Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pileated and Downy Size Comparison

Posted by Kirk

I took this photo on 3/18/08 at work at the Lee & Rose Warner Nature Center. I especially like this shot because you can compare the size of the downy woodpecker and the pileated woodpecker. I'm slowly trying to photograph some of the birds I see this year. The ones that come to the feeders are easier than when the warbles show up. I may resort to shooting photos of birds we've banded instead of the birds I actually count on my list that I spot in the wild. This great photo of a pileated was one we caught while bird banding two years ago.

In other news, I've added to my bird list with the return of the raptors to the nature center. Saturday I saw a kettle of bald eagles right above the building at work while waiting for my afternoon group to show. Fellow naturalist Paul Smithson had heard Red-shouldered hawks on Friday said he had seen one Saturday morning. I didn't see one Saturday but did finally see one today. There were at least two flying around making quite a racket. Their calls were a welcome addition to the sounds of the forest. I saw them then I went out to check on the maple sap which is finally flowing. We collected about 10 gallons today. If all of the trees run at once we could in theory collect about 150 gallons in one day but that has never happened. Today was slow at 10 gallons but we're finally underway. Still no sign of the Phoebe. My prediction in the office pool is for the first phoebe to show up on Saturday.

On my way home I pulled out on to Norell Ave and headed south. About two miles from the center I saw a bird on a power line and slowed down. Sure enough it was the first American Kestrel I've seen this year. It was a beautiful male.

Here's the running bird tally for 2008. The great-horned owl is from last week. I stopped to see the one nesting near imation (35E and Hwy 5.)

33 Great-horned Owl
34 Red-shouldered Hawk
35 American Kestrel