Ross’s Goose

December 17, 2014

Ross's Goose

Ross’s Goose, photo by jsommer2

A few weeks ago there was a bit of a question as to the duckishness of a sleeping duck I posted, so I spent a lot of time looking at ducks & duck-like birds. One of them showed up in the photo group so without further delay…

The All About Birds entry for Ross’s Goose (Chen rossii) says:

A tiny white goose with black wingtips, the Ross’s Goose is like a miniature version of the more abundant Snow Goose. It breeds in the central Arctic and winters primarily in central California, but it is becoming more frequent farther east.

Prior to the 1950s the Ross’s Goose was confined to well-defined breeding and wintering areas, with few seen as strays. Since that time the species has been expanding eastward, both on the breeding and wintering grounds. The change in breeding distribution has resulted in more contact and subsequent hybridization with the Snow Goose.

The female Ross’s Goose does all of the incubation of the eggs. The male stays nearby and guards her the whole time. The female covers the eggs with down when she leaves the nest. The down keeps the eggs warm while she is away and may help hide them from predators.

More including photos and identification tips at All About Birds.

Check jsommer’s photo out background big and view the slideshow for more photos including a shot of this goose with some much bigger Canadian geese!

Many more Michigan birds on Michigan in Pictures!

Sunrise Flight

November 29, 2014

Sunrise Flight

Sunrise Flight, photo by ptpomber

Safe & quick flights … and travels of any kind this weekend. Speaking of flight, if anyone can identify the bird from yesterday, that would be great!

View ptpomber’s photo bigger and see more from Mackinac Island including some very cool winter shots in his slideshow.

Let Sleeping Ducks Lie…

November 28, 2014

Sleeping Duck

Sleeping Duck, photo by Matt

Is Black Friday over yet? Hope you’re staying safe and getting deals (or staying safe & staying home)!

View Matt’s photo background big  and see more in his slideshow.

If you’re up for more duck-based fun, check out the Michigan in Pictures Duckie Project!

Sandhill Liftoff

October 17, 2014

10-8 HDR 1e_Fotor

10-8 HDR 1e_Fotor, photo by Gregg Mulholland

Apparently the control tower likes to get those birds airborne.

Definitely check Gregg’s shot out big as the sky and roll through his Sandhill Cranes slideshow for more.

Fall Chickadee

October 13, 2014

Fall Chickadee

Fall Chickadee, photo by kdclarkfarm1

The UM Animal Diversity Web’s entry for Parus atricapillus (black-capped chickadee) says in part:

Black-capped chickadees prefer deciduous woodlands, open woods and parks, cottonwood groves, and willow thickets. They are most commonly seen near edges of wooded areas. They are a frequent visitor to backyard feeders. Black-capped chickadees nest in cavities, usually in dead trees or stumps, and are attracted to habitats with suitable nesting locations. During the winter, small flocks of black-capped chickadees can be found in dense conifer forests.

…Black-capped chickadees hop on trees (occasionally on the ground), rather than “walking.” These birds are very active during the day, and can often be seen foraging upside-down. Black-capped chickadees form monogamous pairs which usually stay together for several years. The black-capped chickadee social system has two extremes, one shown by territorial pairs during the breeding season, and the other consisting of non-breeding flocks. These are often mixed species flocks including nuthatches, woodpeckers, kinglets, brown creepers, warblers, and vireos. Black-capped chickadees perform short-distance migrations, but remain in the same general region throughout the year.

Read on for lots more including photos and chickadee calls.

View Diane’s photo background big and see lots more autumn goodness in her Fall slideshow.

More birds and more Fall wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

sandhill moon

sandhill moon, photo by Frank Kaelin

EarthSky reports that for the full moon on October 8th, there’s a whole lot going on!

In skylore, the Northern Hemisphere’s Hunter’s Moon on October 7-8 will be called a Blood Moon. Plus the October 7-8 total lunar eclipse – the second of four total lunar eclipses in the ongoing lunar tetrad – has been widely called a Blood Moon. Voila. Double Blood Moon.

Hunter’s Moon the name for the full moon after the Harvest Moon, which is the full moon nearest the September 23 autumnal equinox. This year, the Harvest Moon came on September 9. That’s why tonight’s moon bears the name Hunter’s Moon.

…In 2014 and 2015, a new usage of the term Blood Moon sprang up. Surely you heard about it at the total lunar eclipse in April 2014. It’s the name being used for the four eclipses of the ongoing lunar tetrad – four total lunar eclipses in a row, each separated from the other by six lunar months. (more on this on Michigan in Pictures)

The partial umbral eclipse begins at 5:15 AM EDT on October 8, with the total eclipse starting at 6:25 AM, peaking at 6:55 and ending at 7:24.  On top of all that is the question as to whether or not October 8th’s moon is a supermoon:

At least two commentators – Richard Nolle and Fred Espenak – disagree on whether the October 8, 2014 full moon should be called a supermoon. Is it? You’re likely to see all sorts of conflicting information in October, 2014. If you define a supermoon based on the year’s closest perigee and farthest apogee, then the October 8 moon is not a supermoon. If you define a supermoon based on the perigee and apogee for a given monthly orbit, then it is a supermoon. And not just any supermoon, but a super Hunter’s Blood Moon in eclipse!

I guess with Frank’s photo from October 2013, we could add “Sandhill Moon” to the list! He writes that he took this at the Phyllis Haehnle Memorial Sanctuary where counts were as high as eight thousand sandhill cranes a day during last fall’s migration! View his photo bigger and see more in his Landscape slideshow.

Lots more full moon magic on Michigan in Pictures!

 

Beach Party!

August 29, 2014

Untitled

Untitled, photo by Brooke Pennington

Michigan has miles and miles of public beaches, and our entire Great Lakes shoreline is open for walking by state law. Here’s hoping you can close out your summer with some fun in the sun!

View Brooke’s photo bigger and see more in his Summer slideshow.

Lots more Michigan beaches on Michigan in Pictures!

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