Fall Migration is a Busy Time of the Year

I’m sorry I haven’t published more posts lately but between helping with harvest, retraining a horse, getting ready for a house guest, and most importantly school, I haven’t much time! My daily birding walks have also fallen by the wayside, but birds there are aplenty since I live in a migration pathway. Almost every day there’s a steady stream of Snow, Canada, and Greater White-fronted Geese flying overhead, along with Lapland Longspurs and Horned Larks.

Last Friday I went out birding at the woods and slough across the road from our house to see what was around and also inspected the newly-completed beaver lodge.

Yellow-rumped Warblers are everywhere now, but they’ll soon be gone,

This is the first White-breasted Nuthatch I’ve seen in the woods,

Leaves are changing colors,

The beavers have three areas in the woods like this,

There are wood chips everywhere from all their work,

I saw this Common Yellowthroat, a first for my Alberta list,

A Northern Harrier just over the power line,

An Alberta sunset,

I will try to post more regularly and hope to go birding more often too!

Mammal on Monday

I was at my grandparents’ house this past weekend to paint doors, trim, and windows for them. I’m always excited to be in their yard, because it somehow attract birds and mammals I can’t seem find anywhere else around here. While there, I was able to see a Ruby-crowned Kinglet in a Mayday tree. It’s always fun to see the Least Chipmunk, which is my featured mammal for Mammal on Monday!

Turkey Vulture Wing Tagging

In mid-August I travelled again with Dr. Wayne Nelson, and also the local Fish & Wildlife officer, and a wildlife photographer to wing tag young Turkey Vultures. We visited three abandoned buildings, each with two vultures in it, and at two of the buildings we saw an adult flying over. We tagged the vulture chicks from the first and second buildings while indoors, but the vultures from the last building we tagged outside, so most of the photos of the tagging, below, are from the last building since the lighting was better.

Once the vultures were caught, they were put into boxes, and also weighed in the box,

A cattle ear tagger, similar to a hole punch, is used to attach the identification number; Dr. Nelson is on the right,

One of the adults at the first building,

The first tagged Turkey Vulture chick,

Once the vultures are tagged, photos are taken of them, and at the second building I was able to hold each vulture for pictures (I am wearing my Long Point Bird Observatory ball cap, one of my favorite souvenirs!),

Honey bees at the last building,

A Turkey Vulture close up,

The vulture is put in a bag to secure it while the measurements are taken,

Vultures tagged in Alberta have yellow tags, and vultures tagged in Saskatchewan have green tags,

Thank you very much again, Dr. Nelson, for a wonderful and very educational experience!