One of the earlier species to come back through are the palm warblers. The reason that they are one of the first back is because they do not winter as far south as most warblers. They typically winter in the southern U.S and Caribbean, while most species of warblers head down to Central and South America for the winter. Palms breed in northern Canada. They are found mostly in the eastern half of North America. I often hear palm warblers before I see them. Instead of flitting around in the trees like most warblers they are usually foraging through the leaf litter, like a fox sparrow, looking for insects and seeds.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Monday, April 21, 2014
Handlers use many of the techniques of falconry to work with the birds. Handlers are responsible for doing programs for the public and private groups. They also help the staff reinforce positive behaviors by feeding the birds while they have them on the glove. The photos above are just 3 of the birds that I have handled over the past 5 years. Handling is one of the most rewarding experiences at The Raptor Center. Another rewarding experience is the occasional opportunity to release an eagle. This winter we had a lot of snow which made it very difficult for the Flight Crew to take the eagles out for their final practice flights. So as the snow melted we had a good number of eagles that were ready to be released. Since I had not released one since February of 2008 I had the opportunity to release this very handsome male at the Carpenter Nature Center at the beginning of April. My friend Les, who is a great photographer and a member of the Wednesday afternoon ed crew photographed the release for me. The other photos where taken by my old crew leader and TRC staffer Kelly Scott.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Sax Zim Bog in northern Minnesota.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
There are several different varieties of mallards. There is the Mexican duck, which is found in Mexico and the southwestern United States, which is a subspecies of the mallard. The Hawaiian duck, found in the Hawaiian Islands is a separate species that is believed to have evolved from the mallard. Mallards will also hybridize with other species of ducks. Mallards with breed with other wild ducks or domesticated species, most of who's ancestries can be traced back to mallards. The duck in the front of this photo is a female hybrid between a mallard and most likely a domesticated duck.