Category Archives: Year 4

The Hunters! (video)

Before sunrise I drove over to Superior in search of Snowy Owls. While I did not find any owls, about ten minutes before sunrise I spied an early hunting Rough-Legged Hawk. I was actually surprised to see it hunting before sunup. Thus, I positioned my car as a blind and captured the hawk in the very first rays of morning sun … less than five minutes after the golden orb popped above the horizon.

This afternoon I had planned on just chilling out, but when I got wind of a Northern Hawk Owl up near Stone Lake Road in Sax-Zim Bog I quickly changed those plans. While I never found the owl, I had a blast watching this mink for over ten minutes as it fished the small creek adjacent to Stone Lake Road. Finally right at sun down I watched another Rough-Legged Hawk near the greenhouse on Hwy #7 … the second time I had seen it in that area this afternoon. I did make a few swings along McDavitt Road towards sunset but did not find any Great Gray Owls. Even with the misses, it was a great day out in the woods.

Sax-Zim Bog Mink

Rough-Legged Hawk at Sunrise

Meet Hootdini … the Disappearing Snowy Owl!

I had decided to name the Snowy Owl I found yesterday “Houdini”, but when my wife Molly heard about my birding escapades, she came up with a better name, Hootdini! You may ask if this is a strange name for an owl. Normally I would answer yes, but not for this owl. While watching it hunt yesterday morning, 15 minutes into my time with the owl, it got mobbed by crows. Within 20 seconds the Snowy had had enough, and dove for cover from its high perch.

I was watching the dive from a distance of 100 yards. Said Snowy disappeared behind a mound like a magician, and even though the habitat was fairly open … never reappeared to my eyes. The crows also seemed to lose track of the owl’s location, landing in a distant pine tree. For another 15 minutes I tried to relocate the bird to no avail. I scanned every nearby tree with my binoculars. Perhaps this Snowy Owl has learned how to burrow! (very doubtful).

Regardless, I hope this owl has a happier ending than Silver. Agonizingly, this bird represents the second Snowy Owl I have seen and it was only November 16th. I am really beginning to believe this will be a very good winter for Snowies.

Here is one more owl pic. It is just one of eight of my photographs which will soon be on display as part of an “Owls of the Northland Exhibit” which I have created for Perk Place Coffeehouse. This great java hangout works with Destination Duluth photographers to decorate their walls.

The Stare: Great Gray Owl (voles beware!)

Foxes Meet the Skunk! (video)

I think I need to have my readers help me name my two friendly foxes. These two canines (one male and female) have been visiting our yard every evening about 40 minutes after sundown for the past ten days. I feel like I need to get on a first name basis with my friends.

Two nights ago, the fox couple met the skunk. They know who is the boss!

In addition, the Trumpeter Swans are now gone, but I captured these images just before the last open water disappeared … also two days ago.

Pine Grosbeak Northwoods Explosion

There has been an explosion of pine grosbeaks entering our area. These beautiful birds are everywhere!

Find a berry or crab apple tree, find a grosbeak!

Drive a dirt road two hours after sunrise, find a grosbeak eating grit.

During my hikes I also found Wile E. Coyote loping along some railroad tracks. He wanted nothing to do with me, but did stop briefly to check me over!

Finally, a quick update on my book … But That Is Not Me! I just edited the Birding With Children Page. Each bird featured in the book now is listed with links to videos, songs, map ranges, etc!