Here’s a sweet shot from May 1st last year of a Great Blue Heron patiently fishing.
More spring wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.
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.
Brian took this back in April of 2009 and shared some thoughts that I think all photographers (and people) would do well to consider:
This weekend I resolved to wake up for the dawn. With the days growing longer and the sun rising earlier, it will only get more difficult the longer I put it off. I was hoping for some brilliant cloud pattern to reflect amazing colors but like what happens so often, it was just (what I like to call) bland. This kind of killed my energy and I felt like I would rather have slept-in. Instead of turning for home, I expanded my perception of my surroundings, opened my eyes, and came up with some great stuff (I think so anyway).
More Spring Wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.
Suddenly there’s no more snowing,
Balmy breezes blithely blowing,
Lilacs bloom, the lawn needs mowing–
Oh, what glee!
-Robert G. Shubinski (full poem)
Spring isn’t quite this far advanced, but if you want to add to the amount of spring in your life,take a walk through the spring wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures – lots of great pics in here!
May you have all the happiness
And luck that life can hold
And at the end of your rainbows
May you find a pot of gold.
~ Old Irish Blessing
A very happy St. Patrick’s Day and health & good fortune to you all!
Lots more St. Patrick’s Day on Michigan in Pictures!
Bill took this shot yesterday at Celery Flats Park in Portage where it got down into the teens the night before.
More spring wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.
The All About Birds entry for the Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) says in part:
The Pileated Woodpecker is one of the biggest, most striking forest birds on the continent. It’s nearly the size of a crow, black with bold white stripes down the neck and a flaming-red crest. Look (and listen) for Pileated Woodpeckers whacking at dead trees and fallen logs in search of their main prey, carpenter ants, leaving unique rectangular holes in the wood. The nest holes these birds make offer crucial shelter to many species including swifts, owls, ducks, bats, and pine martens.
…The male begins excavating then nest cavity and does most of the work, but the female contributes, particularly as the hole nears completion. The entrance hole is oblong rather than the circular shape of most woodpecker holes. For the finishing touches, the bird climbs all the way into the hole and chips away at it from the inside. Periodically the adult picks up several chips at a time in its bill and tosses them from the cavity entrance. Pileated Woodpeckers don’t line their nests with any material except for leftover wood chips. The nest construction usually takes 3-6 weeks, and nests are rarely reused in later years. Cavity depth can range from 10-24 inches.
Nest trees are typically dead and within a mature or old stand of coniferous or deciduous trees, but may also be in dead trees in younger forests or even in cities. Dead trees are a valuable resource as nest sites or shelter for birds and other animals, and Pileated Woodpeckers battle for ownership with Wood Ducks, European Starlings, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Red-headed Woodpeckers, Eastern Bluebirds, and Great Crested Flycatchers. Occasionally bats and swifts share roost cavities with Pileated Woodpeckers.
Click through for lots more including calls, Pileated facts, and video.
Lots more Michigan birds on Michigan in Pictures.
Up here in the Traverse City area we don’t have cherry blossoms yet, but I’ve been seeing reports that cherries and other fruit crops are in bloom in southwest Michigan. Expect the TC area to bloom in a week or two and please share what you’re seeing in the comments!