Flying in to the distinct squarish hole, then flying out to perch at the top of the old tree, then off to find insects for her brood, and then back again. Repeat, repeat, repeat. This mama wren was tirelessly feeding her hungry family, returning dozens and dozens of times with a mouth full insects in the very brief time I stopped to look.
I’m not sure exactly what species this is–she has a short tail like Winter Wren and is nesting in a tree cavity, near fresh water, which is common for Winter Wrens. Her tail is too long to be a House Wren. If any of our readers know for sure, please write. Thank you 🙂
The always animated Snowy Egret
Look for this amazing bird at our local ponds and streams–amazing I think, for the way she hunts. The Kingfisher can hover mid-air, high above still water and then plunge straight down, plucking frog or fish from the depths of the pond. This one is always on the other side of the pond and I only become aware of her presence by her telltale crickley song. One of these days I hope she’ll come a little closer so we can have a much better look.Female Belted Kingfisher
First hatch year Little Blue Heron catching an American Bullfrog
Why is this not so little white heron called a Little Blue Heron? Compared to a Great Blue Heron, it is relatively smaller. As to the entirely white plumage, this is a first hatch year Little Blue in its white phase. In the second spring and summer, the white feathers will gradually be replaced by beautiful slate blue feathers, giving the bird a temporary and unique calico appearance.
Little Blue herons are closely related to Snowy Egrets and the white immature morphs feed alongside the Snowys. You can tell them apart easily not only by bill and feet, but by their feeding habits. Snowy Egrets forage with a great deal of flourish, agitating the water with their feet, and vigorously fluttering, flapping, and flying along the shoreline. Little Blue Herons are stealth hunters, moving with slow deliberation before executing an exacting capture.
Upcoming film projects and studying the life story of our beloved Mr. Swan led to learning more about the life story of many creatures found at our local ponds. Frogs in all their myriad incarnations I soon discovered were the keystone species, playing starring roles as both predator and prey. American Bullfrogs are by far the most common, but I also filmed Green Frogs and Wood Frogs. I shot hundred (perhaps thousands) of photos of frogs, and hours of footage too, and have only begun to organize, but here is a small sampling.
American Bullfrog Snatching a Bee Mid-air
Young Bullfrogs lay in wait for bees and other insects drinking nectar from the pond lilies. They’ll sit stone still for half an hour and in some cases, even much longer, for the perfect moment. The smallest Bullfrog can leap several feet across the water and lily pads to snatch an insect mid-air.Half tadpole, half frog, froglets are outgrowing their tadpole stage, but are not yet fully fledged frogs.
When the hunter is hunted. Birds and otters feast on tadpoles, frogs, and froglets. Larger Bullfrogs are cannibalistic and eat smaller versions of themselves. First hatch-year Little Blue Herons (pictured) eating a frog in the above photo and a froglet in the photo below.
More about pond life coming soon!
If you would like to help towards the completion of my documentary film Beauty on the Wing: Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly, filmed in the wilds of Cape Ann and Angangueo, Mexico, please consider making a tax deductible donation here:
Donors contributing over $5,000. will be listed in the credits as a film producer.
For more information, visit the film’s website here: Monarch Butterfly Film
For an overview of the film’s budget, please go here: Budget
Thank you so very much for your help.