Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 06/18/2017


Photo taken on June 17, 2017


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17 June 2017


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American Coot and 'cootlings'

American Coot and 'cootlings'
Happy Father's Day, everyone!

Back to posting after missing yesterday. I was so absolutely tired the previous evening, that I just didn't manage to find and edit photos to post early yesterday morning. I know part of the reason is lack of sleep, but I have felt overwhelmingly tired since getting back from Trinidad & Tobago. I need to get more sleep and then see if that helps. If not, I guess it is always possible that I picked up something during our trip.

This little family of Coots was seen yesterday, 17 June 2017, when five of us went east of the city for the day, to visit our friend, Shirley, at her seasonal trailer. These birds were so far away, so I wasn't able to get a closer photo. The colourful babies showed up OK, though. Such funny little things - so ugly, that they are cute.

"The waterborne American Coot is one good reminder that not everything that floats is a duck. A close look at a coot—that small head, those scrawny legs—reveals a different kind of bird entirely. Their dark bodies and white faces are common sights in nearly any open water across the continent, and they often mix with ducks. But they’re closer relatives of the gangly Sandhill Crane and the nearly invisible rails than of Mallards or teal." From AllAboutBirds.

www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Coot/id

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coot

Most of our birding was done at and near Shirley's trailer site, including seeing a wonderful Great Horned Owl family, two Killdeer and their nests, a Baltimore Oriole, and (finally!) a Brown Thrasher. I had hoped for several years to see one of these birds, so it was a real treat to see a 'lifer'. It was far away and so high up, but I managed to get a couple of shots just for the record.

We were so happy to be able to see the Great Horned Owl family - three owlets and both adults. There had been a fourth owlet, but it died recently. When I was posting a photo of two of the owlets this morning, I realized that one youngster was clutching a small bird in its talons!

As we were walking around the grounds, two ladies stopped us and showed us some baby birds that they had had to remove from the engine of their vehicle, as they needed to drive. They wondered if we knew what kind of birds they were, but we were unable to help. I posted a photo of them this morning, just in case someone can ID them. The ladies had a bird house that they were going to put the babies into, hoping that the parents would hear them calling and be able to continue feeding them.

Thank you so much, Shirley, for inviting us all out to visit you while you were there for the weekend! It was such a pleasure to see some of "your" birds that you enjoy so much. Such a great variety of species! Wow, what a lunch we had, sitting at a table under the Tree Swallow tree, with a very vocal American Robin just a few feet away and a pair of busy Tree Swallows flying back and forth with food for their babies. How DO birds manage to sing non-stop like this Robin?! Hot chili made by Shirley, and a whole array of delicious salads and desserts left me feeling full till the early evening.

Many thanks, Anne B, for picking up three of us and for driving us east across the prairies. Hugely appreciated!

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