David McDonald Photography
October 25, 2008
Bulletin #55 – Wisconsin birds
I spent a weekend at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin in early October. This was my first time in that state. I birded at a Nature Conservancy preserve on the north shore of the lake and it is a beautiful location with several habitats (marsh, prairie, and woods) and well maintained trails and boardwalks throughout.
The only new bird I got to photograph was a Black-capped Chickadee (Peocile atricapilla). This was the chickadee I was familiar with growing up in Canada. It is very similar to the Carolina Chickadee of the southeastern USA, but a little larger and it has white shoulders (upper wing).
There were numerous Downy Woodpeckers ( Picoides pubescens) and I got my best photos of this species. It is a small woodpecker at 6.75 inches. It has a white vack and spotting on the wings. The male has a red patch on the back of the head. Here are 2 photos of male and female.
http://www.pbase.com/davidmcd/image/105018958 click ‘next’ once
I saw this bird facing me with the white breast He was preening himself first thing in the morning. I saw the cap and white under the tail, but was unsure what species it was other than I was sure it was a warbler.
There turned out to be a pair of them in the bush and after preening, they started to move around. This one perched in the open. Of course now with the yellow rump and undertail, the ID is obvious. It is a Palm Warbler (Dendroica palmarum).
In this photo, he has caught a rather large insect.
There was a large flock of Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum). I had already good photos of adults, so I wanted to get the juvenile plumage, if possible. Here are a couple of photos. Notice the breast is whitish with brown streaks, and the black mask extends only to just behind the eye. The second photo also has a House Finch.
http://www.pbase.com/davidmcd/image/105018966 click ‘next’ once
The next bird is a White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis). Nuthatches have the unusual habit of climbing head first down the tree trunk looking for insects in the bark. The ID of this bird is gray with white breast and white face. The male shown here has a black head and neck. The female differs in that the top of her head and neck is gray rather then black.
http://www.pbase.com/davidmcd/image/105018969 click ‘next’ once
The small (5.25”) Brown Creeper (Certhia americana) is the only North American member of this family. Unlike the nuthatches, it starts at the bottom of the tree and climbs upwards looking for insects in the bark. It is a cryptic brown color with spotted back and curved bill. The first photo shows him in profile. Notice how he uses his tail as a prop against the tree just as woodpeckers do. The second photo has him against the tree and he is almost invisible.
http://www.pbase.com/davidmcd/image/105018980 click ‘next’ once
There were many White-throated Sparrows ( Zonotrichia albicollis) in the woods. This bird is identified by the striped head, white throat patch and yellow in front of the eye. Mostly, the stripes on the head are pure white, but sometimes as in the 3rd photo may be tan color. The first photo shows him relieving himself! I didn’t notice this until I got back and looked at the photos on the computer.
http://www.pbase.com/davidmcd/image/105018997 click ‘next’ twice
The last bird is a female Purple Finch (Carpodacus purpureus) I had photos of the male, but found this female perched in the open. I didn’t know what the ID on the bird was when taking the photos. I thought at first it was a sparrow, but on seeing the beak size, I realized it wasn’t a sparrow. After going through the field guide, I came to the correct ID and had it confirmed by an expert. The face is striped and the tail is very notched in the second photo.
http://www.pbase.com/davidmcd/image/105019001 click ‘next’ once
All comments and suggestions are welcomed and appreciated.
Happy birding and photography,
photos copyright 2006 - 2008 David McDonald