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Bluejay Singing a Song of Spring

Blue Jay Singing a Song of Spring

The Blue Jays have returned as well. Welcome back to Minnesota little one.

From Wikipedia:
The Blue Jay can be beneficial to other bird species, as it may chase predatory birds, such as hawks and owls, and will scream if it sees a predator within its territory. It has also been known to sound an alarm call when hawks or other dangers are near, and smaller birds often recognize this call and hide themselves away accordingly. It may occasionally impersonate the calls of raptors, especially those of the Red-tailed and Red-shouldered Hawks, possibly to test if a hawk is in the vicinity, though also possibly to scare off other birds that may compete for food sources. It may also be aggressive towards humans who come close to its nest, and if an owl roosts near the nest during the daytime the Blue Jay mobs it until it takes a new roost.

Northern Shoveler with and Itch

Northern Shoveler with an Itch

Adventures from the Bass Ponds continue; I saw a Northern Shoveler for the first time years ago in Lake of the Isles, I thought my eyes were playing tricks with me, such a large beak on a duck! That sighting got me into birding and looking for these less common feathered critters. It ended up being an expensive experience; I’ve spend a pretty penny on lenses. These guys are quite a ways away, I promise I will bring my monopod next time I go.

Juvenile Bald Eagle Overhead

Juvenile Bald Eagle Overhead

The eagles are returning to the cities! He must have seen me because he flew right towards me and showed off his under feathers. I’m still not sure if he is a first, second or third year. If you can figure it out, please comment and let me know. Thanks to Crystal for taking me to the Bass Ponds in search of the early birds of the year! Stay tuned, more birdies coming!

Bird in the Hand

Bird in the Hand

I was out biking yesterday and this little guy was standing on the bike trail waiting for me. As I passed him, he hobbled off the trail and I realized he had a broken wing. I went back and he was back standing on the edge of the trail looking up at me. The wheels in my head started turning as to what to do and he just stood there looking at me. So I carefully picked him up, got back on the bike and headed home. As I rode with him carefully tucked up to me, every time I looked at him he just looked back up at me and sat quietly. I managed to get my bike back inside with the help of my neighbor Kelli.

I found a little box to set him in and he just sat quietly as I looked up the The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota; several friends have told me about it but I hadn’t been there before. They are just north of Hwy 36 on Dale in St. Paul. I hurried off to take him there and didn’t take a moment to take his photo until I got there, it just seemed wrong to stop and subject him to a photo session with the broken wing. So as I walked across the paring lot, I took this quick snap-shot. BTW, he didn’t seem to like being in the box and hopped out while I was driving, so he ended up back in my hand and looking at me.
The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota is an awesome place, they are nonprofit, donor-supported organization and the staff is very kind and helpful. I had to say goodbye to ‘Toothless’ as I took to calling him (Train Your Dragon reference), but he’s being taken care of and I can check in on him online.

So, if you find a wounded or orphaned wild animal, please visit the WRCMN website’s FAQ for instructions. And please make a donation too!

Common Goldeneye in Flight

Common Goldeneye in Flight

Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula, male) in flight over the Coon Rapids Dam. I recently visited the dam with Rob (northmetrophoto.com). He introduced me to several ‘regulars’ that morning who were all active birders. It was really nice to have a team who could identify everything that had feathers and a few more things too.