No theme today (unless random pictures are a theme) – just some pics taken here and there in the past few weeks. First off some corrections:
- I misidentified Emil Baumbach’s picture of a European Goldfinch (not Sparrow).
- Rebecca Bowater informed me that Gannets only lay one egg at a time (I referred to several in the nest in my write-up of her pics).
Karen and I were playing golf in SW Michigan recently and visited the Michigan State University Bird Sanctuary. The sanctuary was originally formed in 1928 by cereal maker W. K. Kellogg and was deeded over to MSU shortly thereafter. One of its primary goals was to help breed waterfowl and was instrumental in repopulating Canada Geese and Trumpeter Swans. While there I took a picture of this swan:
If you know your swan ID you will notice two distinguishing field marks. First, the border between the black bill and the forehead forms the shape of a “V”, which is indicative of at Trumpeter Swan. However the yellow on the bill is indicative of a Tundra Swan. I couldn’t figure out what species it was so after getting home I called up the sanctuary and was informed that it was a Trooper Swan. Trooper? Yes, a Trooper Swan is a hybrid between a Trumpeter Swan and a Whooper Swan. The Whooper Swan is widespread in Iceland, Europe and across Asia and has a large yellow patch on its bill. Although an interesting hybrid, the conservationists at MSU Bird Sanctuary sterilized the bird so that it could not reproduce with other Trumpeter Swans in the area. (Note: because this is a hybrid the species doesn’t show up in the GreatBirdPics database and couldn’t be entered in the photo collection.)
Below is another bird I saw at the MSU Bird Sanctuary. Can you figure out what it is?
It’s a Blue Jay! It had just taken a bath and had hopped up into the tree above the pond. Before it even had a chance of drying off a Starling starting harassing it. A bad hair day to be sure.
Next up is a female Indigo Bunting with a juicy bug.
To round out our random pics I offer a simple American Robin with a big juicy red berry in its beak.
Go Birding. Take Pics. Share Here. Repeat.
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