Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Downy Woodpecker
Berry Picking

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday






Monday, July 19, 2010

Nesting News ... The Inside Scoop

Cedar Waxwing Nest
Photographed June 2010

Today I am sharing the views from a nest I found while birdwatching this June
with my daughter and sister.
I enjoyed several captivating visits to this nest
with my family and a good friend during my week-long stay at my sister's.


A favorite view
Mr. Waxwing exhibits the notable waxy red flinders he is known for
while safeguarding their nest.
Within the nest the Mrs. discreetly tends to their young.

So sweet, a soft maternal view through the branches.
Twigs, grasses, spider webs and pine needles provide necessary
protection on a sturdy branch about eight feet above the ground.

The Waxwing pair chose a lovely pine tree
to house their nest this summer.

The nestling's young mouths were endlessly open.
Vulnerable, dependent, relentlessly rooting.

Such good parents, they were
continually curious, cautious and protective.

They provided many delicious deliveries.
This course a juicy berry, plump and red.

Just what this nestling ordered.
Sweet satisfaction.

Busy parents, very busy.

Hmmm .... some-birdy is hungry again.

Mama finally takes a well deserved break.
She continues to observe the nest from a nearby ash tree.
Then off to search for the nestling's next meal.

Good squirrel view.
Enjoying a delicious treat of tart, unripened berries.

Bad squirrel!
A heartbreaking view
Yes ... I'm sorry to say that is a baby, one of the nestlings :(
So very sad.

An angry parent returns. It immediately gives chase.
The squirrel's attempt was unfortunately successful.

Returning to a nest of one less mouth to feed.
Gut-wrenching.

Mrs. Waxwing then settles in with her remaining babies.
She bakes in the hot sun, shielding her young while nest sitting.

Positioned just above the nest ...
a perfect birds eye view for a paternal prospective.

Positioned directly below the branch ...
my birds eye view prospective.

One week later the nestlings were reported as fledged.
Another generation, unfortunately minus one continues.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Dabbling Ducks

Foraging FunNosh, slosh, waddle, wade ... the life of a Mallard.

Mallard Siblings just munching along a shore line
on the Fox River in Batavia, Illinois.

The dip-n-dabble for some sop dropping goodness.

A hot spot (or should I say cool spot) to this Mallard family today,
was the Batavia Riverwalk fishing area, at the dam. They spent hours here
trawling along, digging their noses down deep for that good stuff.

Splashing, splattering, diving ducks.

Their bodies were like little buoyant bulldozers plodding along,
their bills vacuums, sucking up snails, fish eggs,
submerged aquatic grasses and weeds.

Notice the odd ball ... a not so ugly duckling in this brood.

Actually quite a looker, a dapper duck.

I call him Ed. That's Fred next to him.
There's Gertrude in the back.

The entire brood was a breathtakingly beautiful bunch.

Meet Mrs. Mallard.
Like a mother hen, she positioned herself here.
Just planted her foot like an anchor on a rock
and kept watch over her dapper dabbling ducklings.

The brood had this rhythmic ebb and flow
about them as they nosed around the area.
It was like watching a dance performance
along the rocky floor-line of the falls at the bottom of this dam.

Ed, quite the ham of course stole a few scenes in the show.

However Gertrude knows when to nose in and take center stage.
A moshing mallard.
She plunges forward for her reward ...
mouthwatering, beak-smacking pond scum. Yum.

Beauty they say is in the eye of the beholder.
Ed, definitely not an ugly duckling and his family
captured and kept my attention today for quite some time.

Just a few Nature-ally Beautiful Moments in the life of a Mallard family.
Summer 2010
A riverdance