Wednesday Happenings in Bird World

Gosh, it was just a gorgeous ‘fall’ day. No, it isn’t officially fall but the leaves appear to be changing and there is a ‘nip’ in the air. The birds are flying south and others are arriving home from their summer forays. One of those returning to her breeding area and nest is Gabrielle, Gabby for short, the mate of Samson at the Northeast Florida Bald Eagle nest near Jacksonville. It was right around 14:48.

She looks good. Oh, Samson is going to be so excited!!!!!!!!!

Samson you are such a cutie. As my friend ‘T’ said when she heard the good news, ‘Love is in the air.’ She is absolutely right.

It was a gorgeous day to go and find some pelicans and I was hoping for a cormorant or two. The waters of the Red River near St. Andrews did not disappoint.

Pelicans are the longest native bird in North America measuring in at 2 metres or 6.56 feet. The California Condor is the only bird in North America with a longer wingspan. The pelican’s wings measure 2.7 metres or 9 feet from tip to tip. In other words, these are large birds!

This is a small hydroelectric dam. These American white Pelicans often work together to get the fish ’rounded up’. Here they wait for them to come over the dam. There were six fishing together.

The pelicans dip and scoop for fish. They are able to hold as much as 12 litres of water which goes out the sides of their mouths before they can eat the fish. They spent a lot of time bobbing up and down.

Manitoba is the summer home of the largest number of American White Pelicans. They spend their winters in California or areas around the Gulf of Mexico. In late April to early June, they return to their summer breeding grounds here in Canada.

With the changing climate, it is believed that the American White Pelican will gain areas in Canada while losing them in the US.

Some were fishing while others slept and preened.

There were a few Double-Crested Cormorants with the pelicans today.

I just loved the silhouette of their wings against the water.

Manitoba is also home to a huge number of Double-Crested Cormorants in the summer. Did you know that Cormorants lack the ability to waterproof their feathers? Because of this they can dive deep because they are less buoyant but it also means that they can become water-logged and have a struggle reaching shore.

There were lots of gulls flying above the water. This lonely Ring-Billed Gull caught my eye. In the city they are constants around the garbage dumps. I did not know that they eat the eggs of other birds as well as little goslings, carrion, insets, rodents, etc. They are real scavengers.

Look carefully and you will see the black ring near the tip of its bill. That is what gives this gull its name.

This is the mystery duck. It was all alone. There have been several discussions as to whether it is a female Ruddy Duck, a female Northern Pintail, or a female American Wigeon. Or is it an anomaly? A Black Duck? If you have any idea, I would love to hear from you! I know that it is not a Mallard, not a Wood Duck, and not a member of the Merganser family but it is alluding all of the Manitoba and Canadian bird books. Maybe you are a juvenile. Someone really does need to do a more comprehensive book of Manitoba birds with excellent images.

The sun, fresh air, and climbing up and down gravel banks to the water has sure made me tired. If you have trouble sleeping, I highly recommend it as a remedy. One of my birding friends wrote just now to say that they had seen ‘my Ospreys’ today – so if it doesn’t rain tomorrow, I am heading north to check it out. They will be migrating soon!

There is little news in Bird World. Diamond has yet to lay another egg. The two little sea eaglets are eating well and behaving themselves. The majority of the Ospreys in the UK have begun migration. Aran was still at the Glaslyn nest this morning. The Black Storks from Latvia and Estonia seem to be making their way without hiccups now to their winter homes. It is just a nice calm Wednesday save for the arrival of Gabby back at The Hamlet. That caused great cheers.

Take care everyone. Thanks so much for joining me.

Thank you to the NW Florida Bald Eagle cam and the AEF streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

2 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Oh it’s so wonderful Mary Ann! I just love Samson and Gabrielle! I know he was happy to see her arrive and she was happy to see him already there waiting on her. Love is in the air is so true! They are some big beautiful eagles just like Romeo and Juliette were ❤️❤️🦅🦅
    Thanks for all the photos and info on the Pelicans. I miss seeing them. We don’t have near as many here as we use to near our water. Thanks for the camorants photos too. They are really a lot of them in Turkey also as well as seagulls. So interesting about the gull and I never knew of one like that before! It is always so good to learn of the different kinds of birds. The little duck is certainly a different looking one! I hope you can find out what kind it is and let us know. Thanks Mary Ann! It’s so good to hear that the little sea eaglets are doing fine and all the other O’s too! Looking forward to the next newsletter soon! Have a great day!
    Linda

    1. There were so many Pelicans here at the beginning of the summer – hundreds and hundreds of them crowding the falling water and all over the rocks. Not so many but maybe they are starting the migration. Certainly, the Sandhill Cranes are going over. I wonder. I am so glad you enjoyed seeing them. Tomorrow I am getting up early and heading up north to catch the Ospreys. My friend was there yesterday and said they are still here. Fingers crossed. Have a lovely day, Linda.

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