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Welcome to the Pine River Review. Our sight is dedicated to our little homestead located along the Pine River tucked inside the Chippewa Nature Center's 1400 Acres of wild in Michigan's lower penninsula. We love to share our pictures, video, comment, and our own homespun music. Step inside our world as we celebrate this beautiful nook!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

World Bird Wednesday XXI

  What's Up?

It's been a fun and productive week chasing birds this week. The boys were up to the Pine River for a few days and they keep the joint jumpin'. The drums were pounding and the guitars were banging. The birds came by for the party too. They were treated to the best sunflower seed hearts, a fresh suet ball, and of course peanuts.
Everybody had a great time!

    The Turkey vultures are back after spending the winter where the snows can not hide their grizzly meal du jour. They'll be around here all summer effortlessly riding the thermals in great circles high above our heads.
    It has been a long standing debate, do vultures predominantly smell their prey or see it?  Harvard Entomologist P. J. Darlington Jr. in 1930 weighed in on the question with these observations taken from Familiar Birds.

In November, 1926, some dead fish were put out near Harvard House to attract beetles, but were stolen by Turkey Buzzards the first day. The bait had been hidden under fairly large stones, and since it was placed beside a garden where people were frequently moving about, there is no reason to suppose that the birds were attracted by my actions. They may, indeed, have smelled the fish, but it seems just as likely that they saw the insects which collected and which would have given the set away to any intelligent human being."

Later research has suggested that Turkey vultures, unlike the vast majority of birds, can smell well enough to detect food during low level flight. Of course vultures possess outstanding vision and rarely will you spot one wearing glasses.  By the way, some of us like to call these birds Turkey buzzards like the Professor did in the above quote but that is incorrect. They are in fact vultures. Road kill is often referred to as TV dinners by knowledgeable school children here in Michigan. The TV standing for Turkey Vulture in this case. That would be quite correct indeed.

One of my goals this summer is to collect some Belted kingfisher pictures. This quest got off to an unexpectedly fast start when I caught sight of the "Little Killer" by a pond. I usually don't see kingfishers until the water level drops on the river later in the summer. Maybe I've found a kingfisher hot-spot or perhaps I'll find it was just a random sighting. My eyes are wide open and so we shall see!

         Now it's time for World Bird Wednesday!

This is the home of World Bird Wednesday. A place for bird photographers from around the world to gather and share their photographs and experiences as they pursue Natures most diverse and beautiful treasurers, the birds. The Blogosphere connects like minded people from around our planet like no other technology can do. World Bird Wednesday will be open for posting at 12 noon Tuesday EST North America through midnight on Wednesday.

You are invited to link your blog with other bird photographers in a weekly celebration of these most diverse and intriguing of Earth's residents, the BIRDS.

                                                    CLICK THIS PICTURE!
#1. Simply copy the above picture onto your W.B.W. blog entry. It contains a link for your readers to share in WBW. Or you can copy this link on to your blog page to share W.B.W.

#2. Come to The Pine River Review on Tuesday Noon EST North America through Wednesday midnight and submit your blog entry with Linky.

#3. Check back in during the course of the next day and explore these excellent photoblogs!

You don't have to be a Bird Watcher or expert photographer to join in--just enjoy sharing what you bring back from your explorations and adventures into nature.The idea of a meme is that you will visit each others blogs and perhaps leave a comment to encourage your compadres!

          The thumbnails below are links to our contributors blogs where you can view their beautiful posts.

                        Come on it's your turn!


  1. great first shot! loved the jump! hurray for the early kingfisher spotting!

  2. That's the second Belted Kingfisher for today. You guys make me envious ;)
    Lovely shots as usual. Love the hoppedihop in the first shot pouncing on the nuts :D
    It wouldn't surprise me, if Vultures were more intelligent and could smell better than some human beings :)

  3. Love the vulture- they've come back to our area! I couldn't help but give you another heron update this week. Ask and ye shall receive...

  4. Love the Blue Jay with his feet off the ground!
    I had to smile at 'Turkey' Buzzard. We call them that too. They are beautiful soaring and gliding overhead but up close not so much.
    You're off to a great start with your Kingfisher shots - this one is grand. He sports quite a hairdo doesn't he!!

    Carletta's Captures

  5. Hiya Springman,
    I reckon I can live without the Vultures, but how I would love to see that cheeky Kingfisher. For some reason he reminds me of early photos of Ringo Star. Maybe it was the drumming you mentioned :-).What a gem of a picture.

  6. What a cute shot of that Blue Jay - looks like he was glad to see those peanuts. I love the TV photo, with the sun shining through his wingtips. I can't wait to see more Kingfisher shots - he's a grand little bird. Aaand...that's a beautiful new header!

  7. I love the first image a lovely capture. Your Kingfisher is a beautiful bird to see also.

  8. Nice shots, Springman, I really like the Kingfisher. They are beautiful and fun birds, good luck on your Kingfisher project!


  9. lol, I love the first little bird jumping up and down. So Cool.

    I saw a Belted Kingfisher in CR but did not get any good shot. I had better luck with it´s "brother" the Ringed Kingfisher. But that will be a later post. Godo luck with your project.

  10. My favorite in the lineup so far is the Pelican attack. I saw some of these up close and personal in Australia and worried about that exact scene happening.

  11. Great capture of the jay Landing--and I am always fond of vultures and I agree its their heightened sense of smell that leads them to the meal-
    AWESOME Kingfisher shot!!! hard to get those guys still long enough for a shot--

  12. As usually love all your photos!

  13. Wonderful post, Springman! Nice capture of the bluejay, they do love those peanuts. Your kingfisher show looks awesome. I always seem to see them flying away.

  14. As usual, your pictures are wonderful! I especially like the kingfisher! They are so striking! I've never seen one up close or personal...LOL...but we do, supposedly, have them here.

  15. Hi Springman, the little bluejay looks like he's got a little "Spring" in his step. At first I thought, the bluejay is jumping (!), but then realized he was coming in for a landing to get at those nuts. I saw a Turkey Buzzard today but wasn't as adept as you to catch it in flight! That does take practice...

  16. Great shot of the Blue Jay Dave and the Turkey Vulture in-flight is beautiful. Unlike most birds, Turkey Vultures have a highly developed olfactory sense and can smell a carcass under the forest canopy without ever seeing it. Black Vultures often follow them to find a meal and Bald Eagles also scavenge following the Turkey Vulture.

    Awesome shot of the Belted Kingfisher too. They are mating now and you may be able to find a Belted Kingfisher nest burrow by following this male. Survey the banks of the river for their 5 or 6 inch burrow entrance that may have a pile of dirt below the hole on the bank. The pair will vocalize often while digging the burrow nest, one bird perched nearby as the other digs. Good luck!

    A friend of mine told me of a site a week or so ago where he saw a pair of Belted Kingfishers digging a burrow. I hope to be able to document their breeding season if they actually nest there.

  17. I LOVE the shot of the Blue Jay caught in mid-air!

    Great captures of the TUVU and BEKI.

  18. All nice photos but the first with the bird partly in the air is really special.

  19. Hi Andrew,lovely birds you show us as usual,and the first pic is an absolute winner,and it's funny too!

  20. now I am confused. You have the same post in two different blogs?

    Re Google:
    thanks for telling me about google. I never check as I only continue to the next bird. there were limited info on the net it is not surprising I was ranked high up. So, maybe just a little famous then. :)

  21. Thank you for your very kind comment, I felt anything but brave, just held the camera between the monster and my hands, didn't want to spray blood all over the place as mine has to be kept very thin. In retrospect, it was quite an encounter!

    I adore your suspended Blue Jay, what a pose to capture!
    Smell versus sight is quite a question in the animal kingdom, it also applies to fish.

    Sometimes I wish I lived in the tropics where kingfishers are common, on the other hand it is too hot and humid for e there. Great shot and thank you for this wonderful meme.

  22. Great to see the Blue Jay jumping to the music. The Belted Kingfisher has a fab punky hairdo and the compostion reminds me of my first ever sighting when 7 adults went to Florida (Disneyland) many years ago and a BK regularly visited the pond on the property we stayed in.

  23. Just curious, but is anyone else unable to add their link to the list? It's just now noon on Wednesday (NA Central time), but the linky list already shows as being closed. :-/

  24. I have been looking at the top shot for quite a while and I'm am amazed! This photo is just brilliant! Congratulations, Springman!

  25. Kyle!!!!!
    Sorry, I punched in a AM instead of a PM on the closing time. My fault completely! We are back up and running. I hope you can still get on!

  26. Hi Springman! I had no birds again this week -- and so I thank you for offering this wonderful virtual birding experience. I love the Kingfisher -- and have wanted to get a picture of one forever (we see them in Oregon and here in FL, in Colorado and points between) but I never ever get tired of them. And that was a perfect picture.

    You are welcome to the vultures who spent the winter here (I guess that's a good sign that we should think of heading North too!).... I like to call them buzzards, even tho I know better, b/c it reminds me of the old Westerns that I watched a zillion years ago -- those cowboys always knew something was wrong when the buzzards were circling. ;>)

  27. Great captures--all. I usually see more Turkey Vultures at haying time than any other time. Such yummies that get caught by the mowers. MB

  28. That Jay shot is simply splendid! Wow!

  29. Thanks, David! :-) And by the way, I absolutely love that Blue Jay shot of yours. All three are great catches, but that one takes the cake!