Monday, September 27, 2010

Pileated Woodpecker in Orono Maine

This past weekend Steve and I went to Orono, Maine to visit my cousin Heather. This was the first time I had been visit her since she moved up there about a year ago. We had perfect weather, and in between hiking and camping I managed to squeeze in just a little bit of birding!

Here are some pics from our hike to the top of Cadillac Mountain. Isn't it beautiful? Here's Heather on the way up.

Me & Heath at the top of the mountain.

Justin, Heather's boyfriend, Heath, her dog Royce & Steve.

My favorite siting from the weekend was a lifer(?) for me. The Pileated Woodpecker!

The first one I saw during our hike at Cadillac Mountain. I saw something huge flying through the trees after we startled it, and caught just glimpses of its all-dark gray body, and red crown.

When I told Heather what I saw she said not to worry- I'd be able to get a good picture of it when we got back to her apartment in Orono. She said as long as they put out suet, they'll have Pileated Woodpeckers at their feeder. Amazing!

So as soon as we got back to her apartment I was on the lookout. Sure enough I head the woodpecker pecking at a tree and then when I looked I saw its red head up at the top of a tree. All the credit goes to Steve for the above picture. These next ones I took at a much greater distance.I also saw a Hairy Woodpecker while I was watching for the Pileated. It can be difficult to tell the difference between a downy woodpecker and a hairy woodpecker. I wrote a blog post about it a couple of winters ago. The most distinguishable characteristics for me are size (the Hairy Woodpecker is bigger) and the beak (the Hairy Woodpecker has a longer beak).

Finally, on the way back to Orono from Bar Harbor we saw this flock of migrating Kildeer! We had stopped to look at a Boro camping trailer and then Heather actually spotted the birds on the lawn between the parking lot and road, and asked me what they were. I think I've only seen Kildeer once before, and to me the most distinguishable characteristic is their size, and the intricate banding/lines by their eyes.

It was such a great weekend of seeing Heather, Justin & Royce, hiking and camping in beautiful Acadia National Park, and seeing some Maine birds!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Boston Peregrine Falcon drops by for another visit

One of the perks to working in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood is that I get to bird watch. Specifically- I get to study Boston's resident peregrine falcon right from my desk. I wrote a post about our peregrine falcon back in July actually. I took some pictures of it right before it right before it took a poop. That's one of its favorite pass-times while visiting our 16th floor ledge. That and munching on poor helpless birds.

There is evidence of the carnage everywhere- just see this carelessly left behind wing for example. Anyone have a guess at what kind of bird it was?

Here are some pictures of our friend, the Boston peregrine falcon, from today. He was there in the late afternoon, sitting on the windowsill, looking in curiously:

Don't be misled by the white spot on its breast- it's just the flash from my camera making that spot.
Looking forward to seeing our little friend again soon! I hope to learn more about our Boston peregrine falcon. If anyone local has any information, like its name and how long its been tracked, please let me know.