Sunday, August 30, 2015
Cornell Ornithology site, the Green Heron is one of the few birds known to use tools. They have been seen using worms, insects or twigs as lures to bring fish closer. That's a rather sharp tactic!
Saturday, August 29, 2015
We continue checking out the photo archives of my bird adventures from earlier times. In 2004, we were on a geology field studies course in Australia and New Zealand. After visiting the Australian Museum of Natural History and Anthropology, we took a stroll through the Botanical Gardens nearby. There were lots of big white birds in the trees. I had to get a closer look.
The mysterious birds weren't all that mysterious. They were Cockatoos. Of course at the time I didn't know anything more than that, they were just big white birds that seemed unusually tame. And they really looked interested in my granola bar.
With a bit of searching, I found that the birds were Sulphur-crested Cockatoos (Cacatua galerita), and that they are most common species of Cockatoo found in Australia (there are 11 endemic species found there, as well as three introduced species). They normally inhabit rainforest, forest and woodland environments, but have done well in park and garden settings as well.
I had a seat in the grass, shared a few bits of my food, and soon had a number of fans. They were generally polite, but nipped my ear once or twice if I wasn't quick enough with my offerings.
My wife and daughter weren't as interested in the proceedings, and instead were quite sure that I was daft. They consented to take a shot of me with my new friends but the opening picture in the post was a selfie.
I've never "owned" any birds, so this was pretty much the closest experience I've ever had with the avian clan. I rather enjoyed it.
Friday, August 28, 2015
Alpine Choughs on Mt. Pilatus in Switzerland. Today we have a bird that I've seen in my own neighborhood, the Mute Swan (Cygnus olor). In North America, these swans are considered an invasive species. When we saw them on Lake Lucerne in Switzerland, it was in their natural habitat.
Monday, August 24, 2015
courtesy of Wikipedia, of course.
Saturday, August 22, 2015
Friday, August 21, 2015
according to this report, they don't breed to any great extent in the Great Valley anymore because of habitat destruction.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
There is a wildlife blind in the middle of the auto-tour route, but it was obvious that these two were having none of that skulking around bit. It's like they were saying "You're kidding, right? We know you're there".
Monday, August 17, 2015
Sunday, August 16, 2015
It's funny how I'll see birds in some exotic location, in this case up in the Sierra Nevada at Lake Tahoe, and at Mammoth Lakes, and then come home and a few weeks later see the same bird practically in my own backyard.