Birds - Page 558

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Great Blue Heron Fishing : We watched several Blue Herons fishing at Shore Road Marsh in Grand Desert, Nova Scotia. 

Grand Desert, Nova Scotia. 24 June 2007.

Great Blue Heron Fishing

banjon

We watched several Blue Herons fishing at Shore Road Marsh in Grand De ...

Updated: Jun 27, 2007 11:27pm PST

Other Raptors I've Known... : Here are some of the "birds of prey"  I've encountered whether it's here in San Pedro or on the road during my travels...

Other Raptors I've Known...

Steve Wolfe

Here are some of the "birds of prey" I've encountered whether it's he ...

Updated: Jun 26, 2007 5:10am PST

Mississippi Kite in Los Angeles 2007 : On May 26, 2007 I went to the South Coast Botanic Garden here in Los Angeles' coastal suburb of Palos Verdes. While walking around with my Pentax K10D DSLR and Sigma 50-500mm lens I noticed what appeared to be a medium-sized raptor about 50 feet away from me and 30 feet off the ground drop something from its talons onto a brushy area, then circle back as if trying to relocate it.  I looked at it through the 500mm Sigma lens (my binoculars-in-a-pinch)and saw that its head bore a resemblance to the somewhat commonplace White-Tailed Kite, but the markings were strange, and the tail had a "checkboard" pattern instead of pure white.  Its behavior differed from a WTK, too; while the White-tailed "hover-hunts", dropping straight down on its ground prey (usually mice or small mammals), this Kite stayed in the air and was in constant motion, circling around then folding its wings back and rocketing towards the earth and pulling back up at the last second.  It would also twist and turn in the air, as if it was going after "something". I observed it going through wonderful acrobatic moves for about an hour (a passerby said "Looks like he's performing for you!") then it disappeared into some trees. Once home I looked at the photos on my monitor and pondered the possibilities, but the visual signs pointed only in one direction --- Mississippi Kite. But my Sibley's guide marks them as "rare" for this area --- and the botanic gardens aren't known for rare bird sightings. The following Sunday I went birding down in Orange County and found out on Monday that bird experts on the ground had positively ID'd it as a Mississippi Kite. That Monday morning I posted photos at birdforum.net and folks also ID'd it as a "first-summer" Mississippi Kite. My Saturday photos got linked up to the online Sunday sighting and after that, the local birding world was notified.  I went back to the Garden on Monday where I was joined by excited birders from as far away as Santa Barbara who'd heard of its presence. And to make things official, I filed a report with the CBRC along with photos authenticating the Rare Bird sighting.  It's now Tuesday evening and it's been at the Garden every day since Saturday. We hope it's in for the long haul, but it may move along at any time...

Veteran bird expert and Secretary of the California Bird Records Committee, Guy McCaskie, graciously supplied me with this information on past sightings of a Mississippi Kite in California ---

"There are 38 previous CBRC endorsed records for the Mississippi Kite in California, with most (24) in spring between 17 May and 21 June.  However, most (20) of these records are for locations in Mojave Desert and Great Basin portions of eastern California, with thirteen of them at Furnace Creek Ranch in Death Valley.  Previous spring records for the coast are of single birds in Goleta SBA 18 Jun 1933, Long Beach LA 21 Jun 1982, Huntington Beach ORA 05-11 Jun 1989, and Clairemont LA 26 May 2003.  Two of the five fall records from along the coast were on the Palos Verdes Peninsula - 26 Sep 1992 and 18 Sep 2005 - clearly a popular place for lost Mississippi Kites."


UPDATE Friday June 1 2007 -- It's been 6 days since I first spotted the Mississippi Kite at the Garden, and the good news is that it's still there! I spotted it flying near the lake and though it was flying high could make out that it was catching insects and feeding while "on the wing," sometimes grasping its meal in its talons then reaching down and munching on it while flying all the while. I ran into David Ellsworth, an avid birder also from San Pedro, who was capturing the action with a 20x-zoom video camera. And Pedra Furmall, an employee at the Garden, said the Kite's favorite tree for perching is a "She-Oak," native to Australia but also found in the southeastern US (thanks for the ID, Pedra! :o) ) So perhaps the Kite, who could possibly have been blown from its home back East by a strong wind, feels right "at home" with that tree...
The South Coast Botanic Garden put up its own page of info and background on the Mississippi Kite, with photos taken by Pedra Furmall using a Nikon D50 and Tamron lens --  http://www.southcoastbotanicgarden.org/birderspage.html 
And on Friday there was a writeup on the Kite in the local newspaper, The Daily Breeze -- http://www.dailybreeze.com/news/articles/7779916.html

UPDATE Tuesday June 5 2007 -- I just received word from Ken Hamada, one of my friends who had watched the Kite with me for 9 hours on Sunday, that he had spent the better part of Monday afternoon at the Garden but saw no sign of the Kite.  He checked its favorite She-Oak tree and its usual perch, and scanned the skies in the afternoon for its customary eating-on-the-fly acrobatics; nothing. Highly-unusual as this Kite has a "clockwork regularity" to it.  This would make it the first time since I first spotted it on May 26 that it hasn't been seen.  Only time will tell whether or not it's "flown the coop,"...

UPDATE June 8, 2007 --- Apparently the bird has flown.  There has been no sighting of it for the past 3 days. I sure am gonna miss Little Miss... :o(

Mississippi Kite in Los Angeles 2007

Steve Wolfe

On May 26, 2007 I went to the South Coast Botanic Garden here in Los A ...

Updated: Jun 26, 2007 4:24am PST

May 2007 :

May 2007

Harry

Updated: Jun 26, 2007 1:14am PST

Brevard Zoo :

Brevard Zoo

csbyerly

Updated: Jun 25, 2007 7:36pm PST

Choughs, June 2007 : A few photos of  birds (mostly Choughs) in Inch, Co. Kerry taken over the course of two weekends.  I eventually found the nest hidden n the cliff with a rather well-fed chick!

Choughs, June 2007

Jamie Lawrence

A few photos of birds (mostly Choughs) in Inch, Co. Kerry taken over ...

Updated: Jun 20, 2007 2:34am PST

South America Birds : Birds of South America

South America Birds

bernstein

Birds of South America

Updated: Jun 19, 2007 7:29pm PST

Owls : Taken in the wild in New Mexico

Owls

Vandana

Taken in the wild in New Mexico

Updated: Jun 19, 2007 6:52pm PST

June 11 --- What a Day It Was! : I arrive as usual on Saturday around 4pm.  There isn't  any activity among the hawks that would mark it as anything other than a normal late-afternoon. Two of the hawklets (the oldest and the youngest)  are on a ledge of the main hospital building looking inside the windows; I don't see Jen but she seems to prefer being by herself. Could her week-long stay with the Wildlife Rehab folks after crashing into the window have somehow changed the dynamics among the siblings?  For whatever reason, I rarely if ever see all 3 hawklets together anymore.  While looking at the 2 on the ledge, I notice one has what appears from a distance to be...a snake...

(A brief pause in the action for a quick reminder.  The South Bay Wildlife Rehab has been following the Kaiser Red-tails from the beginning and has been indispensable in helping them whenever they seem to need human assistance. They are all volunteers and most of the funding comes from their own pockets, so please help with a contribution. Their website is at www.sbwr.org and their phone # is (310) 378-9921. Thanks Ann, Jen and all the other wildlife rehabilitators!)

June 11 --- What a Day It Was!

Steve Wolfe

I arrive as usual on Saturday around 4pm. There isn't any activity a ...

Updated: Jun 17, 2007 8:27am PST

Ducks :

Ducks

Jeff Chapman

Updated: Jun 14, 2007 6:40pm PST