Shopping with Kevin

Kevin reading the sign, photo by Penny Thompson

OK. I know I’m REALLY heavy on birds lately, but come how can you resist??!!

A reader (Bill S) tipped me off that there was a story out there on Kevin so I have an addition:

A Michigan gas station where a rooster showed up a few months ago and refused to leave built a coop for the bird and named him Kevin. Michelle Brink, a 15-year employee of Magoo’s gas station in Paw Paw, Michigan, said the rooster first turned up on October of last year, and started making regular visits to eat the deer feed outside the store.

“After the deer feed left we thought maybe he would go home [but] he never left,” Brink told WXMI-TV. “So we’re like OK, winter’s coming, we better build him a box.”

Read on for more including a great video report featuring Kevin from UPI.

View the photo bigger and see more in Penny’s slideshow.

More funny business on Michigan in Pictures.

Monday Lift Off: Red-tailed Hawk Edition

Lift Off!, photo by David Marvin

Here’s hoping your week gets off to a great start! You can read all about the red-tailed hawk, Michigan’s most common hawk, and see more photos and hear calls in the Red-tailed Hawk entry from All About Birds.

View the photo background bigtacular and see more in David’s Birds slideshow.

Love is in the Air

Love is in the Air, photo by Julie

Julie caught this pair of cardinals earlier this week. Definitely a lot of this going on out there!!

View the photo bigger and see more in her Birds slideshow.

 

May Day Mirror

Reflections, photo by cncphotos

Here’s a sweet shot from May 1st last year of a Great Blue Heron patiently fishing.

View the photo background bigtacular and see more in cncphotos’ Birds slideshow.

More spring wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

One Moment

Untitled, photo by Jiafan (John) Xu

I’m pretty sure that the bird John has captured so perfectly is a Great Egret. Fittingly, the egret tag on Michigan in Pictures includes another stunning photo by John of Great Egrets in flight along with all kinds of info about this beautiful bird.

View his photo bigger and see more in his slideshow.

Yellow Rumped Warbler

Yellow Rumped Warbler, photo by Jeff Dehmel

Jeff’s back with another bird everyone! I couldn’t resist – the colors on this are so perfectly April!! Here’s a couple of facts on the Yellow-rumped Warbler from All About Birds:

Yellow-rumped Warblers are impressive in the sheer numbers with which they flood the continent each fall. Shrubs and trees fill with the streaky brown-and-yellow birds and their distinctive, sharp chips. Though the color palette is subdued all winter, you owe it to yourself to seek these birds out on their spring migration or on their breeding grounds. Spring molt brings a transformation, leaving them a dazzling mix of bright yellow, charcoal gray and black, and bold white.

The Yellow-rumped Warbler is the only warbler able to digest the waxes found in bayberries and wax myrtles. Its ability to use these fruits allows it to winter farther north than other warblers, sometimes as far north as Newfoundland.

They’re the warbler you’re most likely to see fluttering out from a tree to catch a flying insect, and they’re also quick to switch over to eating berries in fall. Other places Yellow-rumped Warblers have been spotted foraging include picking at insects on washed-up seaweed at the beach, skimming insects from the surface of rivers and the ocean, picking them out of spiderwebs, and grabbing them off piles of manure.

The oldest recorded Yellow-rumped Warbler was at least 7 years old.

View the photo background big and see more in Jeff’s Holloway Reservoir slideshow (where you’ll see his photo of a bald eagle from not long ago).

More spring wallpaper and more birds on Michigan in Pictures.

Pheasant Friday: Ring-necked Pheasant Breeding Habits

Ringnecked Pheasant, photo by Tim Carter

This pheasant is ready for the weekend, Ladies! All About Birds has all the details on the very colorful Ring-necked Pheasant including information about their breeding season which is going on right now:

Male Ring-necked Pheasants establish breeding territories in early spring. A male maintains sovereignty over his acreage by crowing and calling; he approaches intruders with head and tail erect, and may tear up grass that he then tosses. Competitors sometimes resort to physical combat. After a series of escalating threat displays, fighting cocks flutter upward, breast to breast, and bite at each other’s wattles. They may take turns leaping at each other with bill, claws, and spurs deployed. Usually the challenger runs away before long, and these fights are rarely fatal. Females assemble in breeding groups focused on a single male and his territory.

The cock courts the hen with a variety of displays—strutting or running; spreading his tail and the wing closest to her while erecting the red wattles around his eyes and the feather-tufts behind his ears. He also “tidbits”—poses with head low while calling her to a morsel of food. A female may flee at first, leading the male on a chase punctuated by courtship displays. Males guard their groups of females from the advances of other males.

Like many birds, Ring-necked Pheasants take frequent dust baths, raking their bills and scratching at the ground, shaking their wings to sweep dust and sand into their feathers, lying on their sides and rubbing their heads. Dust-bathing probably removes oil, dirt, parasites, dead skin cells, old feathers, and the sheaths of new feathers.

View the photo from near Attica, Michigan bigger on Facebook.

More birds on Michigan in Pictures.