Category Archives: Avian
Killdeer is a medium sized plover that hangs around lawns, golf courses, athletic fields, open wetlands and parking lots. And, in this case, a field along County Road 13. They run in spurts, stopping with a jolt every so often to check their progress, or to see if they’ve startled up any insect prey. They have a distinct far-carrying call that sounds like “kill-dee” or “kill-deeah-dee-dee.” I’ve hear that sound after dark and they will often give it in flight as the bird circles overhead. I like watching them and listening to them. Much preferred sound than a honking and busy street.
Well it’s still cold this morning and light snow is falling. They keep predicting it will warm up tomorrow. We’ll see. If it gets up to above freezing I’m pretty sure I will see a few people back in shorts. Anyway, here are a couple of facts you may not know about Canada Geese.
In spring and summer, geese concentrate their feeding on grasses and sedges, including skunk cabbage leaves and eelgrass. During fall and winter, they rely more on berries and seeds, including agricultural grains, and seem especially fond of blueberries. They’re very efficient at removing kernels from dry corn cobs. Two subspecies have adapted to urban environments and graze on domesticated grasses year round.
Their feet also keep them warm in the winter. The feet keep the entire goose’s body warm while in the water or tucked up into its feathers. To stay warm, geese will tuck their feet under the down while lying on a frozen pond or snow. That doesn’t work for me. My feet are the first thing to get cold. Stay warm!
“Ideas are the most fragile things in the world. If you don’t write them down, they will be lost forever.”
It’s snowing again and predicted to lightly snow all day. We have maybe 2 inches with another inch or two as our total. Always amazed me the geese can do this and who’s idea was it? Stay warm, just as the geese do!
… sort of.
I took this image on my walk at the Riverbend Ponds this morning. And what a glorious morning it was. However I think this goose did not have the same impression of the morning as I did. There was a lot of squawking going on and all one sided. I had to laugh as I thought through the following conversation in my head.
Male and female Redhead (Aythya americana), in case you didn’t know. As I was finishing a walk I noticed these two on my pond. Ran in and got a longer lens then sat outside and watched them for a while. We doe not see them that often so I needed to look up a bit of information on them. They are primarily a diving and dabbling duck and unfortunately are on a decline due to hunting and loss of habitat. Their favorite habitats are hanging around marshes and prairie potholes of western North America. The male is the one I spotted first due to the striking colors and bold lines. Interesting fact is that following the breeding season, males go through a molt which leaves them flightless for almost a month. Before this happens, they leave their mates and move to large bodies of water, usually flying further north. The following year they find new mates. Man, what a hassle that would be. And, I’m not talking about the molting as the hassle. :-)
I drove to Loveland to meet my sister for Sunday morning coffee and one of her special hugs. Sure needed the hug as my dashboard said it was 8 degrees. As I drove by Lake Loveland I was pleasantly surprised to see fog sitting above the lake. With the geese huddled up along the edge of the open water and the sun just coming up, I had to stop, take it all in and pull out my camera. This was not going to be a drive-by morning! Even though it was only 8 degrees I’m glad I stopped. And, when I got to the coffee shop my sisters hug was even more precious to me. Just after I got back in the car and started to drive away the geese lifted off. That would have been an awesome image. Next time.