Fall Migration on the Prairies

There has been a lot of noise in the Winnipeg birding community about a Green Heron at a park south of our City. People love to watch the herons fish and the sheer gracefulness of their movements.

There was no heron. We had missed it by half an hour but, it was a beautiful place to walk. The only thing you could hear was the chattering of a Red Squirrel.

Groups of Canada Geese were in the fields where the farmers had harvested the grain.

As we continued down the gravel road, overhead two skein of geese in the typical ‘V’ formation flew in front of us. Did you know that by flying in the ‘V’ formation, the geese not only conserve some of their energy by it is thought that their hearing and sight are enhanced. We decided to try and locate where the geese were going.

There were geese everywhere. They cannot read the sign!

Besides geese, there were Double-Crested Cormorants, Ring Billed Gulls, and a few Mallards.

Oh, this one was a beauty. He has been in the water and was drying his wings. Those feathers are not waterproof. To help them underwater, they have sealed nostrils, great underwater vision, and look at that tail – it functions as a rudder.

I thought he was a rather attractive bird.

The plumage of the Double Crested Cormorants below is lighter than the one above which is a breeding adult. I believe these two are immature.

There is always one very cute little female Mallard.

The Ring Billed Gull had a few friends in the water. I had a very hard time determining the colour of this one’s bill. If it is yellow with the black tip, it is an adult. If it is pink with a black tip, it is a juvenile. Are its legs and feet also pale pink? If so, it is a juvenile.

The birds continue to travel through our City as fall migration continues. All of the birding organizations in my province are gearing up for fall workshops. If you live in Manitoba, you might want to check these two out. If you live elsewhere – as I know most of you do – check your local birding associations.

Near me have been fields of Sandhill Cranes, many of them dancing. Someone spotted three Moose together on a farmer’s field, too. Because of the fires and the drought, all of the animals and birds are hungry.

There has been no word from Sharyn Broni, the Ranger at Taiaroa Head about Tiaki. Her GPS indicates that she has fledged but she is on land!

Here is the link to check on both Tiaki and her dad, Lime Green Black (LGK):

Chicks have been rescued if they got off to a rocky start on their fledge. I want to wait and hear what the rangers say about Tiaki.

Thank you for joining me. I hope that wherever you live you can get outside and enjoy some beautiful fall weather with the birds. Take care. See you soon!

Did Tiaki fledge?

The winds were blowing strong over Taiaroa Head yesterday. Albies filled the skies.

Even the container ship was pulling to one side they were so strong.

Hovering chicks were trying their wings. One, in particular, caught the eye of the camera operator.

Is this Tiaki fledgling? the 9th of September at 18:18? at 229 days old? If it is, the Rangers were really lucky to have gotten her GPS tracker on her yesterday.

We will have to wait for confirmation from Ranger Sharyn on Friday. Wow. I wonder how many other hovering chicks fledged yesterday in those strong winds? See how the Albie catchies the right wind and they are simply off. That is what Albatross and Ospreys do. They catch the winds. This allows them not to expend so much energy flapping. They are like gliders covering great distances with little effort.

Have a great day everyone. I will watch for the announcement and confirm later today. Ranger Sharyn and her team will have to be out checking all of the chicks to see who is still with them. Hopefully, they will go and check on Tiaki first. She did not sleep in or near the nest last night.

Thanks to your GPS we will get to see Tiaki’s location til her first molt. Yippee.

Tiaki practicing her hovering earlier. Stay safe Tiaki – good winds and lots of fish.

Thank you to the Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots and video clip.