Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Condo Birding Update - Apr 8 - 9

April 8 - North winds early... I had to go to work! Yet a healthy supply of Ring-billed Gulls (hundreds) kept me close to the window, searching for goodies. The tally:

Glaucous Gull - 2
Great Black-backed Gull - 4
Caspian Tern - 1
Horned Grebe - 1
Tree Swallow ~20

Cormorants stole the show though!

The last Corm in the flock has a band on its leg! Making it look like a white hip-patch! But it's still just a DCCO... The bird below is small! A small cormorant! I rarely see variation in size in DC Corms, yet this year I've already seen two little'uns - 

(Middle bird each time) - 

Easiest to compare it with the bird right (right) beside it... 

In photos where the middle bird is "hunched" - it looks very small.. 

Nearly the same posture/distance/angle here - slimmer and shorter wings

These are all the photos of the bird in existence! 

I'm not saying its a NECO - but hey, maybe it is... Doesn't look that different in size to the NECO photo in the Pelee annual report - 

Or some of the NECO photos from NY last summer (some it looks tiny though)

Or heck, even the first set of photos I took of my condo-NECO last August -  (bottom two) - 

To be really honest - I just don't care... I've found two in Ontario, including the one from my balcony last year. If I really wanted to figure these things out - I'd spend some early mornings (or late afternoons) scanning the cormorants around Hamilton Harbour (just the CCIW and tollgate ponds)... 

I also have little doubt that this bird here is a NECO - - which would mean that a March arrival on the great lakes is not out of the question. 

Sibley states that NECO is 8 inches shorter with a 12 inch shorter wingspan... That means each wing would only look (roughly) 5 inches longer... A weight difference of 1700g vs 1200g doesn't seem that great either (in the grand scheme). 

I think its likely just a Double-crested Cormorant (for the record) - but it doesn't mean I'm not interested in these types of things! Onto the next day!

April 9th- boom!!! Got home around 7pm after a trip to the ROM and some rollerblading... Stuck my head out the window, and heard a pair of crows causing a ruckus... Over what you ask? A new condo bird!!!!!

Great Horned Owl!!!

I was pretty excited.... It sat there for quite a while, getting harassed. It's probably the most annoyed I've ever seen a GHOW (while being harassed by crows)... I took a few brief videos! Here's one - 


Pretty cool stuff! 

I think this post is long enough... Hoping for a good showing of creatures tomorrow (Apr 10) on strong SW winds... Watch this space!

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