Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hybrid Chickadee

Here is a different one ...
Back in winter last year I discovered a strange-looking chickadee at a Provincial park not too far from Saskatoon.
The park is a haven for Black-capped Chickadees, that are actually very used to humans and allow us to feed them by hand. Most of the chickadees here don't care if you have food or not, half the time, and will readily try to land on you regardless!
It was at this park I noticed an unusual looking bird, that looked like a Black-capped Chickadee, but had a thin white eyebrow stripe above both its eye's.
Luckily I documented this bird with a couple of photos, and the general consensus was that this bird was a possible hybrid between a Black-capped and a Mountain Chickadee.

2 days ago I was able to find the bird again, or should I say , it found me !

More information on chickadee hybrids is here in this small article :

Monday, March 22, 2010

Gray Partridge , Bluebirds & Gulls

Gulls are now returning in smallish numbers, as are Mountain Bluebirds. I hope to see more of these species over the coming weeks.

Here are some recent shots of Gray Partridge taken on a back road not far from town.
These birds can often be notoriously difficult to spot because of how well they blend in with their surroundings..

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

American Badger and More

While on a leisurely trip, just driving some dirt roads with a good friend recently, we were complaining to each other that we were not seeing much, even though we both knew full well that it was still to early for anything too exciting to be back yet.
One always hopes to see a winter raptor though, or an interesting mammal.
After awhile we got our wish by spotting this American Badger laying out in the middle of a field, enjoying the afternoon sun. This is the earliest I have seen this mammal. I doubt he was very impressed with the snow all around him when he woke up too early because of the warmer temperatures we were enjoying.

Something else of interest, was the adult Sharp-shinned Hawk that had recently been terrorizing the feeder birds in our backyard.
This shot was taken just after he took off from the fence :

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Boreal Chickadee

I love these little guys. We don't get them in town, so you have to drive at least an hour north to find them.
I lucked out while on a recent trip up to Candle Lake & then Anglin Lake the following day.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

River Otters

While enjoying a relaxing break recently with some friends at Anglin Lake SK, we found 2 River Otters, diving and catching crayfish in some open water.
I was very careful not to spook these wonderful creatures and kept my distance but stayed low , and got the following shots of one individual with his meal :

Monday, March 8, 2010

Northern Hawk Owl

Last weekend, myself and some friends from the local nature society, visited Montreal Lake in northern SK. to look for Owls. We got lucky and managed to find several Hawk Owls during the time we spent up there.

Here is one individual we found :

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Designer Birdhouses

I would like to introduce you all to a friend of ours from Saskatoon..

This is taken from his website :

Saskatoon Saskatchewan entrepreneur John Remai has turned his love of building into a hobby that is now a special project to fundraise for equipment for the new Children's Hospital in Saskatoon Saskatchewan. After many years of building and managing hotels, motels, apartments and condominiums, John promised himself that when he retired, his favorite hobby would become a benefit to the community.

Since the spring of 2009, John has been making birdhouses and feeders to give complimentary to donors when they make a specified donation amount to the The Children's Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan . Already a major financial donor to the Children's Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan, John felt that by using his hobby for enjoyment, people can donate to the CHFS and at the same time receive one of his outstanding designs complimentary.

I highly reccomend you check out his webpage at :

John's bird houses and feeders are absolutely beautiful, and I'm sure you will find one that takes your fancy.
There are many, many designs that will house all kinds of bird species.

Here is just a small sample of his excellent craftsmanship :

Purple Martin/Swallow Gourd Houses :

Interactive Squirrel Feeder :

Purple Martin Condo :