Piping Plovers at Bradford Beach in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on August 29, 2018

With rain falling on my way to the Milwaukee lakefront I was expecting a quiet day birding. Halfway in I received a text from Mike W that a couple of the rare Piping Plovers were present at Bradford Beach. When I arrived at the beach they were still hanging around but for the most part rested while I was present. With lots of heavy equipment moving about the beach area a few feet from the birds with the upcoming fest, not surprising the Piping Plovers did not stay in one place very long. Beautiful birds we only usually see once a year if that, considered rare here, it was nice to see them for once without leg bands. It was a light rainy morning to start, then just clouds, light winds from the north early, temps were a pleasant 66 degrees. Images were taken on August 29th and 30th, 2018.

Piping Plover

Piping Plover

Binomial name: Charadrius melodus

Category: Lapwings and Plovers

Size: 7.25” long, 19” wing span

Weight: 1.9 oz

Note: Normal breeding range Great Plains from Alberta, Canada south to Oklahoma, winters on Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico gravel and sand beaches. The research I have done states this bird is listed as Endangered in Wisconsin

Piping Plover

For the most part they rested in a small area and did little moving about…

Resting a lot…

Earlier on the beach…

Looking for things to eat early on…

Searching through algae and debris on the beach for things to eat…

Resting area…

Distant in flight…

Preening…

Preening…

Piping Plovers…

Over the water they go, Semipalmated Plover in front, Ruddy Turnstone 2nd, all Sanderlings last..

Coming towards me…

The look back…

The Piping Plover standing pretty…

Looking along the beach for something to eat on 8-30…

Something in the bill…

The portrait…

Catches what looks like a fly?…

On the run…

Black-crowned Night-Heron in Action at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on August 24, 2018

While birding Lakeshore State Park this morning in Milwaukee in search of shorebirds, I came across a juvenile Black-crowned Night-Heron. This heron put on an amazing show while I watch it. Some of the excitement was producing a pellet, eating a vole and some exercises. Herons are known to produce pellets. A beautiful bird and still only a juvenile. It was a cloudy day with a stiff breeze out of the southwest, temperatures pleasant and a few times I felt I should have a light jacket. I couple of shorebirds were present and they were Semipalmated Plovers and Semipalmated Sandpipers. Images were taken on August 24, 2018.

Black-crowned Night-Heron, juvenile

Sitting and waiting for the next meal…

Always looking the area over for any movement…

Waiting…

Starts to cough up a pellet…

Out drops the pellet…

The heron looks at it…

A quick dip in the water for a drink I would assume…

A small mouth stretch…

Next it catches a vole…trying to get a grip here…

Does not look good for the vole…

Getting it in the right position to swallow it…

In and down it goes…

A quick dip in the water with the bill, typically something they do after eating something…

Looks full…

Looking for the next catch…

Playing with and old Cattail cane, herons play with objects and practice their skills

Playing…

Playing…

It was pulling here on the old cane…

Pulling…exercising…

Looking around and the stiff winds blow the head feathers up…

Climbing around on the rocks…

A close-up…

A wing stretch…

Preening…

Scratching…

The feet…

A good mouth stretch…

Perched pretty…

Shorebirds at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on August 22, 2018

I have hit the lakefront in Milwaukee a few times in the last week or so with hopes to see some migrating shorebirds. McKinley Beach was the hot spot this morning. Today was the first sighting of them for me for the fall migration here and it was a fun time to see the first of them. Present were, 2 Semipalmated Plovers, 2 Lesser Yellowlegs, 7 Sanderlings, 1 Least Sandpiper, and a Semipalmated Sandpiper. It was a full sun morning, with a nice cool breeze off the lake to start the day. Images were taken on August 22, 2018.

Sanderling with something to eat at the end of the bill…

Sanderling with some to eat…

Least Sandpiper moving along the shore…

Lesser Yellowlegs just about to grab something to eat…

Lesser Yellowlegs with something to eat…

Semipalmated Plover posing…

Semipalmated Plover getting something to eat…

Least Sandpiper, sitting low for a couple of moments….I have seen this action when a predator is in the area, I looked up but did not see anything…

Sanderling on the algae…

Lesser Yellowlegs moving about…

Lesser Yellowlegs, wings up here because of a recent wave, in search of food…

Least Sandpiper

Lesser Yellowlegs looking for food…, that is all they do it seems…

Lesser Yellowlegs with a worm…

Sanderling

Lesser Yellowlegs with a little wave action…

Sanderling with something in the bill to eat…

Least Sandpiper

Lesser Yellowlegs walking through the algae, in search of food…

Sanderling, the close up…

Lesser Yellowlegs looking…

Semipalmated Plover lays on the sand trying to be flat and unnoticed as a predator must be around, it does this for about 10 seconds and I see its eyes look up on occasion…

Semipalmated Plover stands with a fly in its bill…

Semipalmated Plover walking and looking on the beach…

Osprey at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on August 18, 2018

A birding stop at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County this morning provided nice views of an adult Osprey. Ospreys are seldom seen at Greenfield Park so it was a real treat. The bird flew in and tried twice for something to eat. The first attempt for food failed but on the second it grabbed a goldfish and left the park. The bird made some flight circles, perched for a couple of minutes and made the grab for the food, that was the show but an exciting one at that. It was pleasant day with partly cloudy skies, low wind, and temps in the mid 70’s early on. Images were taken on August 18, 2018.

The Osprey circling overhead in search for food…

Osprey

Binomial name: Pandion haliaetus

Category: Ospreys

Size: 23” long, 63” wing span

Weight: 3.5 lb

Circling and looking…

The Osprey coming up from the first failed attempt for food at the pond…

Gaining height…

This powerful bird is also called a sea hawk, river hawk, and fish hawk with those large talons…

Off to do some more hunting…

All fluffed up and stabilizing itself here…

Looking around…

Just perched…

More circling…

Circling…

A tense look, then more circling…

Looks like a Cooper’s Hawk chasing the Osprey, if I am incorrect on the ID, please let me know. Thank you!

I missed the catch as it was in front of a building at the pond…but here the Osprey is flying off in a distance with its meal…

Great Egret in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on August 12, 2018

Doing some birding in Milwaukee County along the Menominee River Parkway, I came across a Great Egret in a small pond. The adult Great Egret did some hunting for food, caught some food, ate food and did some preening too. It ate crayfish, minnows and some larger fish. A beautiful bird! It was a warm morning out, little wind and mostly sunny. Images were taken on August 12, 2018.

The Great Egret coming in for a landing…

The slow down…

It is there…

Some of the beauty of the Great Egret…

It catches a minnow size fish…

Preening with a dragonfly on its back…

Sees a new spot to check out for food…

Going for something to eat…

Catches a crayfish and holds it….a dragonfly on its back…

Flips the crayfish…

Trying to get a better grip…

Drops it into the water…

Grabs it out of the water…

Brings it up…

Trys to hold it steady…

gives it a flip and…

In it goes with the dragonfly still on its back…

Looking and listening for the next food…

Another shot of the Great Egrets free rider, the dragonfly…

Another catch of a small fish…

Preening in the tree…straightening all those feathers…

Perched pretty…

A landing…

Concentration….right before the catch…

The reflection in the early morning sun…

The catch!

Yet another little fish to eat…

Then a crayfish…

A juvenile Black-crowned Night-Heron lands close by…

The closeup of the Black-crowned Night-Heron…

A Juvenile Green Heron attempts to eat a Bullfrog at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on August 4, 2018

Doing some birding at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee I came across a juvenile Green Heron attempting to eat a bullfrog. As young as this heron is, being born a few months ago, it just could not get the bullfrog down its throat. In recent days I have watched some of these herons eat small minnows at the most, so this was no surprise. I beautiful morning out with a light breeze, some sun and mild temps early 0f 70 degrees. Images were taken on August 4, 2018.

After the catch, the juvenile Green Heron re-grabs the bull frog…

Picks it up…

Thinking how it is going to get this bullfrog in…

Re-grabbing to start the process of getting it down, head first…

In it goes…but the heron can not get it down so…

The heron wets the bullfrog…it is what they do to make it go down easier…

Another try here…

Another dip in the water…

Lets try this again…

Ok…

Getting in position again…

Spin it…

Working on it…

Still trying…

Almost…

More struggle…

Going in again…

Can’t happen…

The Green Heron never ate the bullfrog…….I missed the last shot of the bull frog falling into the water…not uncommon for a heron species to pick up something bigger than they can eat and try to get it down…

Black-crowned Night-Heron at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on July 30, 2018

A stop at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee this morning provided nice views of an adult Black-crowned Night-Heron. One has been seen on and off for the last couple of weeks, mostly off. This is the first time I have seen it in plan view. I saw it yesterday perched high in a tree pretty much out of sight, but viewable with bins.  It was a nice surprise for a change. There were also plenty of Green and Great Blue Herons also present at the pond. It was a gorgeous morning, very little wind, full sun with a pleasant temperature of 65-70 degrees.

First view of the adult Black-crowned Night-Heron…

The reflection shot…

Looking and waiting for something to eat, showing off its classic plume…

It makes its way towards the island under some cover and snatches something to eat…

The gulp, swallowing whatever it found to eat…

Looks around on where to go next close to the island…

Comes back out in the open…

Perches pretty…

Looks around…

Something catches its attention…

….but then looks around some more and then heads onto the island pretty much out of sight…

Shaken’ off and all fluffed up…

Great Egret Rookery in Waukesha County Wisconsin on July 19, 2018

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to walk into a Great Egret rookery in Waukesha County. This rookery is tucked away on private property and has no access to the public, sorry. The rookery was nothing like I would have expected. It was a full grown mature forest of hardwoods. As I entered the rookery on the forest floor, the sounds of squawking birds was almost overwhelming. High above on the tree tops were at least 6 active Great Egret nests with good size chicks ready to fledge the nest, most where already out on the limbs strengthening their wings and legs for their maiden flights. A few chicks were still just sitting on the nest. A few adults were seen flying over, monitoring the young chicks maybe, but I just did not see any on the edge of the nest. With all the dense foliage above in the canopy, you could see a Great Egret chick above, take 4 steps and struggle to see the same bird from a different location, the foliage was that dense.  Amazing as it may sound, there were also at least 40 plus Great Blue Heron nests, and many of them were active too. Same thing, most birds were at the edge of the nest, some in the nest or on limbs close by, a few feet away waiting for their maiden flight. It appeared some Great Egret nests were a few feet from Great Blue Herons nests and many were perched near each other too. A few interesting observations were made, it appears at least 2 deceased Great Egrets chicks were seen in different nests from below. Also, a skeleton of a Great Blue Heron is seen hanging off the side of a nest. It was an exciting experience to see and so educational as well. A couple images may be of the same nest taken from a different location there. Thanks to who made this visit possible. It was a mild day with temps about 80, full sun, no wind. Images were taken on July 19, 2018.

1st sighting, a pair of  Great Egret fledglings in the nest with a 3rd behind on the left perched out of the nest…

Looking up into the canopy, in a opening is a Great Egret fledgling perched, we had to look hard to see these birds in the canopy above…

A Great Egret fledgling in the nest and another 2 fledglings perched outside the nest on each side of the nest on limbs along with a Great Blue Heron fledgling on the right…

A Great Egret fledgling perched with a nest in front of it and Great Blue Herons fledgling in a nest close by…

A pair of Great Egrets fledglings perched out of the nest waiting…

Great Blue Heron fledglings in their nest with in close proximity of the Great Egrets…

Two perched Great Egret fledglings perched front of their nest with another one on the left near the nest or in it…

A Great Blue Heron juvenile perched above the nests…

Great Egret fledglings perched with another one in the nest on the left…

(Graphic) Skeleton of a deceased Great Blue Heron hanging over the side of the nest…

Two Great Egret fledglings perched high near the top of the canopy which is where they all were in this rookery, one doing some preening…

Great Egret nest did not appear as dense as a Great Blue Heron nest…

A Great Blue Heron is perched on the side of the nest of what appears to be a deceased Great Egret chick in the nest…

Two Great Blue Heron fledglings appear to be looking down at me…

A  Great Egret fledgling in the nest…

A Great Blue Heron fledgling perched on the end of a limb with another one overlooking the situation, it is how they strengthen their wings and legs…

A little off balance here, it is all about getting stronger legs and wings…

More of the Great Blue Heron fledgling balancing act…

Great Blue Heron broken egg shell on the ground…

Great Blue Heron egg on the ground with eye glasses for size comparison…

Broken Great Blue Heron egg from a nest above…

Breeding plumes found from an adult Great Egret placed on a log…

Great Blue Heron nest looking up, appears more dense then the Great Egret nest, maybe bird size?

Another image of the first pair of Great Egret fledglings seen…

Albino American Crow in Waukesha County Wisconsin on July 15, 2018

I saw the report yesterday with images by Chistin G. of an albino American Crow at Nashotah Park in Waukesha County. With not much going on, I was very curious about this bird, being close to home,  I decided to make the run over there today. Within minutes after entering the park, I heard the sound of American Crows. I located a flock that were spread out in a few different trees and low and behold, there was a white one, the albino! The more I watched this bird, the more cool and interesting, unique it seemed to me. It amazed me! I stopped in at the park a few different times as they were on the move with joggers twice and a walking couple another time, they had left area where I was. Crows were being crows and they don’t miss a thing, they have look out bird(s) and you can’t just sneak up on these birds. The bird appears to be a young bird, it had some issues perched in the trees, hanging on to limbs and my images show that. A big thank you to Christin G for finding this bird and getting the word out for others to see it. Some may say, it is just a crow, but looking at it and watching it today, it is a very special crow at that. It was a very hot and humid morning, walking through very tall wet grass with little winds, full sun, it felt like a sauna out there. Images were taken on July 15, 2018. Note: Nashotah Park is a Waukesha County Park and there is an entrance fee unless you have a annual sticker.

The first view of the albino American Crow perched on top of a spruce with a regular American Crow…

By itself…

Perched off in a oak tree by itself…

Perched…

The bird appears to loose its grip here…

Hanging on…

Hanging on…

And still hanging on…

Stabilizes…

Another slip…

And again…

Stabilizes once again…

Off to another location…

Back on track…

To the south…

Later on a return trip to the park, I see part of the family just hanging out…

Some feeding here for probably insects…

Looking…

Some of the gang…

Finding something…

Just a bite here to eat…

Later found perched in a dead pine with another bird…

Some preening by the albino crow…

What is being said here, I don’t know…

3 of them…

A wing stretch here…

A little off balance…

Perched and looking around…

The albino American Crow flies out of sight with the other crows…

What is Leucism? 

Leucism is an uncommon condition in birds.  This condition is caused by a genetic mutation which prevents pigments, particularly melanin, from being deposited evenly in the bird’s feathers.  Leucistic birds have melanin elsewhere in their bodies which is why they may have dark eyes, legs, and bills.  However, their true color will be missing or greatly reduced due to the lack of proper pigmentation.

What is Albinism?

Leucism is similar to albinism as in both cases the birds may be completely white.  However, albinism is defined as a complete absence of melanin in an animal.  Truly albino species will have pink eyes as the only color seen will be caused by blood vessels behind their eyes.  They will also have pink bills, legs, and feet.  Albinism is extremely rare in birds.

Notes:

Leucistic birds are extremely uncommon for a number of reasons.  They are not thought to live very long because their white feathers make it difficult for them to hide from predators.  If they do stay alive, it is difficult for them to find a mate and successfully pass on their genetic mutation.  Additionally, the melanin found in regular birds adds strength to the feathers.  Leucistic birds lacking melanin have weaker feathers and thus have a more difficult time flying in severe weather.  Last, the reflective properties of white feathers may be problematic for birds who rely on solar energy for heat.

 

Wisconsin Native Wildflowers at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on July 13, 2018

A stop this morning at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee provided some nice views of some great Wisconsin native wildflowers. I took a few images to share. It was a morning with plenty of sunshine, a steady breeze out of the south, temps were warm with a high expected near 90 degrees. A couple of the images were taken in our yard here in Waukesha, they are noted as that. Images were taken on July 13, 2018.

Pale Purple Coneflower, Echinacea pallida

Purple Prairie Clover, Petalostemum purpureum

Butterfly Plant, Asclepias tuberosa

Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia hirta

Wild Quinine, Parthenium intergrifolium

Prairie Coreopsis, Coreopsis palmata

Blue Vervain, Verbena hastata

White Prairie Clover, Petalostemum candidum

Pale Purple Coneflower, Echinacea pallida

Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea (not a true Wisconsin native)

Wild White Indigo, Baptisia leucantha

Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia hirta

Butterfly Plant, Asclepias tuberosa

Wild Quinine, Parthenium intergrifolium

Purple Prairie Clover, Petalostemum purpureum

Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia hirta

Blue Vervain, Verbena hastata

White Prairie Clover, Petalostemum candidum

Pale Purple Coneflower, Echinacea pallida

Royal Catchfly, Silene regia, Waukesha, native to IL, IA

Rattlesnake Master, Eryngium yuccifolium, Waukesha

Smooth Phlox, Phlox glaberrima interior, Waukesha

Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea (not a true Wisconsin native)

Eastern Kingbirds fledging the nest at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on July 7, 2018

There is a Eastern Kingbird nest many birders have been watching for the last month at Greenfield Park. Today was the day and an amazing day watching the young leave the nest, I just happened to be there. Two adults have been feeding the young right along for the month plus at in the nest. All of the sudden, a fledgling on the top edge of the nest, then out it flew about 2 feet. A minute later up popped up another fledgling in the nest and up on the edge of the nest it went. That bird flew a little farther, about 4 feet from the nest. Adults came around and feed them a few times rotating between birds. At one time and adult bird  landed next to a fledgling and preened. A moment later the fledgling preened too, just like class! It was so fun to watch all this in a few minutes. It was a gorgeous day with perfect temps, 70, full sun, with a light breeze. Images were taken on July 7, 2018.

1st Eastern Kingbird fledgling ready to make the maiden flight from the nest.

Makes the landing a couple feet from the nest with a little struggle with balance at first…

Looking back at the nest where it just came from…

An adult lands at the nest and checks on the 2nd young bird…

1st bird is calling to the adult losing some balance…

The adult says to the young, it is time to leave the nest with the 1st bird behind it…

The 2nd fledgling lands about 4 feet from the nest and the adult quickly lands next to it…

1st fledgling calling for an adult…

The adult comes over and preens in front of the fledgling to show how it is done…

Seconds later, the fledgling preens just like the adult did…

The adult feeds the 1st bird…

Another feeding to the first fledgling…

 

Arctic Tern in Sheboygan Wisconsin on June 15, 2018

After returning home from birding some of the lakefront in Milwaukee in the morning I realized my birding was not finished for the day. I saw the rare bird report of an Arctic Tern found by Amy K up at Sheboygan. I needed this bird for my Wisconsin state life list so I decided to make the run up around 12:30 pm. My last try for this species was back on May 21, 2016 when there was one present at the time of seeing the famous White-winged Tern in Manitowoc, but I missed that bird by a day. I got a hold of Amy and she told me exactly where she saw the Arctic Tern and from where. I picked up Bruce on the way up as he had an interest in seeing this bird. We arrived around 2:00 pm and went to the hot spot, the Blue Harbor Pier. We could see very many gulls and some terns from the pier on the rocks in the harbor, but unfortunately it was too far to get an ID. We tried by the sailing club and met Barry B there, but could not ID the Arctic Tern 100% from there with the distance. None of us brought a scope! We knew our only hope was to wait for a birder with a scope to show up. Along came Davor G with his scope. We headed back over to the pier and with in a minute or two Davor had the tern in his scope. The bird was about 1/4 mile away from us so images are not much, just a couple of doc shots. Big thank you to Amy K for finding the rare bird and getting the word out to others, and Davor for nailing this bird in his scope. There was a lot of excitement had with all of us and a few birders that showed up after the big find. A mostly sunny period when I was there, stiff breeze off the lake where, felt very cool and it made me have to have two light coats on. Images were taken on June 15, 2018.

Arctic Tern surrounded by Common Terns…bird is a couple inches above the round hole in the rock…image taken at about 1/4 mile from tern..

Red arrow to see the tern location…just above the round hole in the rock…

Arctic Tern

Binomial name: Sterna paradisaea

Category: Gulls, Tern, and Skimmers

Size: 12” long, 31” wing span

Weight: 3.9 oz

Note: Breeding grounds for this species is the High Arctic and wintering is in the Antarctic, migrating across the oceans each year, what a distance!

Preening…

Head turned in as it was preening…

A Laughing Gull was also present giving nice views at a distance from the Sailing Club…

Red-headed Woodpecker feeding young in Marquette County Wisconsin on June 11, 2018

Doing some birding I came across a pair of Red-headed Woodpeckers. One bird was bringing insects to the nest hole in a dead oak. The other adult perched at a distance off a ways  from the nest hole. I hung around for 3 feedings and then let them be. It was a beautiful day, mostly sunny with some gusts of winds which made for a stunning day out there, and no mosquito’s. Images were taken on June 11, 2018.

Red-headed Woodpecker leaving the nest hole after feeding young…

Bringing the insects to the young after a few minutes…

Going into the nest hole…

Before entering the nest hole…

Leaving…

Just standing by, the young know that…

Another bill full for the young…

Just before entering…

Perched in a nearby tree by the nest hole…

Taking a look around, watching the nest hole too…

Great Blue Heron with the Goldfish at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County on June 8, 2018

One of my birding stops this morning was Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County. A slow morning out, the highlight at Greenfield Park was a Great Blue Heron hunting, catching and eating a Goldfish. It is always nice to see a heron eat something other than a Goldfish, but I guess it is good if they are taken out of the pond. Other species seen where a few Green Herons doing some high flybys. A beautiful morning out with light sun, low winds and temps in the upper 60’s. Images were taken on June 8, 2018.

The Great Blue Heron looking and waiting for something to eat…

Intense listening and looking and waiting for the next meal…

The catch…

Some handling of the fish…

More handling of the fish…

More handling of the fish…

Turning the fish in the correct position to swallow…

In it goes…

Going in…

Going down…

Gulp…

More gulp with a quick drink which is what they do typically after eating something…

Waiting for the next snack…

To a new fishing spot…

Bobolinks at Retzer Nature Center in Waukesha County Wisconsin on June 7, 2018

I made the annual early June stop at Retzer Nature Center in Waukesha to see if any Bobolinks were around. There were at least 10 males and some females present, I really did not do a count. They flew to many field locations and gave nice views flying and perching near me at times. Nice to see them there. No sign of Dickcissels which I had hoped to see there too. It was a warm sunny morning with little winds, I was hot standing out on a trail there. Images were taken on June 7, 2018.

Bobolink, male

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, female

Bobolinks, male left, female right…

In flight and calling…

Bobolink, female perched with Golden Alexanders

Bobolink, male

In flight and calling…

Bobolink, female at takeoff…

Bobolink, female

Bobolink, female, just hanging on…

Bobolinks, female left, male right…

Bobolink, female

Bobolink, female looking…

Bobolink, male in the stalks which they typically perch in…

In coming…

American White Pelicans at North Point Park in Sheboygan Wisconsin on May 29, 2018

I made a run up to North Point Park in Sheboygan on Lake Michigan’s lakefront to see if American White Pelicans where present. Arriving just after sun up, there were about 150 off the rock point. The water on the lake is high and there is less room for them to gather on the point so they were more condensed I would say. A couple of the old concrete piers to the south of the point held some pelicans on and off while I was there in the morning, they were flying back and forth. There was not much action when I was there other than some flying back and forth to the piers or flying just down the shoreline along with preening and small interaction among them. Even with little action, these majestic birds are still exciting to see. Only other bird to note was a 1st summer Lesser Black-backed Gull. It started out feeling like a cold fall morning with good winds right out of the NE and some haze. Temps did warm up some mid morning with a little sun coming through. Images were taken on May 29, 2018.

American White Pelican

American White Pelican

Binomial name: Pelecanus erythrorhynchos

Category: Pelicans

Size: 62” long, 108” wing span

Weight: 16.4 lbs

Cool fact: One of the largest birds in North America. Their pouch, bottom of their bill can hold up to 3 gallons of water.

Congregated off the rock point at North Point Park

Just a flyby…

3 preening on the rock…

Alone…

American White Pelican with a Ring-billed Gull on the rock…

In the water…

Incoming…

Dropping down…

Overhead…

Dropping down…

Wisconsin Native Wildflowers in Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties on May 25, 2018

At a couple of locations today, Wehr Nature Center being one, also our backyard, I took a few minutes to photograph some of the stunning wildflowers native to the state that were currently blooming. Images were taken on May 25, 2018.

Shooting Star, Dodecatheon meadia

Wild Cloumbine, Aquilegia canadensis

Red Trillium, Trillium erectum

Wild Geranium, Geranium maculatum

Jacob’s Ladder, Polemonium reptans

Foamflower, Tiarella cordifolia

Wild Blue Phlox, Phlox divaricata

Wild Geranium, Geranium maculatum

Large Flowered Trillium, Trillium reccurvatum

Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum

Golden Alexanders, Zizia aurea

Red Trillium, Trillium erectum

Wild Cream Indigo, Baptisia leucophaea

Large Flowered Trillium, Trillium reccurvatum

Mayapple, Podophyllum peltatum

Wild Geranium, Geranium maculatum

 

Western Tanager at the Lion’s Den in Ozaukee County Wisconsin on May 22, 2018

With only a couple hours available today for birding, I thought I would give the male Western Tanager a try that was reported yesterday at the Lion’s Den in Ozaukee County. I arrived at 5:15 am with heavy fog and very little light. The images show that. After about 30 minutes walking along the bluff and different  areas, I spotted the Western Tanager on a bluff trail. This species is well out out of it’s normal range. Typically I think we get 1 or 2 in the state each year but their presence is usually short lived with a day visit. A male Scarlet Tanager was usually within the area of the Western Tanager. They both actively feed while I was present for a few minutes I was there as I had to head back home. A cool life bird that I did not have on my life list for Wisconsin yet. Life bird #339 for the state. Sorry for the poor quality of the images, but I tried to capture some of the action to share. A gloomy early morning at the park with heavy fog, little light, but temps where mild, so that was a good thing. Thanks to the finder of this bird and for those who got the word out for others to see it. Images were taken on May 22, 2018.

Western Tanager, the male in the fog…

Western Tanager

Binomial name: Piranga ludoviciana

Category: Piranga Tanagers and Allies

Size: 7” long, 11.5” wingspan

Weight: .98 Oz

Note: Normal range for this species is Wyoming and west.

With a gnat…

Looking for a gnat…

Going for a gnat…

Getting the gnat…

Warblers at the Fox River Sanctuary in Waukesha Wisconsin on May 13, 2018

I had an hour free in the afternoon so I stopped at the Fox River Sanctuary in Waukesha. It had a nice selection of warblers but not a lot of numbers of each. Warblers species seen, Blackburnian, Cape May, Yellow, Tennessee, Nashville, Magnolia, Chestnut-sided, American Redstart, Black-and-white, Blackpoll, and Northern Parula. They actively feed along the river. It was a cloudy day, mild temps in the mid 60’s, little wind. Images were taken on May 13, 2018.

Northern Parula, female

Magnolia Warbler, male

Magnolia Warbler, male getting a gnat…

Blackburnian Warbler, female

Blackburnian Warbler, female getting a gnat…

Northern Parula getting a gnat…

Yellow Warbler, female

Tennessee Warbler, female with a gnat in the bill…

Blackburnian Warbler, female getting a gnat…

Blackburnian Warbler perched pretty…

Magnolia Warbler, male

Northern Parula, female

Blackburnian Warbler, female

Blackburnian Warbler, female going for the gnat…

Blackburnian Warbler, female with a gnat in the bill…

Northern Parula looking for the next gnat…

Northern Parula going for a gnat…

Northern Parula going for a gnat…

Northern Parula posing…

Northern Parula

American Redstart, male

Tennessee Warbler, female, going for a gnat…

Blackpoll Warbler, male

Cape May Warbler, female

Magnolia Warbler, male

American Redstart, male

Magnolia Warbler going for a gnat under the bark…

 

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher at Lake Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 11, 2018

While birding Lake Park in Milwaukee one of the highlights was a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher feeding on gnats and then a little preening. A cold day and winds off the lake, it sure did not feel like spring. Images were taken on May 11, 2018.

Getting those gnats on sumac…

Looking…

Tail spread…

Perched pretty…

Some preening…

More preening…

Resting…

Looking for the next gnat…