Sunday Trail Shots

For three months every year we monitor a Mountain Bluebird Trail west of Calgary in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. This task normally will start in April and continue to mid-July. This includes maintaining the nest boxes as well as counting nests, eggs, hatchlings and fledglings for both the Tree Swallow and the Mountain Bluebird. In addition we band the Mountain Bluebirds, it is easy to catch the female when she is brooding and the males when he enters the box to feed the hatchlings. The young are banded at 7-12 days of age while still in the nest boxes. Incubation normally lasts 14 days and they will fledge their nest in about 21 days.

Our Trail is 10 kilometres of country roads and we visit the trail every Sunday morning.

Here are 10 shots of our trail companions , taken today, Sunday May 20, 2012. Enjoy!

Click on Image to en-large

Tree Swallows nest next to the Mountain Bluebird. This one appears to be yelling at us.

A brooding female Mountain Bluebird just exited her nest box for a coffee break.

A Yellow-headed Blackbird – they always place their nest over water

A female Red-winged Blackbird – Looks like a large dark sparrow

A Newborn watching our every move

A Muscrat enjoying his life in his Pond

A rare viewing of a “Sora” , a small waterbird. Common but hard to find!

A male “Bufflehead” Duck – a small diving duck referred to as the “Butterball” – a cavity nester.

A freshly banded female Mountain Bluebird. The band contains a 9 digit identification.

A close up of the above female using my new Nikon D800 – 36.3MP

Stay tuned for next Sunday and 10 more snaps!

For more photos goto The Picture Window

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