Monday, April 12, 2010

Some of Our Recent Birds

All the pictures in todays post were taken by Jake.
We spent the day on Saturday,April 10,at Portage la Prairie.
This is a small city about an hours drive northwest of our place.
Our main reason for going there was the report of Common Goldeneye on the lake.
We were not disappointed as we found several pairs performing their courtship displays.
Here is a picture of the male Common Goldeneye in flight.
The coloration of this bird is quite distinct.
Also present on the lake was one pair of Hooded Mergansers.
The male is even more spectacular when he has his crest raised.
The duller female has a perpetual bad hair day.
At home we were treated to a visit from a small flock of White-winged Crossbills.
This is a female,noted by its yellowish color.
The male is much brighter and reddish in color.
Just today we found that these birds do not mind being close to humans.
Jake and I were working on the decorative pool and the Crossbills came right down beside us.One even landed right on Jakes head.                                                                 Where is the camera when I need it?
I might add that Jake reached out and stroked one of the birds on the back.
What a very special moment!
Yesterday,Sunday ,April 11,we headed back to the Valley and the Hawk Watch.
This time it was time for the Turkey Vultures.
Here is just one picture to show their massive wingspan of 6 feet.
They are graceful flyers,passing overhead without a single wingbeat.
I hope you enjoyed this little trip to a few of our favorite birding spots.

PSALM 46:8


  1. Beautiful pictures, Ruth AND Jake... The Mergansers are so pretty---both of them. AND I love seeing the Goldeneyes.... Thanks so much for sharing your special birds.


  2. Oh Jake & Ruth!!! Really - loved the ducks you got BUT that female crossbill is the most beautiful picture I have EVER seen of one of these birds! First of all the light is exquisite and then the color and detail and just everything about this picture is amazing. Right down to the little bits of moss that seem to match the bird! I am blown away by this image - should be on the cover of a bird magazine - wow!

  3. I especially enjoyed the part of the crossbill landing on Jake's head - my, they aren't afraid of humans, are they. I'm glad you got to see some of those gorgeous birds, have never seen the golden eyes or the mergansers. Exquisite as usual, Ruth and Jake. Diane

  4. I can't see a Turkey Vulture without thinking of Lynne of Hasty Brook. Jake captured her a great pic of a Turkey Vulture. They never seem to be close enough for me. All the ducks photos are great too.

  5. Couldn't find the place to comment - but finally did. Don't know what happened. These are just fascinating pictures to me. Where were my eyes when we lived in MB. I can't recall ever seeing these interesting birds. I'm so glad that you share these for us all! What a blessing! I particularly loved the crossbill!

  6. I did enjoy this series of photos. The one of the Crossbill is supurb! That must have been quite a sight when the one landed on Jake's head. Maybe they thought you were installing the pond special for them.

  7. I loved seeing these shots but am amazed that the crossbill was so unafraid of your presence and even landed on Jake! Great shots!

  8. What wonderful Goldeneye photos! I love Goldeneyes and Hooded Mergansers. They are both my fsavourite ducks to photograph!And such a wonderful encounteryou both hasd with the Crossbills. I have also experienced their friendlyness. Once there were some at our feeders. They stayed while I walked right up to them. One hopped onto the lens of my camera. I can still remember the lightness of their touch. It gave meaning to the term 'featherweight!, It was an exhilerating experience! Time to go for my morning nsture hunt with my cqmera. Mwybe I'll find something fascinating this morning. I hope so! Ann

  9. Such beautiful pictures. The crossbill on Jake's head would have been a sight to see! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Wonderful! I enjoyed the trip immensely. We had Crosbills pass through two summers in a row, then nothing last year. But you are right, they are very bold and unafraid. None landed on my head however: I'm jealous! lol Yesterday when we were out, we saw the arrival of our first Turkey Vultures. There were 8 of them sailing around high above town. Too far for photos. Also, on our way to town, we saw flock after flock of Sandhill Cranes circling up high. Must be spring!

  11. All of these pictures are absolutely wonderful. I think it's amazing that Jake was able to stroke the back of a bird that landed near him. If that happens again I hope you will have a camera handy.

  12. Awsome pictures Jake! You do wonderful work!
    I've never seen a Crossbill.
    I'm looking at new cameras. Any suggestons?

  13. Beautiful pictures you show us here of the birds. Wonerful

  14. Wow, I can't believe the crossbill landed on Jake! These were some fine photography and that crossbill was amazing! Congrats on all of them!

  15. We were in Portage on Saturday too, Ruth! Alvin's band had to play at a concert in town. What a coincidence! Love the picture's! I've never seen birds like that.

  16. Love the Goldeneye photos! I think it is funny that they named them for the eye rather then the distinctive cheek patch. I never see Mergansers and they are such interesting looking ducks. That Crossbill is great! Another bird I have never seen!

  17. Ruth: Really neat birds you have capture, cool flying duck.

  18. That must have been so exciting ~ to have something so wild be so comfortable around you ~ what an experience!


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