Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Thrasher on a cold day

A Brown Thrasher is a bird that does not want to be seen. You may wonder how such a streaked and large bird can stay hidden in the shrubbery so well. They make little movement and are quick to flee. Brown Thrashers have quite a singing repertoire and can sing over 1000 bird calls. They can imitate many bird calls, cars and cats. A Brown Thrasher should be in the southern parts of the USA at this time of year. This year a Thrasher made a appearance at Long Pond. I went over to see it on Sunday. Brown Thrashers are a robin sized bird but with a larger tail with hooked looking bill. They are omnivores and feed on whatever they can find in their area - newts, corn, fruit, insects, seeds, grains, eggs, chicks and so forth. The thrasher at Long Pond was quite easy to locate, but he did bolt whenever someone wanted to get a picture of him.
                                                           A thrasher ebird map

Monday, February 2, 2015

Grackles in Newfoundland

In the more southern portion of this continent Grackles are birders biggest enemies. Seed guzzlers and egg killers Common Grackles are feisty birds. In Newfoundland Grackles are quite uncommon. In St John's we have around two flocks of Grackles overwintering. Today I found a flock in Lions Club Park. For those who haven't seen a Grackle. Grackles look like a crow but much smaller and with a shiny, purplish head. In the in other parts of North America Grackles are considered vermin by birders, biologist and feeder watchers. The Grackles range extends over much of North America from Nova Scotia in the east to Alberta in the west. They travel in large flocks and feed on seeds, garbage, insects, fruit and basically anything they can get their beaks on.

These Grackles are feasting on suet!