Critter of the Day: this one’s easy

It may be hard to tell a downy from a hairy woodpecker, but there is no mistaking these guys!

It’s a fairly rare treat for a pileated woodpecker to come visit. Not only do they have a very distinctive red head, but they are much larger than our usual visitors. At one point, I could see him tearing pieces of this tree’s bark off and tossing it down to the ground! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a woodpecker do that before!

Critter of the Day: hairy? Or downy?

Okay, I’ve been having troubles with this one.

Here are some photos, taken in late June, of a fairly regular visitor to our feeding station.

I’ve identified this as a down woodpecker before, but I always try to double check when I post another photo, because I don’t trust my memory.

But when I did that, I saw this bird identified as both downy or hairy woodpeckers.

Either way, this would be a female. The males have a red splotch on the back of their heads.

Thankfully, on this day, we got some really good photos.

The most notable difference, I’ve read, is the beak. The down woodpecker has a very small beak. The hairy woodpecker has a much larger beak.

So based on this, this is a female hairy woodpecker.

Which means some of my past posts have identified it wrong.

😦

Critter(s) of the Day: Denizens of the Beach

I was able to visit the beach yesterday morning and was walking along on the sidewalk, when I realized I was seeing a whole lot of birds that weren’t seagulls!

So I headed over for a closer look (my broken toe is healing nicely, so walking on the sand wasn’t too much of an issue).

If you look at the opposite shore, on the left, you can see smoke. It had been heavier, earlier, but was gone by the time I returned to my vehicle, which is good.

This is just one group of the different birds, along with our usual seagulls, that were along the beach.

Digital zoom sucks.

I did some research to find out what these birds were. In appearance, it came down to either Laughing Gulls or Franklin’s Gulls. They have to be Franklin’s Gulls, though. Laughing Gulls have a range in the southeastern and southwestern North American coast, while the Franklin’s Gull is a more northerly, prairie bird.

Beautiful birds. 🙂

Critter of the Day: flying shrimp

Some photos my daughter got, of a hummingbird moth in our lilacs, taken in the middle of June.

I just love those amazing shrimp-like bodies they have!

They are fast moving buggers, and hard to get photos of!

I can see why they are called hummingbird moths, though. They are almost big as hummingbirds!

Got three in this photo. 😀 They really love the lilacs! I don’t think I’ve ever seen them anywhere else.

Critter(s) of the Day: roly poly

A couple of photos of our racoon visitors from the beginning of June. My husband was the only one up early enough to get these! Our previous photos posted where taken with his phone. These were taken using the DSLR we keep set up in our living room.

They are so round and fluffy looking! 😀

If these two have come back, it hasn’t been at a time anyone was around to see them.