More Days in White Feathers

Greetings all once again!  Starting to get in the groove of the new year now that the “Ron Owes Me Bigly” mission is coming to closure – not the “owes me” part, rather the initial mission part.  He’s in the midst of doing some packing, but I am sure as soon as that settles down, he will be getting those fingers oiled up and letting everyone know about said mission in due time… nudge, nudge.  Meanwhile my immediate mission is to get the photo queue whittled down a bit.

American White Pelican shot in Alton IL in March 2014

Thought I’d go ahead and get the big boys out of the way – well, at least some of the pictures in the hopper of the American White Pelican.  Whitey is one of those species we have easy access to in the heartland.  Cornell documents their regional map as breeders across our northern border and spotty locations in the west with a wintering destination along our southern border.  Then they got out their yellow crayon and colored everything in between for migration.  Truth is, we can find this full-bodied birds patrolling our waterways pretty regularly outside of the dead of winter.

American White Pelican shot in Alton IL in March 2014

Hit the jump to read and see a bit more about this tank of a bird.

Continue reading More Days in White Feathers

They Who Suck Sap

I put my blogging hobby in jeopardy tonight.  Linda and I checked out a German Christmas Market (Christkindlmarket) in downtown Chicago or as I like to refer to it as – Ron’s neighborhood (cue comment ha).  Really nice German/European themed market full of cultural foods and gifts.  We took a special liking to the cider and hot chocolate in souvenir mugs and an amazing amount of really cool glass ornaments.  Show me a colorful glass bird ornament and I switch into “here, take my money” mode.   Problem was it was an OUTSIDE market.  Start with the windy city’s namesake, add in a heaping amount of plunging temperatures gives you some mighty bitter conditions.  Somehow made it back to the hotel without my fingers falling off – still tingle while I type.  In an attempt to bring them back to room temperature, thought I would feature a bird found in much warmer conditions.

Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker found at International Crane Foundation, Baraboo, Wisconsin - April 2014

Actually this post features specimens found in multiple locations over multiple years and in different months of the year (yes, all warmer than the tundra conditions we experienced tonight).  This featured bird is a member of the Sapsucker species.  It is pretty easy to tell the Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker is a member of the Woodpecker family.  Long, powerful bill, well clawed to support hanging on the sides of trees/branches and adorned in the common colors of black, white and red.

Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker found at Kentucky Lake - April 2015

Hit the jump to read some more about Mr. Sappy Sucker!

Continue reading They Who Suck Sap

Kentucky Wood

Howdy everyone! Been awhile I know. Truth is this month has been unbelievably busy… hell, for that matter the last two months have been burning at both ends. The summer months are usually filled with keeping the acreage under control and now with trails added to the running circuit my remaining evenings and weekends are spent on the hills or in the gym. Also thought it was time to give my other blog some love so cranked out a few posts over there to keep their hate mail down. Figured I’d go ahead and throw a post out there to get back in the groove.

Red-Headed Woodpecker shot at Kentucky Lake April 2015

Technically, this is not a new bird to the blog and definitely not a new check in my birding list. Nope, this colorful bird has been showing up here at random times since 2008 usually as part of a broader bird collection post or a side find while out birding Jubilee State Park or other nearby birding hotspots. Today, the mature male Red-Headed Woodpecker gets a post all to itself to show off those brilliant colors.

Red-Headed Woodpecker shot at Kentucky Lake April 2015

Hit the jump to see a few more shots of this pretty bird.

Continue reading Kentucky Wood