January 2012


This American Coot was photographed at the McKinley Boat Mariana in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Select this link to see photos or a slideshow of the American Coot

A swimmer bird that is a blackish color with a white bill and a white patch under the tail. Its big feet are lobed. When swimming it pumps it head back and forth. It dives to eat mostly plant material such seaweed, leaves, grasses, and algae. It also eats insects, fish, tadpoles, worms, snails, and crayfish. Coots like to flock on the water as they are resting and feeding. They have a habitat of ponds, lakes, marshes, marinas, and park ponds. I have seen them mostly at marinas, and park ponds.

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This female Red-breasted Merganser was photographed at the McKinley Boating Pier Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

This male Red-breasted Merganser was photographed at the Milwaukee Art Museum lagoon.

Select this link to see photos or a slideshow of the Red-Breasted Merganser

The female red-Breasted Merganser is gray with a crested rusty head, white wing patch, and red bill and feet. The male is rakish with a black head and dark rusty breast separated by a white collar: red bill and feet. The bill of Mergansers has saw-edged mandibles. They migrate through the interior of the United States, but range from Alaska and through northeast Canada and the United States. Their habitat is on lakes, coastal bays, and the sea. They are diving fish ducks that chiefly eat small fish. The day I saw this pair of Merganser ducks they were grooming them selves, which made it more difficult to photograph them.

The Purple Sandpiper, being a rarity to the Great Lakes, brought out the bird watchers to see them at north of Bradford Beach, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Select this link to see photos or a slideshow of the Purple Sandpiper

The Purple Sandpiper is a dumpy slate-gray colored bird with a white belly and eye ring, and short yellow legs. It is a rarity to the Great Lakes, so many bird watchers were out to get a first hand life view. Its normal range is the arctic, and winters along the coasts of the North Atlantic-further north than any other shorebird. Its habitat is wave washed rocks, jetties and eats mostly insects and mollusks. I was walking up the Bradford Beach when I came to a log to step over. The shells on the beached seemed to move. Looking closely, this small dumpy bird was seen darting around while the Gulls and Mallards were sitting.