It has been a fun, but admittedly long weekend. Our trip to Wisconsin for the agility dog show is now officially in the books and we’re back home – just in time for me to get a quick 7 miles banged out in rather cold damp conditions. This morning Wisconsin managed to give us our first snow experience of the coming winter – mid-October! Last year it snowed here on Halloween so the white stuff keeps pushing west on the calendar every year. The good news is Raven rocked it at the dog show going 5 for 5 on Saturday and then earning his second level Teacup Agility Champion certification this morning. Proud of the little guy … and Mom of course. To close out the weekend post-a-palooza, decided to feature another find at Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge.
At the same time I was trying to get shots of the Horned (or Slavonian if you hail from the other side of the pond) Grebe back in November 2017, Mr. Pintail decided to drop in and rest the wings a bit. Of all the ducks we have the privilege of being able to experience in our area, the Northern Pintail has to be tops when it comes to elegance. Clean crisp lines, stylish feather palette and a posture that eludes “Sorry sir would you happen to have some Grey Poupon?”.
Hit the jump to see a few more shots of our stylish visitor.
Continue reading Have You Some Grey Poupon?
Since there was a definite outcry of support for more birds after the last post, I’ve decided to appease the teaming millions and feature a bird for this post. This particular set of pictures is actually a bit of a surprise. If you recall, I introduced the Northern Pintail back in June of last year (link here). In that post I mentioned there was a better set of pictures likely to come from the second day of shooting.
I managed to process this second set of images yet they didn’t find their way onto the blog. Nothing like spending time on something only to find there were no fruits of the labor. As you can tell, the missing images were found (while processing the Katydids from the last post). I do like these shots better – the previous ones were mostly from behind and didn’t give a good view of the overall bird. The right side view:
the left side view:
and the front! That pretty much covers all the angles with the tail side covered in the previous post.
Hit the jump to read some more about the Pintails
Continue reading Pin The Tail Revisited
I’ll tell you right up front, this particular blog post is going to cheat you a bit on your viewing pleasure. Normally I try my best to give a healthy dose of pictures with each of my offerings. When it comes to birds the goal is to give you a variety of poses or angles that help provide a good perspective of the featured species just in case you happen to live in one of those obnoxiously big cities and think birds just get in the view of the pretty skyscrapers. Today.. not so much. To be honest, I cannot recall what the issue was, but there was really only two picture taken of this bird – surprising since this was another NEW bird to check off the list.
The only hope is there are more shots of the Northern Pintail from the second day of shooting – which hasn’t been processed yet. If I find more while in the digital darkroom for the those I’ll be sure and post them to make up for the sparsity here. There is a correction for the long term readers of this blog. Back on June 5th 2010 I suggested one of the bird shots on that post was a Pintail (although skeptical even then – link here). Clearly it didn’t possess the twin tails of real Pintails as clearly seen in these shots.
This day began in one of those “Small World” experiences. It was a little cool that day so I was sporting my Illini pullover. While walking up to the entrance of the Preserve, a man came out and noticed the coat and asked me if I had gone to Illinois. Always seems surreal to head out thousands of miles from home and then come across someone that lives a few hundred miles from your hometown. He actually was the individual who alerted us to the presence of the Pintail. Based on his excitement at the time it appears that was not a common sighting on the ponds. A quick look at the regions indicates they do Winter there in that region, but since this was August that does seem pretty early. From an artistic perspective, I find the color palette on these ducks to be gorgeous which is only enhanced by the sleek profile. In case you are wondering, these two are both males.
How about some interesting facts to complete the post. First off they are very abundant and therefore have a conservation status of Least Concern – follow up research indicates they are in a large decline so this may actually change in the future (sad). They also happen to be a very popular game duck due to (and I quote Wikipedia) “speed, agility, and excellent eating qualities”. Hey, look ad that purdy eyegil burrd leck’s put led in itz ass. They are classed as dabbling ducks or simply those ducks that feed off the water’s surface instead of diving. They are primarily plant eating animals with the exception of when the female is nesting. During that time, it changes to invertebrates likes insects – wonder if that is similar to us humans which tend to switch to ice cream and pickle juice during our “nesting” period. Interesting.. another site indicates they are the first ducks to begin their Winter migration. I think we can personally confirm that now! And lastly, the ducks organization website indicates that Northern Pintails have a circumpolar breeding pattern. Know what that means? … ‘cuz I have no clue hehehe. Current guess is they only have sex when circling a polar bear. Trust me, I’m an Eggspert on dem der wingy things.
That’s all folks – my apologies again for the lack of pictures – good news is you could read the whole post without a jump.