White-throated Sparrow

Warbler Time - Earth Day 149-2

Sparrows are usually hard for me to identify sometimes, but this one was easy. A bright white throat and the yellow markings on each side of his beak makes it easy for me. Spring is upon us now and the migrants are arriving. Each day there seems to be a new bird arriving in our yard. I’m out early in the morning and come back in the house late in the afternoon. I’m always afraid I’ll miss something, so I make the most of each day. Enjoy, and happy birding everyone!

“Purple” Finch

New Sparrow 047

I needed a little help from the Wisconsin Birding Group to help me identify this bird. Here I thought I saw a new sparrow species and as hard as I looked under all the sparrow photos I just couldn’t come up with his identity. The minute I posted this picture to the Wisconsin Birding Group, it was immediate that I had a Purple Finch, probably a lst year male at that, since there was a little “rose” coloring around the head. I’m always thrilled when I see a new bird species and this was no exception. Happy Spring birding everyone!!

Cattails and Blackbirds..

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird

For me, one of the signs of springtime is hearing the call of a Red-winged Blackbird. The ice was still on the lake when I took this photo down by the marina where we used to keep our sailboat on Lake Mendota. The lagoon by the marina’s is one of the few places where the water opens up in the early spring and I was able to see many breeds of ducks as well as this pretty male Red-winged Blackbird. Thankfully, the lakes are fully open now and the ice has left the shoreline. I can’t believe, as I look outside now, that a few snowflakes are falling wondering if this weather will ever warm up to above 40 some degrees. Come on Spring!!!

True Love at Last…

Pair of Hooded Mergansers

Pair of Hooded Mergansers

These two finally found one another and they look to be quite happy. Such an attractive pair and I couldn’t be happier for them. All the lakes have finally opened around the Madison area and we have many breeding pairs now either staying around our lakes or continuing to make their way North. I hope everyone continues to keep their eyes open and enjoy the many breeds of ducks and birds out there.

The Object of His Desire…

Female Hooded Merganser

Female Hooded Merganser

Here is the female Hooded Merganser (soon to be the Mrs.) that is being chased by that handsome male merganser. She’s showing she can be attractive as well with her crest displayed. I wish I could have gotten closer photos of these two ducks, but they do not like having their pictures taken. I’m happy I was able to see them again this year. I did a lot of sneaking up on them. Our lakes are finally opening up now, so they may find a different area to fish, but maybe I’ll still be able to see a few in the lagoons. I hope everyone keeps an eye out when driving by the lakes and lagoons that you may see some beautiful ducks migrating through.

On the Prowl…

Hooded Merganser, male

Hooded Merganser, male

This beautiful Hooded Merganser is on the prowl for his mate. He sure is a handsome duck when he display’s his crest. This photo was taken over behind the Nautigal Restaurant, in the town of Westport. It was one of the only places around Madison with some open water. It’s been a long winter and even though spring is here, it just doesn’t want to warm up to normal temperatures for this time of year. It is getting better though.

Handsome Young Hawk

Juvenile Red tailed Hawk

Juvenile Red tailed Hawk

I came upon this juvenile Red tailed Hawk while out looking for open water to see what ducks were migrating through. He was kind enough to sit and pose for me and I thanked him for that. I have to say I love the spring season when all the migratory birds are coming through. It has been a little hard, however, finding open water. As of yesterday our lakes and some lagoons were still mostly frozen over. It is now rapidly melting as the temperatures are rising and we’re having a lot of rain this week, which will hopefully cause more melting. Well, April showers brings May flowers…

Hoo, Hoo, Hoo!

Great Gray Owl

Great Gray Owl

This was a real treat when this Great Gray Owl showed up unexpectedly to Middleton, Wisconsin. He caused quite a stir and those people who weren’t interested in bird watching became so. He sat endlessly right in the middle of town, for several days, and drew crowds of around 75 people and he was in the news daily. It was quite an educational experience for both birders and non birders alike. Normally, you would only find this owl inhabiting boreal forests in Canada and the far North and more than likely they had a food shortage and several of these owls headed south with more being spotted in other areas of Wisconsin. This is our largest owl and quite striking with heavily ringed facial disks making his yellow eyes look small. This beauty eventually left and it was with great relief as there was a concern he could be hit by a vehicle or run into another problem being in such a populated area. I’m just so thankful I was able to see this magnificent bird in real life.

%d bloggers like this: