Wednesday, July 8, 2015


Very hard to see but there is a mother osprey in the nesting box with 2 babies

Many birds of prey are making a come back from the times they were poisoned with so much pesticides. Ospreys are known as fish hawks because they dive head first into the water to get their prey. This is hard on their eyes and they go blind. End of life. The park we rode through today has a program to increase the osprey population. The babies in the above nest are about to leave it so they were going to be tagged today and birders were lined up on the shore to see it done. A lady let us look through her scope to see the mom feeding a fish to the babies. I asked if she would mind if I took a photo through the scope with my iPhone. Yes she would mind. At first I thought she was joking but she wasn't. She said she enters her photographs in competitions and made the lens mount herself. That there was the possibility I was her competition.
But I just have an iPhone...
I could have gone down the path where the other birders were and I am sure someone would have let me take a picture. In Pacific Grove, someone let me take a photo of the Monarchs on the trees. I was a bit taken back. I can take pretty photos on an iPhone but I really need a better lens for a great photo. The bird close-ups I post are done with a 300 mm lens (She must have had a 1500 mm lens). At the same time, I get a text from one of the other moms excited that she has a pair of scarlet tanagers in her yard complete with an iPhone photo. She takes excellent photos with her good equipment but does not keep it charged up, Haven't seen  any scarlet tanagers in my life but they are striking.
Well I am looking at ospreys....

There are 6 ospreys in Michigan fitted with GPS transmitters. Kensington Daniel, I think the father we saw feeding his chicks, was just a chick himself last summer. There is a webpage where you can track his activity. He spent his winter on the Panama/Costa Rica border. Another of his cohorts chose Colombia. Due to heavy pesticide use in South America, they are at their biggest risk. Click on this to see where Michigan ospreys go to have fun.
Below are my favorite bird pictures though I didn't take either. I did direct Steve though. (Get the big lens!! Now!!!) My brother took the one of the falcons having sex and Steve took the close-up of the female last February in Marin County CA.

I was amazed at how close we were to these falcons, about 20 feet away.
Later at my class, the nice couple that gave me all these hibiscuses (too many!!!) said that once a year, they find birders in their yard with binoculars and scopes aimed at these little birds from the arctic called snow buntings. They are known to come down to the fields around their house. New to me. Never heard of snow buntings.
His Eye is Not!!!on the Sparrow: As said before, we have lots of large windows and lots of birds. There are sad thunks often. Aside from painting stripes on my windows, there isn't much I can do about it. A chipping sparrow killed itself the other night: the first death. Today a house sparrow knocked itself out in front of my friend who then told me about putting up some stripes. It recovered.
Why is the female cardinal feeding that large sparrow? Because it is an ugly baby cardinal. They do get pretty when they grow up.
So today was our last big ride before we head up north: 29.3 miles. This time we went on trails and backroads so we didn't deal with the gravel haulers and garbage trucks of last week. We did the Trail Town Tour that I did with Josh last year in reverse. Although we didn't have the fall colors, it was pretty replete with lakes, butterfly weed, and thick forests. Cool and the best, very little wind. We stopped in Milford to look at its interesting shops and bought some tasty bake goods that we later enjoyed at Kensington Park. We are ready I think.
A quick shower and then on to my cooking for survivors class. New people with new, sad stories. A potato salad, sweet potato and black bean  burgers , and a fruit salad  were made. New fruit for me: hammi melons (snow). Since they looked like the dreaded cantaloupe, I was reluctant but they were crunchy and not as sweet. I was given the hibiscuses as promised though they don't know what colors they would be. they are much bigger than I thought. Will have to look up how to trim them. I planted the smaller ones as I was too tired to dig the big holes for the big ones.

1 comment:

Elephant's Child said...

How sad to be that competitive. Her life, but not one I could live happily.
I am glad that you feel ready for your big ride. And super impressed.


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