Saturday, April 4, 2009

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker 
 


Fun Woopecker facts:
  • Woodpeckers have a third eyelid to help protect their eyes from debris.
  • A woodpecker's head can strike at speeds up to 15 mpg at over 100 strokes per minute.
  • The bones between the beak and the skull are joined by a flexible cartilage.
  • The skull is made of spongy, air-filled bone. The brain is packed tightly into the brain cavity, with little room to rattle around.
  • The force from each strike is directed towards neck muscles that act as shock absorbers.

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American Redstart in Jamaica

 

 

 

 


We aren't quite done with Jamaican photos yet. We never got a perfect picture of the American Redstart. He was always darting around and never posed. We called him the falling leaf bird because of an unusual behavior of his. He would "fly" in a spiral pattern that looked just like a falling leaf from the top of a tree to the bottom.

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Hopping Dick with a feather out of place

 

The White chinned thrush is endemic to Jamaica and known locally as the Hopping Dick.

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

A familar friend returns: A Black-crowned Night Heron

 Black-crowned Night Heron,  


I know it's not our best black-crowned night heron photo, but we are happy to see an old friend return. Yesterday morning, he returned to the same tree and branch where he spent last spring and summer. He has his breeding plumage: two white feathers that look like a pony tail. We hope his mate joins him soon.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Northern Cardinal at the Feeder

Northern Cardinal  

Northern Cardinal  

We are back in Jersey. After a gray week, it was sunny this AM. This male cardinal likes safflower for breakfast. We switch to safflower at this time of year because the cardinals and titmice like it, but grackles and starlings don't (so they say).

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Anonymous SapphireTears said...

I love your bird pics and info. I was wondering though, there is a bird I would see on the Cook campus of Rutgers New Brunswick. It looked similar to a mocking bird with its soft brownish/taupe body but was longer with a white tips on it's tail and wings. Prominent tipping on the tail and wing tips made me notice it one day as it began the most interesting mating dance I'd ever seen. It was so sweet I have never forgotten it. Please let me know if you have an idea of what kind of birds they were?
Thanks!
jewelri@gmail.com

April 22, 2009 at 12:57 AM  

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Jamaican Shore Birds at Goldeneye

 

great blue heron
Great Blue Heron

White-tailed tropicbird
White-tailed Tropicbird

Yellow-crowned Night Heron
Yellow-crowned Night Heron


After 6 days at Geejam, we went to Goldeneye which had fewer trees but more beaches.
There was a reef about 200 feet off shore. A great blue heron would fish there every evening. There was a yellow-crowned night heron perched above our villa the first evening. In the morning white-tailed tropicbirds would soar in the breezes.

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Perching birds at Goldeneye

Northern Mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird

Olive-throated Parakeet
Olive-throated Parakeet

Jamaican Woodpecker
Jamaican Woodpecker

Jamaican Mango Hummingbird
Jamaican Mango Hummingbird

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Olive-throated Parakeet on a ackee tree

Olive-throated Parakeet 


A group of Parakeets would come by every morning. They always stopped at the Ackee tree but never stayed long. One morning, Mike got his coffee early and was waiting for them.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

right now i miss this so much! too damn cold already in california- early morning backa yard is my favourite time! drink my coffee and eat my pawpaw and toast under the tree! thanks so much for the great pic!!! kristyn

November 18, 2011 at 11:50 AM  

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Jamaica: Not Just 4 Birds

Goats 

One day when walking down the road, we encountered a herd of goats that had escaped. As former goat owners (really), we know that if you restrain the leader of the herd, the others stay nearby. However, it looks like it broke free, taking the rest on an excursion.

Dog 

One morning, a cute dog walked by in the greenery below our cottage. We gave it some left over jerk chicken from the previous day's outing.

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Kingbird

 

 

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Sad Flycatcher with an ant

Sad Flycatcher  


The Sad Flycatcher is endemic to Jamaica. It's a little smaller and has more yellow than the kingbirds. Here it's eating an ant.

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Lizards in Love

 

 


We saw this "cutting lizard", also known as a Venus lizard in a tree. He was making some displays to impress females. Chris was a little impressed, but later he found someone more his type. Reptiles aren't our favorite creatures, but we have to admit it was adorable how long they were cuddling.

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