Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bulletin #27 - Houston winter birds #3

David McDonald Photography
Friendswood Texas
February 13, 2008

Bulletin #27 – winter birds Houston area #3

Hello friends,

There are a few more waterfowl to complete the photos I have taken the last 2 winters.

These 2 ducks were also photographed in Hermann Park in downtown Houston, but last tear.

This male Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) is a stunning bird. The dark brown head with vertical white stripe in distinctive. click ‘next’ once

The male Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris) has a purple head, mostly white body, yellow eye and blue and white beak. The ring on the neck is seldom seen! It is brown and the second photo with his neck extended shows this. The female in the 3rd photo is mostly brown with grayish head, white eye ring and yellow eye. click ‘next’ twice

The Long-billed Curlew (Numenius americanus) at 23” length is one of the larger members of the sandpiper family. Curlews all have downcurved bills. This bird has warm brown plumage and 2 toned bill. click ‘next’ once

The Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis)is a stately bird at almost 4 feet tall. They breed in northern USA and Canada and winter in the south. This bird was photographed at Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge, southeast of Houston. The bird is gray with a red crown and wash of rusty color on body.

The second photo shows a crane in flight. Cranes always fly wit their necks extended. click ‘next’ once

An unusual Houston visitor this winter was a male Calliope Hummingbird (Stellula calliope). At 3.25 inches in length, it is the smallest bird in North America. It normally lives in the western USA, but this one showed up in someone’s yard in northwest Houston and I was able to visit and photograph the bird. This was a lifer for me. It has a distinctive striped throat. The red throat feathers look black without any light on them. click ‘next’ once

On a visit to Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife refuge 50 miles west of Houston, I saw my first Bison (Buffalo) outside of a zoo. They have established a small herd on this refuge. It was an exciting discovery for me. click ’next’ once

All comments and suggestions are welcomed and appreciated.

Happy birding and photography,

David McDonald

photos copyright 2007 - 2008 David McDonald

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