cr

___rnewimg_3189_cr

Takeoff!

Going to another rock!

___rnewimg_3098_cr

___rnewimg_2975_cr

___rnewimg_2951_cr

___rnewimg_3079_cr

___rnewimg_2946_cr

_rimg_9902_cr

Western Meadowlark at Bender Park in Oak Creek Wisconsin on April 18, 2016

I made the trip to Bender Park early this morning to see if the Western Meadowlark was still present from yesterdays report. It was and gave nice views, singing and finding food too. What a beautiful bird! The call was right, the dotted and not streaks along the sides matched too along with the yellow malar. I was happy to see this bird this morning and get it on my state life list as I have tried numerous times before and came up empty. A big thank you to Steve L for finding this bird and Rita and David for getting the word out about it being present for others to see it. Images were taken on April 18, 2016.

__rIMG_1056_cr

Calling in the early morning sun

Western Meadowlark

Binomial name: Sturnella neglecta

Category: Blackbirds

Size: 9.5” long, 14.5” wing span

Weight: 3.4 oz

_rIMG_0789_cr

_rIMG_0807_cr

Calling

_rIMG_0942_cr

_rIMG_0966_cr

Finding something to eat

Finding something to eat

_rIMG_1070_cr

_rIMG_0843_cr

_rIMG_1013_cr

Calling

In flight!

In flight!

_rIMG_0820_cr

___rIMG_1207_cr

___rIMG_1208_cr

___rIMG_1147_cr

Hunting for food

Hunting for food

___rIMG_1308_cr

Red-winged Blackbird

In the last couple of days, Red-winged Blackbirds have arrived at the Fox River in downtown Waukesha, WI. It sure sounded like spring was in the air this morning when I saw and heard 5 Male Red-winged Blackbirds along the river walk. They were perched high in trees and on the ground foraging for food. The birds were displaying on and off and acting as if they were taking territory. I did not see any females. By early afternoon the Red-winged Blackbirds had disappeared along the river as this flock may have moved on. Photographs were taken on March 18, 2014.

Red-winged Blackbird - M - displaying

Red-winged Blackbird – M – displaying

Red-winged Blackbird

Binomial name: Agelaius phoeniceus

Category: Blackbirds

Size: 8.75” long, 13” wing span

Weight: 1.8 oz.

Habitat:  The cattail marsh is the most commonly used, but other habitats used are wet and dry meadows, swamps, marshes, wooded or bushy swamps, hayfields, salt marshes, canals used for irrigation and roadside ditches.

Diet: Insects and seeds forging on the ground, sometimes trees.

Nesting:  The nest is bowl shaped 4”-7” across. It is constructed of woven plant material on close upright stems in marsh vegetation or a bush. It includes the base platform of wet decaying wood, leaves, and vegetation.  The inside is lined with mud and later fine grass. The male helps in choosing the nest location. Typically the female incubates 3-7 eggs pale blue-green to gray in color.

Facts: Although sometimes Red-winged Blackbirds are considered pests, they eat harmful insects in agricultural fields from which farmers benefit. This species is considered by some the most abundant native bird in North America. Red-winged Blackbirds on occasion swoop at people’s heads, they are merely protecting their territory and nest during breeding season.

Red-winged Blackbird - M

Red-winged Blackbird – M

Red-winged Blackbird - M - displaying

Red-winged Blackbird – M – displaying

Red-winged Blackbird - M - displaying

Red-winged Blackbird – M – displaying

Red-winged Blackbird - M - displaying

Red-winged Blackbird – M – displaying

Red-winged Blackbird - M - displaying

Red-winged Blackbird – M – displaying

Red-winged Blackbird - M

Red-winged Blackbird – M

Red-winged Blackbird - M - displaying

Red-winged Blackbird – M – displaying

Red-winged Blackbird - M

Red-winged Blackbird – M

Red-winged Blackbird - M

Red-winged Blackbird – M – displaying

Red-winged Blackbird - M - displaying

Red-winged Blackbird – M – displaying

Red-winged Blackbird - M

Red-winged Blackbird – M – displaying

Horicon Marsh and Hustisford August 20, 2013

Photographs taken at Horicon Marsh and Hustisford on August 20, 2013.

Marsh Wren

Marsh Wren

Least Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper

Blue-winged Teal Family

Blue-winged Teal Family

Stilt Sandpipers

Stilt Sandpipers

Lesser Yellowlegs, Hustisford

Lesser Yellowlegs, Hustisford

Pectoral Sandpiper, Hustisford

Pectoral Sandpiper, Hustisford

Least Sandpipers, Hustisford

Least Sandpipers, Hustisford

Least Sandpiper, Hustisford

Least Sandpiper, Hustisford

Yellow Headed Blackbird

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Pectoral Sandpipers, Hustisford

Pectoral Sandpipers, Hustisford

To view the full gallery of images, please click here.