Irrigation day in the pasture:

Interesting facts about cattle egrets from whatbird.com:

  • It has been estimated that Cattle Egrets are able to gather 50% more food and use only two-thirds as much energy when they feed in association with livestock as opposed to feeding alone.
  • The Cattle Egret did not exist outside of Africa until the late 19th century. They likely flew from Africa to South America and since have extended their range through Florida and then further north and west.
  • They have been observed along side the runways of airports waiting for airplanes to pass and blow insects out of the grass. They also follow farm equipment to catch insects that are disturbed.
  • A group of cattle egrets are collectively known as a “stampede” of egrets.
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The interesting facts from whatbird.com:

  • A group of woodpeckers has many collective nouns, including a “descent”, “drumming”, and “gatling” of woodpeckers.
  • As the smallest North American woodpecker, the Downy can drill cavities in dead trees or limbs that measure as little as 10 cm around. This means that it can live in a wider range of habitat than can larger woodpeckers.
  • Males tend to feed in the tops of trees on branches that are small in diameter, females feed midlevel and lower on larger diameter branches.
  • The Downy Woodpecker uses sources of food that larger woodpeckers cannot, such as the insect fauna on weed stems.

I’ll never tire of watching the cranes that overwinter at Morning Bray Farm.

I just recently learned that their normal life span is about 25 years.

Chances are, then, that we’ll see the same pairs back here year after year.

They’re monogamous and mate for life.

This pair seems quite happy together.

Yesterday was the first time I saw one preening another. Interesting.

And check out the legs. I mean, I knew, but still… surprising to actually see.

This attentiveness looks like love to me.

In the next few days and weeks, our cranes will fly to their nesting grounds in the northern regions of North America or even as far as north eastern Siberia. We’ll see them back here again in October. ♥

Morning Bray Farm announces our first baby of 2011, an Eurasian-Collared Dove.

She made her out-of-the-nest debut yesterday.

Spring’s just around the corner. ♥

When I said I was pretty sure this is a Mourning Dove, I was wrong.  Au contraire, my friends… turns out she’s a White-winged Dove. Thanks, CeeCee!

No surprise, it’s all in the details. White-winged Doves have white stripes on their wings.

Eurasian-collared Doves are lighter in color and have napes ringed with a half-black collar. Mourning Doves are medium-sized with gray-brown wings with black spots.

Honestly, I would’ve never thought there were three unique dove species here at Morning Bray Farm. If I wasn’ t blogging, I might have never realized it. ♥

p.s. Don just looked at what I was blogging and asked me if the name of this post was going to be I’m suddenly obsessed with doves and I don’t know why. ♥

While we have plenty of Eurasian Collared-Doves around Morning Bray Farm, I’m pretty sure this is a Mourning Dove.

She’s beautiful.

I just love how the rings of feathers around her eyes are the color of the sky.

The interesting facts from whatbird.com:

  • The oldest documented wild Mourning Dove was 19.3 years old. The average lifespan of wild birds is 1.5 years.
  • It is a game bird; and in many states, habitat is created with the specific purpose to hunt birds.
  • Both males and females secrete a substance from their crop that is high in protein and fat. Called crop milk or pigeon milk, it resembles and smells like cottage cheese and is fed to young birds.
  • A group of doves has many collective nouns, including a “bevy”, “cote”, “dole”, “dule”, and “flight” of doves.

1/13/2011

Note: Whoops! Turns out she isn’t a Mourning Dove after all. She’s a White-winged Dove. Thank you CeeCee!

The interesting facts on White-winged Doves from whatbird.com:

  • Although the White-winged Dove is most commonly found in Arizona and the southwest, its range is expanding nation-wide and into parts of Canada.
  • In Florida breeding occurs only in introduced populations.

A crane fossil approximately ten million years old was found in Nebraska and is structurally identical to the modern Sandhill Crane, making it the oldest known bird species still surviving.

Some other interesting facts about Sandhill Cranes from whatbird.com:

  • Sandhill Cranes are noted for their elaborate courtship displays. Two displays are used to form mating pairs while three other displays occur only between mates and serve to maintain the pair bond.
  • They frequently preen with vegetation and mud stained with iron oxide resulting in a reddish-brown color rather than their natural gray.
  • A group of cranes has many collective nouns, including a “construction”, “dance”, “sedge”, “siege”, and “swoop” of cranes.