Thursday, July 25, 2013

Imperial Moth

In celebration of National Moth Week:
 I was at a party last weekend when someone spotted something fluttering in the night. At first, it was mistaken for a bat. It soon dropped down into the light and landed on the house... Imperial Moth.
Measuring 6" across, it was quite beautiful. Click on the link to learn more about this amazing saturniid moth. 
Imperial Moth - female
Eacles imperialis

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bird Collage

I learned how to use the APP Loupe to create this collage of bird photos. Pass your cursor over a picture or click on a picture to get a larger view. Very cool.

While I'm on the topic of art, I thought I would share some of my early attempts...

Blue-winged Teal 1979

Red-tailed Hawk 1982
Golden Eagle 1983
Northern Hawk Owl 1989

I'iwi 2000

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bendix Meadows

For the past 20 years, South Bend Audubon has had the privilege of monitoring nesting birds at Bendix Meadows adjacent to the South Bend Regional Airport. This former landfill has reverted to prairie-like habitat. The primary focus of our survey is Upland Sandpiper - a state endangered species. Other grassland species include Grasshopper, Savannah and Henslow's Sparrows; Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark and Dickcissal. Sadly, the Airport Authority and South Bend Parks Department have proposed a variety of "improvements" for this site ranging from Christmas tree farm to challenger little league park. Fortunately, those plans have not come to fruition, and for the time being, Bendix Meadows remains one of the most important bird habitats in Northern Indiana.

Butterfly Weed in Bloom

 This time of the year, the flowers are in peak bloom and the grassland birds are largely done nesting. Below are a few of my favorite pictures taken over the years at Bendix Meadows.

One of my favorite summer experiences is the Bobolink display at Bendix Meadows.


Killdeer nest
.... and one of my favorite butterflies...


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Spring Migration 2013

The oppressive heat of the past week has me yearning to get back into the woods. I wanted to share some of the pics I got during one of my spring outings to Potato Creek State Park...

The first is one of my favorite birds - Hooded Warbler. Their ringing song is surprisingly loud and clear for such a small bird. Besides Potato Creek, another reliable place to find Hooded Warbler in the South Bend area is Rum Village Park.

Another spring beauty is the Blackburnian Warbler a.k.a. Firethroat. They are most commonly seen during spring migration on their way to nesting grounds in northern coniferous forests.

Even though this picture of an Ovenbird in take-off mode is blurred, I liked the effect... Even though their loud "Teacher, Teacher, Teacher" call can often be heard in area woodlands, they can be difficult to find. The name Ovenbird comes from the shape of their nest which is built on the ground.

More often seen than  heard - White-eyed Vireo.

I loved the inquisitive look of this Scarlet Tanager. The female was sitting directly below him.