Sanderling

Sanderling  North Point Sheboygan 5-30-2012

Sanderling North Point Sheboygan 5-30-2012

Sanderling

Binomial name: Calidris alba

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Description: Whitish-gray feathers with a thick, black bill and feet.

Size: 7.1″ – 7.9″ long, 13.8″ wingspan

Weight: 1.4 oz. – 3.5 oz.

Habitat: Rocky shorelines in coastal and island regions or inland marshes and wetlands.

Diet: Insects, crustaceans, invertebrates, and plants or grasses.

Nesting: The female gathers materials and builds the nest, usually a scrape on a shallow rocky area or a preexisting depression in sand.  She may line it sparsely with grasses, leaves, lichens, moss. The typical clutch size is 3 to 4 eggs and both parents incubate.  The male is highly territorial and will defend the nesting site.

Notes: Sanderlings are a populous and widespread shorebird with a global distribution.  They show up on nearly every temperate and tropical shoreline in the world.  However, they only breed in the high Arctic.

Sanderling  North Point Sheboygan 5-30-2012

Sanderling North Point Sheboygan 5-30-2012

Sanderling  North Point Sheboygan 5-30-2012

Sanderling North Point Sheboygan 5-30-2012

Sanderling  North Point Sheboygan 5-30-2012

Sanderling North Point Sheboygan 5-30-2012

Sanderling  North Point Sheboygan 5-30-2012

Sanderling North Point Sheboygan 5-30-2012

Sanderling  North Point Milwaukee 9-4-2011

Sanderling North Point Milwaukee 9-4-2011

Sanderling  North Point Milwaukee 9-4-2011

Sanderling North Point Milwaukee 9-4-2011

Sanderling  North Point Milwaukee 9-4-2011

Sanderling North Point Milwaukee 9-4-2011

Sanderling  North Point Milwaukee 9-4-2011

Sanderling North Point Milwaukee 9-4-2011

Sanderling  North Point Milwaukee 9-4-2011

Sanderling North Point Milwaukee 9-4-2011

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagles on the Mississippi River in Le Claire IA in February 2012.

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Bald Eagle

Binomial name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Category: Hawks, Kites, Eagles, and Allies

Description: Brown with a white head and white tail feathers.  Yellow eyes, beak, and feet.

Size: 28″ – 40″ long, 5.9′ – 7.5′ wingspan

Weight: 6.6 lbs. – 14 lbs.

Habitat: Forested areas near open bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, wetlands, and coastal shorelines.

Diet: Mostly fish but occasionally small mammals, ducks, and gulls.

Nesting: Both parents gather materials although the female does most of the building.  The nests are made out of branches and sticks and then lined with grass, moss, and feathers.  They may be rebuilt and reused repeatedly over many years. The typical clutch size is 1 to 3 eggs.  Both parents will incubate the eggs with the female incubating more often while the male hunts for food.  The young will fledge as early as 8 weeks after hatching, or up to 14 weeks.

Notes: Bald eagles mate for life (if one partner dies, the remaining will choose a new mate).  They engage in elaborate courtship rituals which involves a locking of talons followed by a free fall; they separate just before hitting the ground.  The Bald Eagle is the national bird and national animal of the United States of America, appearing on many official seals of the government.

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Harlequin Duck

Harlequin Duck, nonbreeding male photographed at North Point in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 5, 2012.

Harlequin Duck

Binomial name: Histrionicus histrionicus

Category: Ducks, Geese, and Swans

Description: Slate blue (male) or grayish brown (female) body with white spots or streaks on head, back, and wings.  Male also has rust-colored patches on sides.

Size: 13″ – 21.3″ long, 22″ – 26″wingspan

Weight: 17.6 oz. – 25.6 oz.

Habitat: Rocky shores and coastlines in mountains or forests.

Diet: Small insects, spiders, fish, and crustaceans.

Nesting: The female provides all parental care, building a nest in a protected space on the ground, often near water.  The female will lay 3 – 9 eggs at a time, laying eggs once per summer.   Although the male does not help rear the young, the pair will likely mate for life.

Notes: Harlequin ducks are extremely buoyant due to their tightly packed feathers.  These feathers also insulate them from chilly water while they swim and dive.

Short-eared Owls in the South Kettle Moraine at the Scuppernong River Habitat Area in Waukesha County Wisconsin on March 8, 2013

The Short-eared Owl has been one species on my list to see and photograph. The Scuppernong River Habitat Area in Waukesha County has some and I went out, spent the afternoon till dark to try to capture these cool birds. Late in the day as the sun is just starting to go down 4 birds appeared from out of no where it seemed. They hovered over the prairie areas and on occasion perched for a couple of minutes. These images are a little rough because of the little light that is left in the day when they come out and start their hunting, but show some of the action that took place. Images where taken on March 8, 2013.

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Short-eared Owl

Binomial name: Asio flammeus

Category: Typical Owls

Size: 15” long, 38” wing span

Weight: 12 oz

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With vole

Inca Dove

An Inca Dove was found at Concordia University in Mequon Wisconsin. This bird was actually found by a instructor of ornithology at the campus taking one of his classes out for a morning bird walk. This bird hung around for awhile and was viewed by many birders state wide as being so rare for the state. The normal range for this bird is Texas, southern New Mexico and Arizona and Mexico. Images were taken on November 1, 2011.

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Inca Dove

Binomial name: Columbina inca

Category: Pigeons and Doves

Size: 8.25” long, 11” wing span

Weight: 1.6 oz

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Dickcissel

At least a couple of nesting pairs of Dickcissels were present in the Scuppernong Prairie area in Waukesha County Wisconsin. When I was there I watched adults bringing food to the young in the nests. The nests were in short  growing brush vegetation in the open prairies. Images were taken on August 6, 2011.

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Dickcissel

Binomial name: Spiza americana

Category: Cardinals, Piranga Tanagers and Allies

Size: 6.25” long, 9.75” wing span

Weight: 0.95 oz

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Dickcissel, male left – Dickcissel, female right

 

Dickcissel flying into the nest with food

Dickcissel flying into the nest with food (in middle of image)

Lark Sparrow

A Lark Sparrow was found by a local birder on the oval running track at Lake Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin. It is a place I check often now as birds obviously stop at this location. The Lark Sparrow not common at all here is found on rare occasions during spring migration. This bird appeared to be feeding on weed seed on the track. This was a life bird for many birders that day that were present. If my memory is correct, Paul Sparks found this bird. Images were taken on April 27, 2013.

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Lark Sparrow

Binomial name: Chondestes grammacus

Category: Emberizids

Size: 6.5″ long, 11” wingspan

Weight: 1 oz

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Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow

This Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow was found by local birders during spring migration at Lake Park. The exact location of this bird was at the east end of the “Magic Hedge”. The Magic Hedge is a line of deciduous trees running perpendicular with Lake Michigan just south of the Milwaukee Water Filtration Plant. It hung around for most of the day and was a life bird for many. Images were taken on May 18, 2013.

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Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow

Binomial name: Ammodramus nelsoni

Category: Sparrows

Size: 5″ long, 7” wingspan

Weight: 0.6 oz

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Prairie Warbler

The uncommon sightings of Prairie Warblers here in Wisconsin. The location of one was found as has been reported in the South Kettle Moraine State Forest in Waukesha County on July 10, 2010. The other Prairie Warbler was only viewed by me as I birded Lake Park on September 5, 2010.

Prairie Warbler in the South Kettle Moraine State Forest in Waukesha County on July 10, 2010

Prairie Warbler in the South Kettle Moraine State Forest in Waukesha County on July 10, 2010

Prairie Warbler

Binomial name: Dendroica discolor

Category: Warblers

Size: 4.75″ long, 7” wingspan

Weight: .27 oz

Prairie Warbler in the South Kettle Moraine State Forest in Waukesha County on July 10, 2010

Prairie Warbler in the South Kettle Moraine State Forest in Waukesha County on July 10, 2010

Prairie Warbler in the South Kettle Moraine State Forest in Waukesha County on July 10, 2010

Prairie Warbler in the South Kettle Moraine State Forest in Waukesha County on July 10, 2010

Prairie Warbler at Lake Park in Milwaukee on September 5, 2010

Prairie Warbler at Lake Park in Milwaukee on September 5, 2010

Prairie Warbler at Lake Park in Milwaukee on September 5, 2010

Prairie Warbler at Lake Park in Milwaukee on September 5, 2010

Yellow-breasted Chat

The report of Yellow-breasted Chats in the South Kettle Moraine in Waukesha County drew my attention both times. Not a common bird for this area, some years there are reports, others not. I headed out and with some other birders at the reported location reported off of Wilton Road, the bird was found in minutes, this date was May 16, 2012. The other Yellow-breasted Chat was reported off of Hwy 59. That location I birded for about 15 minutes before I locating the bird by its call, this date was May 30, 2013.

Yellow-breasted Chat off Wilton Road in Waukesha County May 30, 2013

Yellow-breasted Chat off Highway 59 in Waukesha County May 30, 2013

Yellow-breasted Chat

Binomial name: Icteria virens

Category: Wood-Warblers

Size: 7.5″ long, 9.75” wingspan

Weight:  0.88 oz

Yellow-breasted Chat off Highway 59 in Waukesha County May 30, 2013

Yellow-breasted Chat off Highway 59 in Waukesha County May 30, 2013

Yellow-breasted Chat off Highway 59 in Waukesha County May 30, 2013

Yellow-breasted Chat off Highway 59 in Waukesha County May 30, 2013

Yellow-breasted Chat off Highway 59 in Waukesha County May 30, 2013

Yellow-breasted Chat off Wilton Road in Waukesha County May 16, 2012

Yellow-breasted Chat off Wilton Road in Waukesha County May 30, 2013

Yellow-breasted Chat off Wilton Road in Waukesha County May 16, 2012

Yellow-breasted Chat off Wilton Road in Waukesha County May 30, 2013

Yellow-breasted Chat off Wilton Road in Waukesha County May 16, 2012

Willet at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 1, 2012

A flock of 37 American Avocets had spent the day at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 1, 2012. Within the flock was one lone Willet that just mixed right in with the Avocets as they feed and rested for the day.

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Willet

Binomial name: Tringa semipalmata

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 15” long, 26” wing span

Weight: 8 oz

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