Thursday, May 26

Perched Proudly, The Baltimore Oriole

Perched Proudly, The Baltimore Oriole
Horicon Marsh, Wildlife Refuge, Wisconsin

The Baltimore oriole (Icterus galbula) is a small icterid blackbird common in eastern North America as a migratory breeding bird. It received its name from the resemblance of the male's colors to those on the coat-of-arms of Lord Baltimore. Like all New World orioles, it is named after an unrelated, physically similar family found in the Old World: the Oriolidae. Observations of interbreeding between the Baltimore oriole and the western Bullock's oriole, Icterus bullockii, led to both being classified as a single species, called the northern oriole, from 1973-1995. Research by James Rising, a professor of zoology at the University of Toronto, and others showed that the two birds actually did not interbreed significantly.
-wiki

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Sunday, May 22

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane
Horicon Marsh Wildlife Refuge, Wisconsin

The sandhill crane (Grus canadensis) is a species of large crane of North America and extreme northeastern Siberia. The common name of this bird refers to habitat like that at the Platte River, on the edge of Nebraska's Sandhills on the American Plains. This is the most important stopover area for the nominotypical subspecies, the lesser sandhill crane (Grus canadensis canadensis), with up to 450,000 of these birds migrating through annually.
Adults are gray overall; during breeding, their plumage is usually much worn and stained, particularly in the migratory populations, and looks nearly ochre. The average weight of the larger males is 4.57 kg (10.1 lb), while the average weight of females is 4.02 kg (8.9 lb), with a range of 2.7 to 6.7 kg (6.0 to 14.8 lb) across the subspecies.
These cranes frequently give a loud, trumpeting call that suggests a rolled "r" in the throat, and they can be heard from a long distance. Mated pairs of cranes engage in "unison calling". The cranes stand close together, calling in a synchronized and complex duet. The female makes two calls for every one from the male.
Sandhill cranes' large wingspans, typically 1.65 to 2.29 m (5 ft 5 in to 7 ft 6 in), make them very skilled soaring birds, similar in style to hawks and eagles. Using thermals to obtain lift, they can stay aloft for many hours, requiring only occasional flapping of their wings and consequently expending little energy. Migratory flocks contain hundreds of birds, and can create clear outlines of the normally invisible rising columns of air (thermals) they ride.
-wiki

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(C) Copyright Ricky L.Jones Photography 1995-2016 All rights reserved.

Friday, May 20

Common Yellowthroat Warbler

Common Yellowthroat Warbler
Horicon Marsh Wildlife Refuge, Wisconsin

The common yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas) is a New World warbler. They are abundant breeders in North America, ranging from southern Canada to central Mexico.
Common yellowthroats are small songbirds that have olive backs, wings and tails, yellow throats and chests, and white bellies. Adult males have black face masks which stretch from the sides of the neck across the eyes and forehead, which are bordered above with white or gray. Females are similar in appearance, but have paler underparts and lack the black mask. Immature birds are similar in appearance to the adult female. First-year males have a faint black mask which darkens completely by spring.
-wiki

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(C) Copyright Ricky L.Jones Photography 1995-2016 All rights reserved.

Thursday, May 19

Black-Necked Stilt

Horicon Marsh Wildlife Refuge, Mayville Wisconsin

The black-necked stilt (Himantopus mexicanus) is a locally abundant shorebird of American wetlands and coastlines. It is found from the coastal areas of California through much of the interior western United States and along the Gulf of Mexico as far east as Florida, then south through Central America and the Caribbean to northwest Brazil southwest Peru, east Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands. The northernmost populations, particularly those from inland, are migratory, wintering from the extreme south of the United States to southern Mexico, rarely as far south as Costa Rica; on the Baja California peninsula it is only found regularly in winter.

 Adults have long pink legs and a long thin black bill. They are white below and have black wings and backs. The tail is white with some grey banding. A continuous area of black extends from the back along the hindneck to the head. There, it forms a cap covering the entire head from the top to just below eye-level, with the exception of the areas surrounding the bill and a small white spot above the eye. Males have a greenish gloss to the back and wings, particularly in the breeding season. This is less pronounced or absent in females, which have a brown tinge to these areas instead. Otherwise, the sexes look alike.
-wiki

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(C) Copyright Ricky L.Jones Photography 1995-2016 All rights reserved.

Tuesday, May 17

American Redstart

American Redstart
Milwaukee Wisconsin

The American redstart (Setophaga ruticilla) is a New World warbler. It is unrelated to the Old World redstarts. It derives its name from the male's red tail, start being an old word for tail.
he American redstart is a smallish warbler. It measures 11 to 14 cm (4.3 to 5.5 in) in total length and has a wingspan of 16 to 23 cm (6.3 to 9.1 in). Its length is boosted by a relatively long tail and it is one of the lightest birds in its family.[2] Weight is considerably less in winter than in summer. Males weigh an average of 8.6 g (0.30 oz) in summer but drop to 7.2 g (0.25 oz) in winter, while females drop even more from an average of 8.7 g (0.31 oz) to an average of 6.9 g (0.24 oz).[3][4] Among standard measurements, the wing chord is 5.5 to 6.9 cm (2.2 to 2.7 in), the tail is 4.9 to 5.8 cm (1.9 to 2.3 in), the bill is 0.7 to 0.9 cm (0.28 to 0.35 in) and the tarsus is 1.5 to 1.9 cm (0.59 to 0.75 in).
-wiki

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(C) Copyright Ricky L.Jones Photography 1995-2016 All rights reserved.

Monday, May 16

Orchard Oriole in the Backyard!

Orchard Oriole in the Backyard
Caledonia Wisconsin

The orchard oriole (Icterus spurius) is the smallest North American species of icterid blackbird. The subspecies of the Caribbean coast of Mexico, I. s. fuertesi, is sometimes considered a separate species, the ochre oriole.
This species is 6.3 in (16 cm) long and weighs 20 g (0.71 oz). The bill is pointed and black with some blue-gray at the base of the lower mandible (Howell and Webb 1995). The adult male of the nominate subspecies has chestnut on the underparts, shoulder, and rump, with the rest of the plumage black. In the subspecies I. s. fuertesi, the chestnut is replaced with ochre (Howell and Webb 1995). The adult female and the juvenile of both subspecies have olive-green on the upper parts and yellowish on the breast and belly.
-wiki

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(C) Copyright Ricky L.Jones Photography 1995-2016 All rights reserved.

Chestnut-Sided Warbler

Chestnut-Sided Warbler
Milwaukee Wisconsin

The chestnut-sided warbler (Setophaga pensylvanica) is a New World warbler. They breed in eastern North America and in southern Canada westwards to the Canadian Prairies. They also breed in the Great Lakes region and in the eastern United States.
These birds are migratory, wintering in Central America south to northern Colombia, with an unconfirmed sighting from as far south as Ecuador; they are also very rare vagrants to western Europe. They arrive in their breeding range in May and depart by mid-September.
-wiki

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(C) Copyright Ricky L.Jones Photography 1995-2016 All rights reserved.

Harris's Sparrow

Harris's Sparrow
Grant Park, Milwaukee Wisconsin


The Harris's sparrow (Zonotrichia querula) is a large sparrow. Their breeding habitat is the north part of central Canada (primarily the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, ranging slightly into northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan). In fact, this bird is Canada's only endemic breeder. In the winter they migrate to the Great Plains states of the United States, from lower South Dakota to upper Texas. The common name of this species commemorates the American amateur ornithologist Edward Harris (1799–1863).
This species is the largest of the "sparrows" in the family Emberizidae, though other superficially dissimilar species in the family may slightly exceed them in size. They range in total length from 17 to 20 cm (6.7 to 7.9 in), with a 27 cm (11 in) wingspan and weigh from 26 to 49 g (0.92 to 1.73 oz).
-wiki

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(C) Copyright Ricky L.Jones Photography 1995-2016 All rights

Sunday, May 15

Black-throated Blue Warbler

Whitnall Park, Milwaukee Wisconsin

The black-throated blue warbler (Setophaga caerulescens) is a small passerine bird of the New World warbler family. Its breeding ranges are located in the interior of deciduous and mixed coniferous forests in eastern North America. Over the cooler months, it migrates to islands in the Caribbean and Central America. It is a very rarely found in western Europe, where it is considered to be a non-indigenous species. The black-throated blue warbler is sexually dimorphic; the adult male has a black face and cheeks, deep blue upperparts and white underparts, while the adult female is olive-brown above and light yellow below.
Predominantly insectivorous, the black-throated blue warbler supplements its diet with berries and seeds in winter. It builds its nests in thick shrubs and the closeness of its nesting sites to the ground make it a favored species for the study of warbler behavior in the wild. The black-throated blue warbler defends its territory against other birds of the same species for both nesting and winter habitats. As the black-throated blue warbler requires large, unbroken forest areas for nesting, its numbers are declining.
-wiki

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(C) Copyright Ricky L.Jones Photography 1995-2016 All rights

Saturday, May 14

First time spotted a Rose-Breasted Grosbeak in our Backyard in the 9 years we've lived here!

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
Caledonia Wisconsin

The rose-breasted grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) is a large seed-eating songbird in the cardinal family (Cardinalidae). It is primarily a foliage gleaner. It breeds in cool-temperate North America, migrating to tropical America in winter.
Adult birds are 18–22 cm (7.1–8.7 in) long, span 29–33 cm (11–13 in) across the wings and weigh 35–65 g (1.2–2.3 oz).[3][4] Grosbeaks measured during migration in the West Indies averaged 43 g (1.5 oz) while those banded in Pennsylvania average about 45 g (1.6 oz)
-wiki

(C) Copyright Ricky L.Jones Photography 1995-2016 All rights