Let’s do this! I’ve had a pretty full day starting early and ending late packed in between with a healthy dose of exercise, yard work and some bonus time out on the range. Now I am just sitting here catching my breath and thought what the hay, why not use some of that down time to take some future stress off. Yep, the June monthly quota is finally conquered as of this post (please, hold your applause until the end). How about we close this out with a … wait for it … wait for it… a bird post!
No big surprise there eh? This particular post has a bit of a twist to it. On one hand this Western Scrub-Jay has already been featured on here on the blog back in September 2014 (link here). That would imply that this is not a new check in my North American Birding Life List. However, thanks to a decision, this particular specimen has a nuance about it. To set the stage, this Jay was shot at the Red Rocks Ampitheatre in Morrison, Colorado. I have had the privilege of birding there a couple of times now and both times left quite an impression.
Hit the jump to learn the secret about this bird!
Continue reading Obviously a Woodhouse
It’s coming down to the wire, but with this post, I am pretty sure I can hit the quota for another month. Would hate to end a long multi-year streak because of Halloween decorations – wait a minute, that might actually be a valid reason seeing as how I was spending most of the night trying to learn how to make molds. It is obvious to me that some key steps were left out of all the YouTube videos I was watching before trying it out myself. As always, I’ll leave the details for a future project post (foreshadowing… after some trial and error I’ve now been able to fill in the missing details and a second attempt turned out very nice!). Luckily, sleep isn’t that big of a deal for me so with the Halloween work out of the way, I can still bring you tonight’s featured duck…
That there is what you call a Canvasback Duck. This particular specimen was found near the Kentucky Dam while on a trip we took down there to do a little birding back in April 2015. In case you are wondering, it is a well known fact in the photography world that you have to let images sit in the chemicals for at least two years before they will develop. Talk about the disappointment when you wait that long, come back into the darkroom and find out your chemical balance was off – back to the drawing board – another 2 years and fingers crossed you have something good enough to post on your blog. Admittedly, this set is a bit soft around the edges, but still better (mainly because they are closer) than the previous time I had a post on this duck (link here). If I recall correctly, that other post was from Henderson Bird Viewing Area in Henderson Nevada – If you call yourself a birder and have not been there yet – shame on you hehehe. As mentioned, this one was a little closer to home. The Canvasbacks are pretty easy to identify in the field. Although their coloring will pretty much lead you right to them, it is really their profile which makes them stand out. If you look from the side they have a downward sloping profile from the crest of their head to the end of their rather large snoz. You might have a tendency to get them mixed up with the Redheads due to the similar color palette, but if you pay close attention to the bill you will notice that the Redheads have a brighter grey bill that looks like they were used for writing instead of quills back in the day (they have a black tip),
The Canvasback pretty much has all of Central America up through Northern Canada covered somewhere during the seasonal migrations. Being April guessing this one was doing some final fishing to build up energy for the trek up North. Not a lot I can really tell you about this duck due to my go to reference site (Cornell) being pretty light on the details. Apparently they breed in prairie potholes – we prefer to call them muddles in these here parts. They are clearly on the larger end of the diving ducks. They also carry a least concern conservation classification – yea!
Only other tidbit is they got their name thanks to being the preferred seat covering for old Model T’s. Luckily, modern society found the fine rich feeling Corinthian Leather (Ze Plane, Ze Plane! – for the record, if you get that reference you are old)….. What.. you want me to check the accuracy of that? Hmmm… oh wait, my bad, they were given the Canvasback moniker from their preferred food during the nonbreeding season – the wild celery buds and rhizomes. You know you preferred my definition better .. come on … there you go. Just to prevent any future uncomfortable moments (for you!), I probably wouldn’t base your entire theme or post graduate thesis on the contents of this blog. Somewhere along the line information in my head may get slightly distorted. My brother knows I blame my grade school for filling my head with lies (take for example the Brontasaurus and who knows what the hell Pluto is these days).
All I have for you today – hope you enjoyed this “purdy” duck.