Monday, March 8, 2021

Clinton County American White Pelicans

 We made the short trip to Cowan Lake in Clinton County hoping to see the American White Pelicans stopping over there.
Here they are!!

Friday, February 19, 2021

More Eagles!

 This afternoon we took our usual drive through Old Reid and Buck Creek State Park. Lovely snow scenes, but we saw a few assorted birds and a few deer. 
After leaving the park, we headed over to Hodge Rd, hoping to see the Eagles nested there. Though we looked around at the nearby trees and at both nests, we did not see any Eagles.
We were both getting hungry, so decided to head towards Urbana to get some pizza and cut down a couple of backroads. We saw a large flock of crows and slowed down to see what they were agitated about. Across the road from them was a deer carcass....with two adult Eagles feasting on it!
We approached slowly, expecting them to launch, but they stayed at the carcass....apparently their meal took precedence. This was our first look....

We slowly moved forward and the Eagles continue to feast. 

We were able to watch and photograph them for about 10 minutes.....amazing!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Clark County Eagles


Looks like we have 2 active Eagle nests on Hodge Rd.

Some history....

In 1979, there were only 4 Eagle nests in Ohio. Thanks to the actions of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and conservation groups, eagles have resurged and are now nesting in almost all Ohio counties. By April of last year, there were more than 700 nests statewide....with 5 in Clark County. In the Lake Erie counties, eagles are very common and many of my friends up there consider them a "yard bird."
I still get a thrill every time I see one...if you haven't, I hope you'll have that opportunity soon!
For more information:

Monday, February 15, 2021

Turkeys in the Snow

 I watched these turkeys on the Clark-Champaign County border for the better part of an hour. The big Tom courted the hen, but the Jakes (young males) put on a show of their own.

The color of a turkey's head and throat will change depending on his mood. When a male turkey is excited, his head will turn blue. When he is feeling stressed, his head will turn bright red. The color shifts and changes many times throughout the day as he feels various levels of stress and relaxation. This Tom feels pretty.....ummm, excited.

It's fairly common to see turkeys these days along woods edges and sometimes in open fields, but that wasn't the case until the last 30 years.
The wild turkey population in the United States declined from millions in colonial times to just 30,000 at the start of the 20th Century. Wild turkeys were extinct in Ohio by 1904.
After a failed attempt at releasing domestic turkeys into the wild, the turkey population in Ohio was reestablished in the mid-1950s by releasing about 1,400 wild turkeys that were captured in other states.
Through those efforts, the turkey population had grown enough that wildlife officials allowed the first statewide hunt of wild turkeys in 1986.
Wintering turkeys gather in big flocks with a dominate Tom. I've seen flocks of over 100 birds when they begin the gathering. By Feb in this area the Toms start strutting, fluffing their feathers, spreading a fan of tail feathers and gobbling to court the hens. She will lay anywhere from 4 to 17 eggs in the nest.
Actually there are six subspecies of turkeys. In Ohio we share the Eastern subspecies with most of the states east of the Rocky Mountains.
Turkeys like open forests with adjacent open areas. They like to feed early in the morning and again late in the day before flying to the trees to roost at night. They love acorns, beech nuts, pecans, hackberry, and the fruit of black cherry, wild grape, and spice bush.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Huffman Prairie Raptors

 We took a short drive to Huffman Prairie Flying Field last evening hoping to see some Short Eared Owls. 
We didn't see a single owl, but did watch at least 5 Northern Harriers. 
All images shot with Olympus EM1 M3 and either the Oly Zuiko 300 F4 or the Oly 100-400mm.