Sunday, January 12, 2014

Phila Mid-Winter Bird Census

This year's Mid-Winter Bird Census was postponed from yesterday til today due to the weather. Some of the nerds helped out since my territory was expanded due to the postponement. We covered our territory and saw a few good birds.  This was my first critter of the day. He froze just like he is supposed to. I had to use the flash on the camera since it was pretty early and dark in the woods.

Opossum
I was in the woods early trying to find an owl. There are a few trees with holes in them that look like a good roost for an owl.  Oops. Look who I woke up? This guy - yes, it's a male Pileated Woodpecker. You can tell by the full red head and red on the "mustache". He looked around a few times and then took off out of the hole yacking the whole time.

Pileated Woodpecker (male)
Back at the bird feeders, this Red-tailed Hawk who was looking for a tasty meal. He left without catching a squirrel or bird.

Red-tailed Hawk

You lookin' at me?
A few of our best finds of the day were Eastern Towhee. Here are both male and female that we found up by the Police horse stables. They were really digging around in the leaf litter looking for some lunch.

Eastern Towhee - femal
I got lucky and snapped this photo just as the male grabbed a berry or something. You can see his morsel in his beak.

Eastern Towhee - male
We finally got a nice view of a group of Wood Ducks after lunch. The first photo is messy. It shows the debris and some of the trash along the creek bank but at least you can see 3 of the ducks.

Wood Ducks
Here is one of the males who came a little closer. Unfortunately, it was pretty overcast so this is the best photo that I got. These guys are pretty birds. Pretty gaudy that is! Stunning.

Wood Duck - drake
We tallied 34 species of birds for the day plus 2 Red Foxes who were frolicking around the Environmental Center. Unfortunately, I couldn't get any photos of the foxes.

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