Thursday, January 20, 2011

Birds Here, There and Everywhere

Great Kiskadee, Nayarit, Mexico
 A Sharp-shinned Hawk visited a neighbourhood bird feeding station today and became number fifty on my January bird list. This month has been relatively uninspiring with long strings of very cold, grey days. Snow has fallen in dribs and drabs, two or three centimetres at a time on most days. I have walked for thirty minutes along trails without hearing or seeing a bird or animal at all. The pine cone crop is poor for the second year in a row and very few winter finches have ventured south. Even the usual Snowy Owls are in hiding this season or they did not have to come this far south for food.

San Lucas Robin, Nayarit
Things are different in Nayarit, Mexico. My dad has continued to take pictures of the birds seen on their property in the last few weeks. I am a little envious of the colour of his world and the birds I have yet to see in person.

White-tailed Kites in a bamboo tree
 A pair of White-tailed Kites are nesting in a tree near their house. This striking looking raptor was greatly depleted in numbers in the early 1900s by shooting and egg collecting, but the species made a comeback since 1940.

Hovering over a sugar cane field in Mexico



These Kites are found in California, southern Texas, Mexico, Central and South America. Their diet is primarily rodents and they are known for their ability to hover over fields while in search of prey. Their colouring is similar to some gulls, but their facial features are very distinctive.

Successful hunt
This weekend a couple of group birding outings are planned in our area. Saturday promises to be the coldest day we have had yet this winter but unless there is a blizzard or ice storm, I will go as it may be the last good chance to see more January birds. And for now, the weather gurus say the sun will shine in spite of the cold which is a bonus because my sun meter is very, very depleted right now.

All photos by David Tolman

8 comments:

  1. good luck on Saturday.Birding with others of like interest should be fun.
    Ruth

    ReplyDelete
  2. The cold is often bearable if it's sunny and calm. Saturday promises to be that here at least. Have fun. We'll await the pictures batedly.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well if you can't find birds at home seeing them in image elsewhere isn't too bad. Good luck on your weekend outing. Dress Extra warm.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great collection of birds.I've never traveled to areas where their would be a lot of different species.A lot of sun and minimal wind makes up for the cold temps in winter-good luck on adding to your list!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh, those Kites are amazing Ruth! So lovely that he can share his birds with you. :c)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ruth, you are one species ahead of me in the bird count. I, too, have found it hard to get out and find birds and we braved yet another winter storm today! While the temps are set to plummet overnight, at least it will be sunny tomorrow! Gus and I plan on going out birding at Salisbury beach! Wish me luck! Another storm is on its way for next Friday!

    ReplyDelete
  7. The Kite's are spectacular birds. How cool that your dad shares his birding photos with you.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great to see birds from other "worlds". I like the Kites and the name suits with their soaring ability.
    Good look on the bird adventure this weekend...maybe the snowy will make an appearance.

    ReplyDelete