Throwback Thursday – Rusty Yellow

We are in the latter half of the week and that means I get to go back to the traditional FIFO processing of the image queue guilt free.  Today we take just a jump to the left, a step to the right, hands on hips, bring your knees in tight and pelvic thrust our way all the way back to July 2016.

Yellow-Billed Cuckoo found at Rend Lake, IL in July of 2016

Apologies for the mind flip for you’re into the Intrigued birding time slip.  How about that for a cheesy movie lead in.   If you are old enough to remember the reference, then that song will be floating in your head all day long ha.  Let’s get to our featured feathered friend.  Not new to the blog, the Yellow-Billed Cuckoo was first featured back in 2015 (link here) and a year later featured again with not one, not two, but three underwhelming pictures of its breast (link here).

Yellow-Billed Cuckoo found at Rend Lake, IL in July of 2016

Hit the jump to read more.. there might even be a surprise!

Continue reading Throwback Thursday – Rusty Yellow

More Days in White Feathers

Greetings all once again!  Starting to get in the groove of the new year now that the “Ron Owes Me Bigly” mission is coming to closure – not the “owes me” part, rather the initial mission part.  He’s in the midst of doing some packing, but I am sure as soon as that settles down, he will be getting those fingers oiled up and letting everyone know about said mission in due time… nudge, nudge.  Meanwhile my immediate mission is to get the photo queue whittled down a bit.

American White Pelican shot in Alton IL in March 2014

Thought I’d go ahead and get the big boys out of the way – well, at least some of the pictures in the hopper of the American White Pelican.  Whitey is one of those species we have easy access to in the heartland.  Cornell documents their regional map as breeders across our northern border and spotty locations in the west with a wintering destination along our southern border.  Then they got out their yellow crayon and colored everything in between for migration.  Truth is, we can find this full-bodied birds patrolling our waterways pretty regularly outside of the dead of winter.

American White Pelican shot in Alton IL in March 2014

Hit the jump to read and see a bit more about this tank of a bird.

Continue reading More Days in White Feathers

Kentucky Wood

Howdy everyone!  Been awhile I know.  Truth is this month has been unbelievably busy… hell, for that matter the last two months have been burning at both ends.  The summer months are usually filled with keeping the acreage under control and now with trails added to the running circuit my remaining evenings and weekends are spent on the hills or in the gym.  Figured I’d go ahead and throw a post out there to get back in the groove.

Red-Headed Woodpecker shot at Kentucky Lake April 2015

Technically, this is not a new bird to the blog and definitely not a new check in my birding list.  Nope, this colorful bird has been showing up here at random times since 2008 usually as part of a broader bird collection post or a side find while out birding Jubilee State Park or other nearby birding hotspots. Today, the mature male Red-Headed Woodpecker gets a post all to itself to show off those brilliant colors.

Red-Headed Woodpecker shot at Kentucky Lake April 2015

Hit the jump to see a few more shots of this pretty bird.

Continue reading Kentucky Wood

Canvasing Kentucky

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…

Canvasback shot around Kentucky Dam April 2015

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),

Canvasback shot around Kentucky Dam April 2015

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!

Canvasback shot around Kentucky Dam April 2015

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.