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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, January 31, 2012

World Bird Wednesday LXIII

Random Raptors

   Winter is reaching that tedious portion where the cloud cover blankets the sky about 80% of the time. The Pine River is covered over with a solid sheet of ice and the ground is white with snow. We Michiganders are feeling squeezed between these two cold slices of stale bread. Bright days are a precious commodity and all of us storm outside to get a free dose of vitamin D when the sun shines. Like everyone else, I am spending way to many hours indoors bumping into walls. Today for instance I untangled the wires behind my TV entertainment complex...what a lot of spaghetti that was...this is how I'm marking time; doing silly barely useful chores. How nice it would be to play in the garden or splash in the river. Fat chance. Even the birds seem bored with cracking seeds and looking intently for critters to snatch up and fly away with. To all of you in the Southern Hemisphere or to those a thousand miles closer to the equator than where I presently sit, we long to hear the stories and see the pictures of your sunny skies and colorful birds. Help your snow bound brethren to the North break our cabin fever!

My dear, who does your nails?

The Irruption: Snow owls breed and raise young from May through September in the tundra along the Arctic rim. Apparently the small rodents known as lemmings that feed these young families had a record year in the reproduction department. Where Snow owls usually breed two owlets a season this years clutch sizes have numbered six or seven. Wintering owls of this generation have push further south and in greater numbers than any time in recent decades. I am wondering if this is true for the Snow owls of Northern Europe and Russia as well?
    I went looking and finally found one perched like a stone sculpture on top of a house near Lake St. Claire. My daughter informed me of the significance of the Snow owl to children's literature thanks to the Harry Potter series where they act as feathery postal workers delivering important messages. We agreed that my owl had a very Hogwartsian feel to it. Given the fact that this bird didn't budge for the hour I watched it is ample proof E-mail and texting has caught on with scholarly wizards and witches as well as more common place young people.

I'm guessing this is a Sharp-shinned hawk sitting in a Poplar tree in my woefully lit front yard.

Darn near half of this frame is filled with a weather beaten, first winter, Ring-billed gull yet it is still difficult to see. If there was a camouflage award, this would be a finalist. 

   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 beautiful treasurers, the birds.

   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!

   World Bird Wednesday will be open for posting at 12 noon Tuesday EST North America through midnight on Wednesday.

#1. Simply copy the above picture onto your W.B.W. blog entry, it contains a link for your readers to share in the fun. Or, you can copy this link on to your blog page to share WBW.

#2. Come to The Pine River Review on Tuesday Noon EST North America through Wednesday midnight and submit your blog entry with InLinkz.
#3. Check back in during the course of the next day and explore these excellent photoblogs!

The idea of a meme is that you will visit each others blogs and perhaps leave a comment to encourage your compatriots!

Come on it's your turn!


  1. so glad you got to see a snowy! have been seeing folks reporting them around Blogland (and on the news, of course). your bald eagle is spectacular! but that camo-gull takes the award, for sure. nicely done, springman!

    i didn't add a colorful bird for you, but at least i threw in some Texas green grass to make you a bit envious!

  2. All of your photos are exceptional, as usual, but I'm in love with the owl. :)

  3. Love the Bald Eagle! There have been a few sightings of them in this area recently which is nice. And the Snowy Owl is all over the news - Michigan in particular with the increased sightings.

    Raptors are my favorite and these are great photos, Springman!

  4. Glad the Snow Owl sat long enough for you.WInter only last so long Love.Snow Birlshead south for good reason....Let's Go now - Please!!

  5. great shots as always. And thanks for the info about the owl.

    BUT....what kind of tern is that on the last shot? Never seen a beak like that before. Is it real??

  6. Springman, great shots, per usual! Love the eagle!
    I know what you mean about bouncing off the walls! I managed to get out last Friday and had a productive day! But it's been grey and wet for a month now and it's definitely getting old. Did see some early signs of spring the other day! Hope she comes on early this year. We deserve it!

  7. That snow owl is just spectacular, and the shot of the eagle made me gasp aloud! Wow!

  8. I sympathize your bitter cold and l-o-n-g winters, I can barely imagine the endurance test; a good contender for any hard-slogging reality series I should think. At least you can delve into your archives and pull out all those wonderful photographs from when the days were clear (remember them still?) ... and pre-plan your outings, excursions in good time. I've linked in with a bunch of coloured parrots for you, just to brighten your day some.

  9. I agree that the birds seem pretty winter-weary too - but the squirrels are active!
    I love all your raptor shots today, but I think my favorite is that well-camouflaged gull.

  10. Great photos of all the birds but that eagle is magnificent! Be careful what you wish for! We have the heat plus lots of rain. At least we missed the floods others close by got - we only got about 7 inches of rain (in the old scale) but it has made it feel like sitting in a sauna all day. It's hard to get the energy up enough to go look for birds.

  11. No snow but getting quite cold over here over the past couple of days.
    The snowy owl is a real beauty and it's great to hear they are doing so well.

  12. Springman, fantastic shots of the raptors. The Eagle is amazing! I love the Snowy owl, definitely my favorite. Congrats on your sighting. Great photos and post.

  13. Wonderful photos. I have yet to see a snowy this season. The few times I chased them, I missed, perhaps soon I will.

  14. Great Find with the snowy owl...Ive been hearing a screech owl in my yard all month but so Far he is very well hidden, I cant find him. Down here we have had very little cold weather, in fact all my daffodils are blooming a full month early!!
    Excellent photos Springman!!
    I keep hoping Ill capture something worthy of sharing!!

  15. That is random :)

    Just love the snowy owl!

  16. Exceptional images. I love the last one.

  17. Beautiful words, and how I covet your Snowy Owl. I've had a few misses, going back to my early childhood. Only saw an injured one in Manitoba that could fly a few yards-- could not "count" it as a true find. Maybe someday, but not down here in South Florida!

  18. Wonderful raptors! Marvelous Eagle, nails and all. This past couple weeks the ones from around here have not showed up. Maybe they have found all the Pigeons that hang around the farm just down the road.
    This weather has us all fooled for sure. What is Mother nature up to? We're waiting for the bomb to drop. And speaking about Bombers, it won't be too long now.. Good luck with the "Prince" he will do smashing for you. We still have Grandie. He once played for the Erie SeaWolves before he went to the Tigers. If I'd only known, we could have seen him play. We're just 45 minutes away..
    Anyway, have a great week, and stay safe.

  19. I'm sure my camera abilities or lack thereof could not get eagle photos like this but to just seeing them this close would give me much pleasure.
    I love the snowy and as Tex said I've seen them in the news. Loved your take on Potter. :)
    The gull in full camo gear is definitely a lovely addition this week.

  20. Great raptor shots Dave! The camouflaged Ring-billed Gull is super too.

    Glad you got to see the Snowy Owl! Its rather heart breaking that the most likely reason that owl is not moving is that it is trying to save energy between meals that are far too far apart.

    These irruptions occur, as you stated, when the owls raise larger than normal clutches and the young must disperse father from home than normal to find enough food. They are far from home and don't know the territory which makes it even more difficult to survive. For this reason, it is asked that the Snowy Owls not be approached so closely that they fly, causing them to unnecessarily waste their energy.

    You have done well David, watching this juvenile sitting for an hour with it not taking flight!

  21. Great shots, I too like the camo gull the best.

  22. Looove the Snowy Owl!! You must spend a lot of time searching for these magnificent birds! I could spend all day driving around for hours and never see one bird!

    Hang in there, I'm predicting an early Spring this year!

  23. I take your winter and the skies any time, if I get to see your birds as well ;-)
    Love the Snowy!

  24. Dave, we have also suffered cabin fever due to our recent heat waves too lethargic to even disentangle cables. I would gladly swap with you, you can always put on an extra layer but it is hard to take off any more once you are reduced to your birthday suit.

    Been seeing the advent on all those snowy owls across blogland and am green with envy. The only one I have seen a lot of as on the cover of my first bird book in 1960. Unfortunately that burned down with everything else in one of our major bushfires.

    PS birds tend to hide in the heat as well as humans.

  25. Hi there - what a great owl!

    Your wish is my command - if you pop over to 'my other blog' you will find a tale of heat, bright sun and lots of waders!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

  26. This time I have a favourite - definitely owl!!! I do love them, and yours is so pretty!

  27. Your blog was recommended to us by TexWisGirl (The blog has run round ranch report). The pictures are beautiful and the idea of ​​a participatory blog is very good.
    Céline & Philippe

  28. Brilliant bird shots as always Springman! Birds of prey are so fascinating. I am still waiting for the opportunity to capture some... one day maybe.
    Love the header for this week!

  29. Springman, we have been having some pretty nice weather here on the east coast and yesterday I even sat outside on my back porch for 45 minutes in the afternoon! Love that gull photo. The colors and lighting are so soft and subtle and beautiful. Love the snowy owl too. I'm glad you could find one! I have seen 3 in this winter season. Quite a treat to see a bird I thought I would never see in my lifetime! Then, to beat that, I saw a Northern Hawk Owl this past weekend in Maine!

    You've seen quite a few raptors yourself and I understand the cabin fever. Last year it was horrible here but this year we have only had to shovel snow once and that was in October! If you are longing for some sunshine, take a look at my old blog, Sycamore Canyon, which I wrote when I lived in AZ. Lots of sunshine and exotic birds there, LOL! Yes, we miss it and we have tried to go back, but no luck so far.

    Glad you got your wires untangled, 'cause who wants to stay inside and do a job like that on a sunny day!

  30. Hey everybody!
    I'm sitting at the firehouse and have been outside internet range for the last day! Great to see your wonderful responces all a once. Great stuff. Before I get to the blogs, a few comments:
    First off, thanks to Larry for the tip on the Snowy owls location. I'm starting to feel sorry for these wayfarers!
    I am glad to read good responces to the gull shot. I puzzeled over that picture a couple of weeks before I figured out what I liked about it.
    Sorry to hear about the sweltering heat in Australia. It sounds debilitating. I suppose our weather has some advantages, it's easier to keep beer cold for instance and yeah, the Northern Lights should be hitting hot and heavy from the solar storms. The bill for heat or A/C amounts to the same thing I suppose.
    Okay, I'm running way late getting to the blogs. Thank You again for your beautiful thoughts.
    Let's hope Detroit is peaceful tonight!

  31. I love, love, love the Snowy Owl and I am so envious for all whom are being able to view and photograph them, but also so very happy for you all whom are being able to have this wonderful opportunity. Your Bald Eagle is truly amazing as are each of your entries. What a wonderful way to begin my morning...a little late visitng, but so nice to see all~

  32. I love your shot of the Snowy Owl. The heavy markings show that it is a juvenile. Sadly most of these irruptive Owls will never make it back to their native tundra and will perish by starvation. The Ring-billed Gull is gorgeous!

  33. Oh my gosh I swear I can HEAR that eagle! Beautiful post and your header waxwing is perfection.