Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A taste of atlassing

This is the first year of the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas. There has been a LOT going on!! (see http://www.birdatlas.mb.ca/). I thought I would like to share a photographic highlight or two from a summer's worth of atlassing (see the "Atlas Photos" section under the "About the Atlas" tab on the web site for more)...

One of the first nests I found in Riding Mountain National Park this year was of the beautiful Black-backed Woodpecker.

A territorial Connecticut Warbler is always a good find... what a powerful song!

Eastern Phoebe's like to nest under eaves of various human structures and are easy to get confirmed breeding of...

Finding owl nests is mostly a lot of hard work, with the exception of Great Horned Owl nests (their nests are usually easy to find because they start so early in the year when there are no leaves on the trees and they often nest in conspicuous places like old stick nests). here are some of this year's owl finds...

A Short-eared Owl nest


An Eastern Screech-Owl leaving the nest in their typical stealthy fashion (they fly low in the shadows and swoop up into or down away from a nest rather than a direct line flight).


Finding a Great Gray Owl nest was one of the summer highlights for me (as always)!


Great Horned Owl fledglings have a lot of character!


Gray Jays breeding remarkably early and I found fledged young in mid May...


A young Wilson's Phalarope out for a promenade - put that down as FY (fledged young)!


Red-headed Woodpeckers put on a good show this year... This one, seen first flying through the trees...


happened to have a partner...


allowing me to eventually track down the nest site.


A big find was a Loggerhead Shrike on territory just south of Riding Mountain National Park, well north of their expected range...


And as always, atlassing gives you the opportunity to refine your knowledge of different species and their habitat associations... here is a Le Conte's Sparrow singing in typical habitat (along with other marsh buzzers!)


And there is sometimes time for a close-up too!


Waterbirds are relatively easy to atlas - we would find them either nest building like ths pair of Horned Grebes


Or more commonly with fledged young like this Eared Grebe family....


Two heads are better than one - well if you find a pair of birds that is - here is a handsome male and female Evening Grosbeak pair...



I enjoyed doing some grassland atlassing this year. One of my favourite Manitoba Grassland species, the Chestnut-collared Longspur put on a splendid show. Here is some agitated behaviour, an angelic pose, and a nest I found near St Lazare...




Plenty more great finds! An awesome summer contributing to monitoring and conservation.

1 comment:

  1. Nice job on the blog. I love the longspur photo.

    ReplyDelete

 
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