Saturday, April 16, 2011

Northern Cardinal Courtship

Northern Cardinals
Northern Cardinals


We've had a few cardinals around all winter. This week, this cute couple have been paying more attention to each other. In the top photo she is looking at him adoringly. The bottom photo shows 'mate feeding' or 'courtship feeding.'

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Trogons from Trinidad and Tobago

Amazonian White-tailed Trogon
Amazonian White-tailed Trogon
Collared Trogon
Collared Trogon

Violaceous Trogon
Violaceous Trogon



We've been wanting to see a trogon ever since we missed them when we were in Arizona. In Trinidad and Tobago, we were lucky enough to see three varieties.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

American Goldfinch: State Bird of New Jersey

American Goldfinch
American Goldfinch
I guess we should put a New Jersey Bird up on this blog too. We still have 25 or more birds from our Trinidad and Tobago trip to post, but spring is here and the New Jersey State bird is starting to be more colorful.

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Lineated Woodpeckers from Trinidad

Lineated Woodpecker (juvenile)
Lineated Woodpecker in bamboo

The adult Lineated Woodpecker in the bamboo we tracked ourselves. Mike heard the familiar drumming of a woodpecker while we were on the veranda at Asa Wright. We set off in search of the source and eventually found it in a bamboo cluster along the driveway. You'd think it would be easy to find with that bright red head, but it actually took us a while.

The darling juvenile sticking its head out of the nest was shown to us by our driver on our departure from Asa Wright. He pulled over to show us where he knew there was a nest, and luckily the little one was being curious enough to stick its head out just at the right time.

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Violaceous Euphonia from Trinidad

Violaceous Euphonia
Violaceous Euphonia
 
We saw roughly 75 types of birds while in Trinidad and Tobago.  As you can imagine, it wasn't that easy at first to get the names of these birds rolling off our tongues.  We had been told what this was by other birders, but it didn't quite stick.  Chris at least once mistakenly referred to it as the violaceous euphoria.  A clever birder in the bunch told her that's just how she feels when she sees it; euphoric!  Eventually the name stayed with us and we also found out that violaceous means violet.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do enjoy the bird photos you post. I hope you enjoyed your birding experience in my country(Trinidad and Tobago)

April 15, 2011 at 10:06 PM  

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Tobago: Brown-crested Flycatcher feasting on a moth

Brown-crested Flycatcher feasting on a moth

We love watching birds eat things that look too big for them; never ceases to amaze.  This feast went on for a good 20 minutes while the flycatcher relentlessly flung this large moth around.  Eventually each wing fell off and the flycatcher got it into a proper angle to swallow it whole.  While we're sorry for the moth, we thoroughly enjoyed the show.

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More Trinidad birds: Channel-billed Toucan, Oilbird, and Masked Cardinal


Channel-billed Toucan
Channel-billed Toucan

Oilbird and chick
Oilbird and chick

Masked Cardinal
Masked Cardinal


Here are some more birds from Trinidad. They aren't our best photos, but they are interesting birds. Chris even had to go into a cave to see the oilbird.

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Manakins from Trinidad and Tobago

White-bearded Manakin
White-bearded Manakin

Blue-backed Manikan
Blue-backed Manikan

Golden-headed Manakin
Golden-headed Manakin


At Asa Wright Nature Center, the White-bearded and Golden-headed Manakins were easy to find. They have leks on either side of one trail where the males perform adorably trying to attract the females. The Blue-backed Manakin was a different story entirely. We spent at least an hour hiking trails with a guide on Tobago, and Chris told him she wasn't leaving the island until she'd seen the Blue-backed Manakin. Thank goodness he took her seriously; the bird was better in person than in the guidebooks. It looks like it's wearing a little blue cape and a red beret that sits slightly askew. Even after we had a brief look at one on the first hike, we went to another trail where we got to know the bird a little better. We like to watch for a while, rather than just see it, check it off a list and move on.

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Female Cowbird

Female Cowbird
Female Cowbird
More spring birds are reaching our backyard.

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