Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What's Up Wednesday

While watching cuddly and duddly owl from Great Horned nest #3 this season,
I observed a Wood Duck in the adjacent tree.
My first thought was ... oh no, sitting duck in Great Horned Owl territory!

Mr. Wood Duck sitting pretty in the tree next to the Great Horned Owl nest.
This was my first time actually seeing one in a tree.

I watched the wood duck attempt to enter this cavity just a few trees away from the great horned nest. A group of not so darling starlings cut him off at the pass. I was full of emotions ranging from scared that the Mr. Gho would hunt, capture and feed the duck to it's babies. Annoyed that the starlings muscled him away and excited about the possibility of seeing nesting wood ducks.
The thought of seeing bouncing baby wood ducks fledge from their nest thrilled me. It is my hope that a wood duck family is successful in it's attempt to nest here.

The following day I was searching for a Prothonotary Warbler recently sighted in this park near the Kishwaukee River. While searching I came upon this cavity, and saw something inside! At first glimpse my guess was ... ohhh a Wood Duck! Obviously the hope still fresh in my mind. I could actually see it's back and the back of it's head and neck! Can you see it?
I was surprised too.

Sigh. Just a raccoon.
Mr. Masked Bandit giving me those gotta love me eyes.
I do.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Owl Bloopers

2010 Great Horned Nest #1 N.I.U. Lagoon

I have had the pleasure of photographing three different Great Horned Owl nests in DeKalb, Illinois during the 2010 nesting season. The N.I.U. owlets had fledged to the tree tops in early April this year. One of my visits was right before a rain. The owlets were busy and active. I have noticed my feeders at home become busy and active just before and during a rain or snow storm. The fact that my feeders are more active with birds before a rain and the owls were active before this rain may be a coincidence, but I did find it to be an interesting similarity.
During one visit two of the three babies were high in the tree tops.
One was all over the place perfecting it's flying/landing skills.

Landing on a branch and balance were the obvious objectives.
Baby steps.

Steady now.

Ground work
During this visit two owlets had fallen to the ground while flying from tree to tree. One baby made flight all the way across the lagoon then landed near the edge. It stayed there during my entire visit. One parent stayed close to that baby in a nearby tree. The other parent kept watch in the small wooded patch, where the second owlet had fallen. This owl did make it back up into the trees by itself during my visit.

The owlet puffs out it's feathers to appear bigger.

The owlet became very attached to the smallest branches/twigs on this tree.
Use every thing in your grasp to achieve success in life.

If at first you don't succeed ...

Try, try again.

and again ...

and again.

Hanging on by a beak and a prayer.

Whooo hooo!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Leucism or Partial Albino? That is the question.

Duck, Duck .... What?
What kind of Goose is that?
April 2010

This goose was in a park in Kirkland, Illinois.
The goose has a unique look with the lack of black coloring on it's neck.

April 2010

This goose is in the Northern Illinois University Lagoon.
The head and neck have normal goose coloring,
however the feathers have no color.

They may be partial Albino or Leucistic Geese.
I am leaning toward Leucistic geese (or pied, a degree of Leucism).
In each case the geese have black eyes. Albino would have pink.
Lucism is a pigment coloration reduction disorder affecting the feathers.
About Bird Leucism