Birds of Windsor-essex and chatham-kent
By Erica Spotton
Part 1 to this week is about Birds that can be seen in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent at this time of year, each bird has a fun fact with it.
These raptors aren’t actually bald, but their white heads contrast to their dark-brown body and wings. Look for them flying in the sky, chasing other birds for their food, or gathering in large groups in winter. They once were endangered by hunting and pesticides, Bald Eagles have made a large comeback with being under protection.
They are very large birds and they can be see along riverside from 8am-11am and 4:30pm-6pm, their favorite in the trees at where Abars used to be at Riverside and Lauzon Road.
Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owls have large eyes, pupils that open widely in the dark, and retinas containing many rod cells for excellent night vision. Their eyes don’t move in their sockets, but they can swivel their heads up to 240 degrees to look in any direction. They also have sensitive hearing, thanks in part to facial disc feathers that direct sound waves to their ears. There is a Breeding pair in O'Neals nature reserve formerly known as Paxton's bush this year they returned with the two Owlets they had last year.
Eastern Screech Owl
Screech-owls regurgitate the bones, fur, and feathers of their prey in pellets, usually once or twice a day. The ground beneath habitual owl roosts can be littered with pellets, and you can learn a lot from them about the owl’s diet. However, data from pellets may underestimate the number of soft-bodied animals, like worms and insects, the owl has eaten. I actually had 4 babies last year that would visits my yard all the time and thats where the picture was taken.
Snowy owls are territorial on their breeding areas, and sometimes their wintering areas as well. Some Snowy Owls defend their winter territories fiercely, even engaging in combat with other Snowy Owls (a behavior not recorded on their breeding territory). Some banded Snowy Owls return to the same wintering site year after year. They can be seen along Jacob Road and surrounds roads in Chatham-Kent, they can be seen in fields, on posts, hydro poles, and pipes.
You may sometimes see them wedge peanuts and sunflower seeds into bark crevices, then break them into smaller pieces using their beaks. They also use cracks in tree bark to store food for colder months of the year, a habit it shares with other woodpeckers. I've seen them in Ojibway and Point-Peele, it seem they favorite to eat is peanuts they love peanuts with the shell still on.
Woodpeckers don’t sing songs, but they drum loudly against pieces of wood or metal to achieve the same effect. People sometimes think this drumming is part of the birds’ feeding habits, but it isn’t. In fact, feeding birds make surprisingly little noise even when they’re digging vigorously into wood. They can often be mistaken for Hairy Woodpeckers, they're very common they often love to eat suet from people bird feeding areas.
Tufted Titmice often line the inside of their nest with hair, sometimes plucked directly from living animals. The list of hair types identified from old nests includes raccoons, opossums, mice, woodchucks, squirrels, rabbits, livestock, pets, and even humans. they very cheeky and they love to hang out with the Chickadees, and the Dark eyed Juncos.
In winter, White-breasted Nuthatches join foraging flocks led by chickadees or titmice, perhaps partly because it makes food easier to find and partly because more birds can keep an eye out for predators. One study found that when titmice were removed from a flock, nuthatches were more wary and less willing to visit exposed bird feeders. They're very cute and they are one of the only birds that can go up and down trees, they love to nest in holes in tress.
Chickadees are one of the easiest birds to attract to feeders, for suet, sunflower, and peanuts. They don’t mind using tiny hanging feeders that swing in the wind, and also readily visit window feeders. They are very small birds and they often will eat out of your hand, their favorite snack is Black Oil Sunflower seeds.
Dark eyed Junco
The Dark-eyed Junco is one of the most common birds in North America and can be found across the continent. A recent estimate set the junco’s total population at approximately 630 million individuals. Dark-Eyed Juncos are everywhere you don't realize their there till you known what they are, they also are as common as a sparrow is.
American Goldfinches are the only finch that molts its body feathers twice a year, once in late winter and again in late summer. The brightening yellow of male goldfinches each spring is one welcome mark of approaching warm months. They love bright color skinny bird feeder filled with Nyger seed, they also with eat sun flower seeds out of peoples sunflowers in the summer, they are bright yellow in summer and in winter a more brownish color, in winter its hard to spot them.
The red of a male House Finch comes from pigments contained in its food during molting.. So the more pigment in the food, the redder the male. This is why people sometimes see orange or yellowish male House Finches. Females prefer to mate with the reddest male they can find, perhaps raising the chances they get a capable mate who can do his part in feeding the nestlings. I only started noticing House finches his year they are really hard to spot as they look so much like a sparrow the only difference is a small hue of dark red around their face, i have yet to get a good photo of one.
Thousands of Blue Jays migrate in flocks along the Great Lakes, but much about their migration remains a mystery. Some are present throughout winter in all parts of their range. Young jays may be more likely to migrate than adults, but many adults also migrate. Some individual jays migrate south one year, stay north the next winter, and then migrate south again the next year. No one has worked out why they migrate when they do. Blue Jays can be nuisance during migration I had more than 200 hundred go through my yard in one day they would sit at the tops of the trees and swoop down into my small tree to get to the feeder and every 15 minutes or so, and one would ht my window causing they to all fly back to the top of the tree, and they did this process for over 6 hours.
Because they eat so much fruit, Cedar Waxwings occasionally become intoxicated or even die when they run across overripe berries that have started to ferment and produce alcohol. They can be seen in Cedar trees eating the juniper berries which look almost like blue berries. I've seen them at Point-Pelee and Jack Minor Bird Sanctuary.
Many people are confused each spring by the sight of a cardinal attacking its reflection in a window, car mirror, or shiny bumper. Both males and females do this, and most often in spring and early summer when they are obsessed with defending their territory against any intruders. Birds may spend hours fighting these intruders without giving up. A few weeks later, as levels of aggressive hormones subside, these attacks start to end. Cardinals are interesting birds they vary color by female to male, the females are brown and red tips on their wings and tails, and they males are all red, they often feed at bird feeders just before dark.
Red headed Duck
Courting male Redheads perform a gymnastic “head throw” display, bending nearly in half with the neck bent far over the back until the head touches the tail. The bird then snaps its neck forward while giving a loud, catlike call. They can be seen along riverside in the small inlet's along the river, they mainly in large groups on the water.
Herring Gulls are one of the most familiar gulls of the East Coast and many people just call them “seagulls.” In fact, some two dozen different species of gulls live in North America, and they present almost endless opportunities for identification. They can be seen at Windsor Yacht Club, and Belle River Pier fishing in large groups you can often hear them before you see them.
Great Cormorants often hold the wings open when they are out of the water. They typically face into the wind and turn their backs to the sun. This behavior probably serves to warm them and help dry the plumage. It may also aid in the digestion of prey.
they can be seen at the Harbour/Fisheries in Leamington, you can see they dive underwater and come up every few minutes or sitting on the dock, or sunbathing.
Bufflehead fossils from the late Pleistocene (about 500,000 years ago) have been found in Alaska, California, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Texas, and Washington. One California fossil that resembles a modern Bufflehead dates to the late Pliocene, two million years ago. Buffleheads are often in flocks and they will fly off if they hear you. they can be seen at the old ABars sight where the eagles sit in the trees.
Information gathered from
Photos taken by Erica Spotton