It is a gorgeous day today. 24 degrees C. We still, for at least today, have summer weather. This meant seeing new and old friends today at the park. There were at least 12 male Wood Ducks, as many females, a host of female and a few male Mallards, and, of course, Canada Geese.
This adult male Wood Duck with its distinctive red eye and green helmet thought that I might have some seed for him to eat. He did not seem to want to take ‘sorry’ as a proper answer.
The duck below is all wet from diving around in the park stream.
Their plumage is absolutely outrageously gorgeous.
There were a few adult female Wood Ducks but not nearly as many as the males at Kildonan Park today. Because there are issues with identification between the juveniles and those in eclipse, I have come upon a bit of a foolproof method for me. The duck below is an adult female Wood Duck. She lacks the red iris and eye ring of the adult male; she does have a yellow eye ring and a distinctive white eye patch. Her bill is dark. I do not want the iridescent green on the top of the head to fool me. This bird is lacking in the 2 pale lines from the throat extending around the neck and onto the cheek. To see those, look at the images of the adult male.
There were a number of Mallards, both male and female.
All of the animals were having a wonderful morning around the duck pond. There were many who brought specialty bird seed just for them. Others, like this little Red Squirrel, were finding acorns and seeds in the grass.
As I was sorting through these images to show to you, there were several knocks on the front door. Several times I went out and no one was there. There are times that sounds carry but, then the knocking got louder and louder. This time I caught the visitor! My house is covered with cedar shakes. It looks more like a cottage in a forest but there is someone who loves those cedar shakes. When I opened the door he flew to the apple tree.
Unfortunately the automatic focus set its mind on the leaves and not on the woodpecker! And she was not certain that he wanted his picture taken or not.
I say ‘she’ because that gorgeous read crest would extended all the way down to the bak if this were the male. But, it is not, it is a female.
You can see that its body is mostly covered in black feathers with a flaming red crest. There is a white throat and its beak is a long dagger shape sadly hidden by the leaves. This particular Pileated Woodpecker lives around my garden year round (and the neighbour hood). She will make her nest in the cavity of a dead or dying tree lining it with wood chips. When she is knocking on my cedar shakes she is looking for ants, wood-boring beetles, and insect larvae. She also likes berries and nuts and I have seen her on the large suet cylinder as well as the telephone pole drilling away. The woodpeckers particularly like the bug and nut suet if you are trying to attract them.
I am particularly concerned for both this Pileated Woodpecker and the male and female Downy that live around my garden. My city has sprayed orange dots on two of the 119 year old Maple Trees in front of my house on the boulevard. If they are to cut them down, is one or both the home and nest of the woodpeckers?
The Grey Slated Juncos are still here today along with a few White Throated Sparrows and Song Sparrows.
It is easy to tell the White-throated Sparrow because of that distinctive white patch under the beak forming the throat – hence, the name. There are also two black bands and three white on the crown along with two very distinctive yellow patches above the eye. The White-throated Sparrows come to Manitoba to breed during the summer. By the end of the month, all of them will be gone to their winter homes.
The Song Sparrow comes to Manitoba also for summer breeding. Soon they will also be away on their journey south. For now, a few are in the garden scratching around the grass and leaves for insects and bug larvae. They are beautiful with that plumage of rust and grey with streaks of white.
It has been a lovely day. I have it on good authority that all of the nestling falcons are fine as are the osplets at Port Lincoln. Yesterday, they once again had 7 feedings! Speaking of feedings, the list of what Mum and Dad have brought in for the Collins Four is anything other than 99% pigeon. This year they have averaged 7.4 prey items per day with 3 being the lowest number of deliveries and 11 being the highest. They have had pigeon, New Holland Honeyeater, Rainbow Lorikeets, Quail, Silver-eyed Gulls, Sparrows, Spotted Pardalotes, Starlings, Wattlebirds, and a White plumed honeyeater. This is quite the surprise. Normally the urban falcons exist primarily on pigeon. I wonder if the people in Melbourne are no longer feeding the pigeons so that the falcons have to look to other species? In Orange, the diet is varied with lots of parrots and Starlings.
A late delivery yesterday was a green parrot. I do not specifically recognize the ‘type’ but will try to find out.
The only streaming cam I have not checked on today is the one for the White-bellied Sea Eagles. Indeed, WBSE 27 was jumping all over the tree and it or both might have fledged. I will alert you if this is the case.
Thank you for joining me. I hope you enjoyed the ducks! Take care. See you soon.
Thank you to the Collins Street Falcon Cam by Mirvac where I took my screen shot of the delivery of the green parrot.