Friday, May 17, 2013

Quick Post

I'm getting far behind on my posts... that's a good problem really I guess because it means I'm getting some nice shots that need to be shared.

This is from a lunch trip to LaSalle Park and I'll keep it brief with a few pictures.

I stopped by the small inlet to the right of the parking lot first, and a Double-crested Cormorant was diving quite close by.  I had not known, but when in breeding plumage, their wing feathers actually have a lighter outer edge to them giving a scaly look. 

Double-crested Cormorant in breeding plumage.

As I headed east along the boardwalk, I spotted a pair of Brown-headed Cowbirds that paused in a tree long enough for a picture or two.  With the back light, it was hard to get a shot of the male.

Brown-headed Cowbird pair
female Brown-headed Cowbird
I walked inland this time hoping to see something else for a change.  There is a small pond, and there I spotted some sunning turtles, and lots of American toads croaking away.

Painted Turtle sunning

Of course, as soon as I tried to take pictures of the toads with their throats bulging with air to release for their croaking chorus, they stopped.  I waited forever, but they never started again.

American Toad

The male American Toads will hop on the female and hold on with tight "horns" on their fingers in what is called grasping.  They , and wait till she releases her eggs.  When the eggs are released, the male releases his sperm and tries to fertilize as many as possible.

grasping pair of American Toads

More posts to come soon... Horned Grebes, Warblers, and a Flicker nest.

Keep enjoying HIS handiwork!

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