Photographs by Frank

9 July 2014

Loons and Catbirds

Filed under: Birds,Monadnock Region,Summer — Tags: , — Frank @ 12:15 PM

Yesterday afternoon, I spent some time observing the nesting loons again. No chicks yet… a worrying state of affairs as they have been sitting on the nest at least since the 9th of June.

I did watch the two adults switch places twice during the four hour interval (1:15 to 5:15 PM) that I watched them.

Photographs of loons actually leaving or entering the nest are not very interesting. These birds leave the nest without any obvious (to me anyway) warning… they simply slide off the nest into the water. Loon butts do not make for interesting photos! Conversely, watching an adult loon climb back onto the nest is a vivid reminder that these are water birds… the word “ungainly” comes to mind.

Once the incoming adult gets on the nest, they proceed to move the eggs about a bit and do a bit of housekeeping by rearranging a stick or two before settling down on the eggs.

Take a careful look at the loon photos… see any other animals present?*

The best place to photograph the nesting loons is from atop a large rock. Yesterday,  I kept noticing that  two or three small gray birds would briefly appear on another nearby rock and then disappear back into the bushes behind the rock.

Eventually, an adult appeared with a single small insect that one of the three fledglings gobbled up in a microsecond. There are only two young birds in the photo because the “winner”  did not waste any time in getting away with the prize. The two you see are still yelling at mom or dad “where’s mine”!

The appearance of the adult allowed me to identify, without the need for a book, the birds as gray catbirds.

NextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnail
Adult 1 on Nest
Adult 1 on Nest
Empty Nest
Empty Nest
Adult 2 Shifting Eggs
Adult 2 Shifting Eggs
Adult 2 on Nest #1
Adult 2 on Nest #1
Adult 2 on Nest #2
Adult 2 on Nest #2
Gray Catbirds (Adult and Fledglings)
Gray Catbirds (Adult and Fledglings)
Gray Catbird
Gray Catbird

*I am now to the point were I can photograph odes without trying!!!


 

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