The Ross’s Goose is small in size, primarily white with black wing tips, red-orange feet, and stubby red-orange beak. There is a dark morph, but it is rare. It has a range of Artic Canada and winters in western United States. It is found in the tundra (summer), salt and freshwater marshes, ponds, and grain fields in their winter. It eats mostly grasses and grains. This was a loner goose that stayed for some time with several Canadian Geese, and seemed to travel with them. I never saw it fly, but saw it at several times at different locations.
February 8, 2017
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December 5, 2012
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The Canada Goose was split into two species in 2004; the Canada goose and the Cackling Goose. These also have subspecies. Basically they look the same except the Cackling is smaller in size and has a shorter bill. They can usually be found or noticed by staying and traveling in their own flock, but as I found this is difficult. The Cackling breeds farther north and westward than does the Canada. The Cackling is seen more in the western United States.
April 18, 2012
The Bonaparte’s Gull is a small gray and white Gull with red legs, and a black head in the summer. The winter adult has a white head with a black earspot. This is the smallest gull usually seen over North America. It nests in trees and not on the ground, as other gulls do. Its normal range is from Alaska to central Canada. It winters on the Great Lakes and the coasts of the United States. Its habitat is Ocean Bays, rivers, and lakes. The diet is insects, crustaceans, and fish.
February 29, 2012
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The Common Redpoll is a streaked gray-brown finch with a black chin, dark streaks on the flanks, and a bright red cap. The male is pink breasted and the female not. Its range is northern Canada and Alaska and wintering irregularly in the northern and central United States. The habitat is birches, evergreens, and tundra scrub, and in winter weeds and brush. They actively feed on seeds from trees and weeds. Their flocks are seemly always on the move.
I specifically went to the Bong State Recreation Area in Kansasville, Wisconsin to find and photograph the Common Redpoll. I had struck out several times before and also at other locations where they had been seen. It was reported as seen around evergreen trees eating the berries at Bong. Upon arrival at the Bong entrance I met other Milwaukee birders who stated the Redpoll was seen at the evergreens and the bird feeders, but was not regular-good luck on finding them. I went to the bird feeders. On the first and second try at the feeders no Redpolls were seen. I asked other birders and they stated they had seen them around the evergreen tree areas. I walked by the evergreen trees at several areas, and heard birds but saw none. I tried a phishing call but nothing came out. I went back to the bird feeders and saw House Finches, American Goldfinches, Downy Woodpeckers, Northern Cardinals, White Breasted Nuthatches, Ring-necked Pheasant, and American Tree Sparrows. Several Redwing Blackbirds flocked in and chased the birds at the feeders away. Upon getting ready to leave Bong I noticed different colored birds that were gray-brown with some pink and red coloring flocking in. I had never seen these before so quickly took photos at the feeders, not knowing what species I was taking. The sun was so bright that I couldn’t get a good view of the birds from the camera. While walking to the car I saw a couple of birders and asked if they had seen any Redpolls. They pointed in the direction of a parking lot, and said they had seen them in the evergreens and around the grounds. They also pointed out another birder who was also going to view them. I caught up to him and found out he was from Racine, Wisconsin and an avid birder who had just arrived for bird sightings. We slowly walked toward the evergreen trees and he started phishing, since no birds were seen, only heard. Immediately the birds started to move and flocked to a bare tree in front of us. They seemed to stop to stare at us. He stated these are Redpolls. I was amazed at the Redpolls response, but immediately started taking photos. I got four photos before the flock took off as quickly as they came.
After getting back home where I could view the bird photos better, it was determined that I had taken several male and one female Common Redpolls at the feeders, one female Common Redpoll, and two Hoary Redpolls from the evergreen trees. Also photographed at the feeder were a bright red male House Finch, and an orange variant House Finch. All in all it turned out to be a fairly good bird sighting and photo day, even though the best occurred in a short burst of time.
June 22, 2011
The Canada Warbler is known as the “necklaced” warbler, because of the short black stripes around the throat. It is solid gray above, and bright yellow below with the necklace. The female Canada Warbler has fainter coloring. All have yellow “spectacles”. It also lacks any white in the wings and tail. Its habitat is forest undergrowth and shady thickets of which it darts in and out. Its range is from Midwest to the Northeaster States and Canada.
You can see the sited location at the Wehr Nature Center, Milwaukee, WI by clicking the link below. The Canada Warbler was the first warbler I sighted this year at the Wehr Nature Center, Milwaukee, WI.