The barred owl or hoot owl is very common in Ontario though I’ve only seen one twice. Like most owls they are nocturnal but both my sightings were during the day. This owl was just slightly off the main path, I happened to look up and there he was.
On a drive one day, we stopped at a reserve that advertised a wild bird display. This peregrine falcon was waiting his turn and seemed to look in my direction so I took the shot. I’m not a great fan of these events but the birds were beautiful and if people take away an appreciation of them it can only help conservation efforts.
This was a first for me and the only time I’ve ever seen a brown creeper, so it was pretty exciting. Their numbers are declining in the eastern part of North America, due to habitat loss, so I was particularly happy to see one. It’s called a brown creeper but I thought it looked more like it was hugging the tree as it foraged for insects.
Canada Geese may have their detractors but on a lake in the fall they are among my favourite subjects. They’ve had their young and territory is no longer an issue so scenes like this are common. Ottawa is a city that includes a lot of rural land, so you don’t have to go too far to see them flying in their wonderful V formations (or echelons) as they head south.
I took this in late October 2019. Except for a quick drive to the lake this summer, I haven’t returned. I did see wood ducks on that visit though. Despite the year we’ve had the birds arrived as usual and will migrate back in the spring. This constant is encouraging. With some luck the coming year will have us all headed in the right direction.
I usually see chickadees out in the open flitting from branch to branch. I caught this bird in a quiet moment well off the path in challenging light. I liked the photo but hesitated before posting it because of the flare at the bottom of the image. Still worth featuring though.
On another note, a few of you let me know that you were unable to see the image that accompanied my last post. Mike Bizeau of naturehasnoboss.com had the same problem and suggested I set my image as a featured image. Like Mike, this has altered the appearance of my website (a change I don’t like) but until this glitch has been fixed I will continue to post in this way and hope you will all see my images.
I watched as the green heron carefully scanned the water looking for a passing fish. It watched, it patrolled, and waited some more. All the herons I’ve photographed are the most patient of fishermen, more patient than this photographer. I took some photos and left the bird as I continued my walk.
I usually see pileated woodpeckers high up in the trees, rarely on the ground. As we were walking along we came across this bird excavating the bark of a fallen tree. It must have been full of insects because he continued on long after we had taken our fill of photographs and moved on.
Although quite common, I’ve only seen a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker once, a few years ago. They are fairly small and beautifully patterned woodpeckers. We heard the bird hammering away at a tree and followed the sound. It was busy feeding and wasn’t at all bothered by our presence.
It was nice to catch the mourning dove tilting its head. I thought it made for a more interesting photo. I learned that they exist in large numbers and are prolific breeders which is a good thing, as they’re heavily hunted in North America. Their name is derived from their rather plaintive call.
There are quite a few abandoned railway bridges in the countryside. With the closure of many Mills, railroads were no longer needed to move goods. Some of the bridges have been reclaimed by Ospreys who build their nests and raise their young on them. When we noticed the nest on the first bridge, we stopped the car and waited to see what would happen. We didn’t have to wait long as an adult flew in to feed the young bird.
Different male cardinals, photographed on the same day. Both birds are moulting although the first bird looks somewhat rougher than the second. I took these photos last year about this time. The breeding season is now past, food is plentiful and even the birds get to chill for a bit. 😊
The woods were quiet, no squirrels about. This usually means there’s an owl or hawk nearby. Sure enough we saw this Screech Owl comfortably perched in the cavity of a tree. What did surprise me was the agitated chickadee flying close to the dozing owl. Brave or reckless, I couldn’t decide.
Canada Geese can be elegant in the water and a different bird on land where you have to approach them with care. They can be territorial during breeding season, with their young and after they’ve been feeding, you have to watch your step. On the water they can be quite different, languid and graceful.