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Wings and more wings

Posted Oct 22 2008 6:13pm
The past two days have been beautiful with record warmth for March. Rains have melted most of the snow and new growth is appearing everywhere. I was doing community visits in the downtown area today and had half an hour to stop at this lovely park in the city centre. Many mallards and geese make this pond their home and soon there will be ducklings and gosslings around. This savvy Cooper's Hawk was also setting up a home base in the top of a spruce tree, knowing a good food supply is very available.
I watched as he (or she) made multiple trips with sticks to the nest in the tree top.

Lynne, at Hasty Brook posted a picture of a Milbert's Tortoiseshell butterfly here yesterday. This is a different but unfamiliar butterfly I found today. There was one at the park and then I saw four more on the hospital grounds later in the day. Please feel free to help me identify it.
(Thanks Lynne and Laura. It is aMourning Cloak. This link is interesting.)

I returned to the hospital on a road near the river and noticed a pair of birds soaring in the air above a field. I took a number of pictures with maximum digital zoom as I have no binoculars. This bird has a white head and I would identify it as an Osprey or an immature Bald Eagle. I know the wing tip angle is the clue in identification. I met a birder who has seen Bald Eagles recently in this area, and I was hoping this is what I saw today too. I am posting the full sized picture on Flickr for any expert who can help identify this bird in flight.

My mother and father arrived here tonight after driving from Cincinnati today. They have driven all the way up from Tepic, Mexico this month. Mom was telling me she has identified close to 200 birds on their property outside the city this year. They are in the mountains, close to the ocean and in a migratory path.
I will be happy if I identify fifty birds this season with help from my handy digital camera.
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