Platte River Bald Eagle Nest Cam

Platte River Eagle Cam

Michigan Eagle Cam, photo via Carbon TV

Carbon and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources are collaborating on a cool webcam of a nesting pair of bald eagles in Benzie County. mLive explains:

Cameras are pointed at a pair of nesting bald eagles in residence at the Platte River State Fish Hatchery. The large nest is 100 feet above the ground, along the Platte River in Benzie County.

Carbon Media Group alerted viewers earlier this week that incubation time is almost up, and that small holes called “pips” that parents make in the shells can be seen on two of the eggs.

“This pair of eagles have been regular visitors to this nest for the past three years,” Ed Eisch, DNR fish production manager, has said.

Click to view the live camera – which makes a really soothing background soundtrack – and also to check out video clips including an eagle adjusting the eggs from the photo above and visits by owls and pine martens!

Must be a Monday: Be Yourself Blue Heron Edition

Great Blue Heron Leaving Roost

Great Blue Heron Leaving its Roost, photo by Rodney Campbell

Hope you have a wonderful week, even if you look a little goofy at times. ;)

The Michigan Natural Features Inventory entry for Great Blue Heron Rookeries explains:

The great blue herons in Michigan are largely migratory, with almost all leaving the state during the winter months. Most leave by end of October and return in early to mid-March.

The great blue heron is mostly a colonial nester, occasionally they nest in single pairs. Colonies are typically found in lowland swamps, islands, upland hardwoods and forests adjacent to lakes, ponds and rivers. Nests are usually in trees and may be as high as 98 ft. (30 m) or more from the ground. The platform like nests are constructed out of medium-sized sticks and materials may be added throughout the nesting cycle. Nests are usually lined with finer twigs, leaves, grass, pine needles, moss, reeds, or dry gras. The same nests are refurbished and used year after year.

Most great blue herons return to southern Michigan heronries in mid-March although a few may remain through the winter if there are areas of open water. Courtship and nest building commences from early April in southern Michigan to early May in the extreme northern portions of the state. Both sexes are involved in the nest building process with males primarily gathering sticks from the ground, nearby trees, or ungarded nearby nests.

More about Great Blue Herons on Michigan in Pictures.

View Rodney’s photo background bigtacular and see more in his Birds slideshow.

 

Groundhog Warning!

Snowy Owl

Snowy Owl, photo by Kevin Povenz

Any Michigan groundhogs out there probably better just stay inside and check to see what Woody the Woodchuck from the Howell Nature Center predicts. Word is already in from Punxsutawney Phil that we’re in for an early Spring!

You can learn all about Michigan groundhogs/woodchucks and Woody, Michigan’s official groundhog and snowy owls on Michigan in Pictures. One thing about snowy owls that you may not know is that due to their remote existence, they typically don’t have the same fear of humans that other owls exhibit.

Kevin took this gorgeous photo on Saturday near Sault Ste Marie and writes:

Yes I was laying down on my belly in the snow to get this shot. Not the sharpest of shots as there were weeds between me and this snowy and was hard to focus. Should of used manual focus, but I loved the moment. He just kept looking at me probably thinking “what the…?”

View his photo bigger and see more in his Birds of Prey slideshow.

Put it all on red

RED cardinal in fence

RED, photo by Sandy Hansen Photography

What an awesome capture. View Sandy’s photo bigger and see more in her Traverse City Area slideshow.

Bonaparte’s Gull (Chroicocephalus philadelphia)

Bonapartes Gull

Bonaparte’s Gull, photo by James Salinas

All About Birds has this to say about Bonaparte’s Gull (Chroicocephalus philadelphia):

A small, graceful gull with bright white patches in its wings, the Bonaparte’s Gull winters near people, but breeds in the isolated taiga and boreal forest.

  • The Bonaparte’s Gull is the only gull that regularly nests in trees.
  • The English name of the Bonaparte’s Gull honors Charles Lucien Bonaparte, who made important contributions to American ornithology while an active member of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia during the 1820s. The scientific name philadelphia was given in 1815 by the describer of the species, George Ord of Philadelphia, presumably because he collected his specimen there.
  • During the breeding season, the Bonaparte’s Gull feeds mainly on insects, often catching them on the wing.
  • Breeds around lakes and marshes in boreal forest. Winters along lakes, rivers, marshes, bays, and beaches along coasts.
  • Eats small fish and large invertebrates, including insects. Does not eat garbage or carrion.

Read on for more and some photos and the gull’s distinctive call.

James took this photo in Port Huron. View it bigger and see more in his slideshow.

Lots more Michigan birds on Michigan in Pictures!

 

Sandhills in the Mist

Sandhills in the Mist

Sandhills in the mist, photo by Bill VanderMolen

Perhaps they’re waiting for the gorillas?

Here’s a shot from earlier in December, but Michigan is still just as misty and non-snowy as then.

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

More birds and more about sandhill cranes on Michigan in Pictures.

Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, photo by Rick Corriveau

I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.
~Henry David Thoreau

I hope you have much to be thankful for, today and every day, within and without. I am thankful for all of you who give me reason to keep doing something that I dearly love – sharing photos of this beautiful and diverse place. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!!

Also sorry folks – had this scheduled for first thing this morning I thought!!

Rick says he’ll take one drumstick please! View his photo bigger and see more in his Birds slideshow.