Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Coots & Ice

I went around my 'usual' birding route yesterday.  As always, there are thousands of geese at Boundary dam reservoir; most are Canadas but a small portion are Cackling.  I saw a few feeding flocks that had a few of these small Canada Goose look-alikes.  (No photos to show today).

A young Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) was patrolling the water and circled around to check out the dirty white vehicle arriving in its territory.  I had time for a quick snap through the windshield. 

This is part of the reservoir.

At the boat launch, wave action and steam rising during the deep freeze last week coated the floating wharf with an attractive layer of ice.  One of the seven or so resident American Coots (Fulica americana) was over having a snoop around.  Usually the coots stay on the opposite side, close to the hot water outflow. But, it was a lovely, +1C day yesterday.

During last week's dive in temperature (-30C) with -41C wind chills for several days, I worried about the Snowy Owls (and everything else having to survive outside).  I drove around a bit on Saturday but didn't see any owls.  Yesterday, however, one of the juvenile Snowy Owls  (Bubo scandiacus) was back on its favourite pole.  Too far away to show clearly, but there is some blood on the bird's right might be holding down a freshly caught, very unfortunate, rodent of some sort.


  1. The hunters here call the coots "mudhens"... I never tasted one to verify it though. ;)

    1. My dad called these mudhens as well. No, this wasn't on our menu either!