Images from the Game Camera, Part 1

I bought a game camera with the hope of recording the coming and going of a nesting pair of White-breasted nuthatches (Sitta carolinensis) that were nesting in one of our nest boxes. For various reasons, that didn’t work out to my satisfaction. Looking for a use for the game camera, I placed it in various locations in our yard to discover what it might record. Below are a few images captured by it.

As expected in east central Minnesota, there are plenty of Eastern Gray Squirrels to be photographed.

A picture of an Eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)
An Eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) looking for lunch on our patio.

Another frequent visitor to our yard is the American robin, often with an eye towards the ground, looking for worms to eat. While gardening, I place any grubs I find on a stump for birds to eat. Robins are usually the first to snatch them up.

A picture of an American robin (Turdus migratorius)
An American robin (Turdus migratorius) foraging in our yard.

The Chipping Sparrow is a regular summer-time resident. I frequently see them hopping through the grass, looking for seeds and insects. They appear to be fairly bold birds, approaching within a few feet of Lizzie. Lizzie, for the most part, ignores them preferring to hunt for rodents.

A picture of a chipping sparrow (Spizella passerina)
A chipping sparrow (Spizella passerina) foraging for insects and seeds.

Raptors

This weekend was a good weekend for observing raptors. On Friday, I noticed a large hawk high up in the branches of an oak tree. Using binoculars, I confirmed it was a rough-legged hawk (Buteo lagopus). Supposedly the rough-legged hawk winters here in Minnesota but I have only seen it in the spring as they pass through on their way to northern Canada.

The camera on my phone couldn’t do justice to this bird, so I downloaded the image below from Wikipedia.

A picture of a rough-legged hawk (Buteo lagopus)
A rough-legged hawk (Buteo lagopus).

I’ve occasionally observed sharp-shinned hawks (Accipiter striatus) in our neighborhood and yard, but, last year, a pair of sharp-shinned hawks moved into the neighborhood and they returned again this year. While they are interesting birds to watch, I’m concerned they will scare off the chickadees, nuthatches, and other small birds that have made our yard their home.

Again, I couldn’t get a good photograph of the sharp-shinned hawks with my phone, so I downloaded the photograph below from AnimalSpot.

A picture of a sharp-shinned hawk (Accipiter striatus)
A sharp-shinned hawk (Accipiter striatus)

Later on Saturday, we were relaxing on the patio when a bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) flew over head. When we moved into our current place, we rarely saw bald eagles flying over head. We now regularly see bald eagles flying above us.

The following photograph is from Wikipedia.org because I haven’t got a picture of a bald eagle flying over us.

A picture of a Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in flight.
A Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in flight.

Visitors to Our Bird Feeders

There are two bird feeders hanging under the eaves outside of our living room, one for seed and the other for suet. I placed the feeders there so that we could enjoy the coming and going of birds as fed. I recently installed a game camera to photograph the birds that frequent those feeders. While I was happy for the photographs of the birds, I was disappointed with the quality of said photographs.

Black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) are year-round visitors to our feeders and a favorite bird of mine. They usually dart in, grab a seed, and dart off as quickly as they came in.

A picture of a Black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) on a bird feeder
A black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus).

American goldfinch (Spinus tristis) are beautiful summer visitors. Unlike chickadees and nuthatches, goldfinches tend to hang out on the feeder for as long as it takes to eat their fill.

A picture of an American goldfinch (Spinus tristis) on a bird feeder.
An American goldfinch (Spinus tristis).
A picture of an American goldfinch (Spinus tristis) on a bird feeder.
An American goldfinch (Spinus tristis) .
A picture of an American goldfinch (Spinus tristis) on a bird feeder.
An American goldfinch (Spinus tristis).

White-breasted nuthatches (Sitta carolinensis), like the black-capped chickadees, are year-round visitors. Also like chickadees, nuthatches dart in for a seed and then quickly fly off. Nuthatches are the upside-down bird. They can frequently be seen walking upside down along tree trunks.

A picture of a white-breasted nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) on a bird feeder.
A white-breasted nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis).
A picture of a white-breasted nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) on a bird feeder.
A white-breasted nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) on a suet bird feeder.

Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos)

Every Spring, a pair of mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) visit our yard. They hang out in our yard for several weeks before moving on to where ever they go. They can usually be found at the bottom of the hill in our backyard, where usually there is flowing water. Occasionally, however, they come up the hill, closer to our house.

I took this photo in 2012 when a drake and a hen mallard ambled along the sidewalk between our house and garage.

A picture of two mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) walking down our side walk
A drake and hen mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) walking on the sidewalk between our house and garage.

Two years later, I took this photo of a drake mallard hanging out on the roof of our garage.

A picture of a drake mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) on the roof of our garage.
A drake mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) on the roof of our garage.

Wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)

Every few years, usually in the spring, a wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) will wander through the yard. Occasionally, they make their way over to our back patio where they help themselves to water from the bird bath or black oil sunflower seeds scattered on the pavement below the bird feeder.

Back in May, 2009, this turkey wandered through and helped itself to a drink.

Picture of a wild turkey drinking from the bird bath

Picture of a wild turkey walking through the yard