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Monday, June 8, 2009

Redstarts

I was lucky to be out in the field last week, listening and looking for breeding birds on the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario. The area is fairly sparsely populated (at least away from the lakeshore) and has a rich and diverse avifauna, with many species near the southern limit of their breeding ranges in Canada. I encountered several species of warbler in suitable breeding habitat, including Canada, Magnolia, Mourning, Black-throated Green, Ovenbird, Nashville, Yellow-rumped and Black-throated Blue, but the most common by far is American Redstart. Whilst After Second (calendar) Year (ASY) males are easily discerned, Second Year (SY) males closely resemble adult females, although they usually have richer yellow colouring and often some black feathering coming through on the head. This bird (above) looks like a SY male.

This is clearly an ASY male.

Striking a pose.

Looking for the intruder (me)

Bobolinks can be quite numerous in suitable hay fields, with little groups of males rising out of the grass to enthusiastically pursue any female that crosses their airspace.

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird enjoying apple blossoms.


Upland Sandpipers have been steadily declining over much of south-west Ontario and even on the Bruce Peninsula, where there would appear to be plenty of suitable habitat, they are considerably less numerous now than they were during the first Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas in 1981.

1 comment:

Vanessa said...

those are some really great shots!