Tag Archives: Bird ID

What is that bird? A Trumpeter Swan!

October 16, 2020: Trumpeter Swan

What is that bird? It is a Trumpeter Swan! Our eagle-eyed camera operators found it yesterday on our Mississippi Flyway cam and we went to ornithologist Tom Prestby for an expert opinion. So how we tell a Trumpeter Swan from the far more common Tundra Swan? Behavior. Our first clue that we were seeing something a little different? There were only two swans. Tundra swans tend to travel in flocks – like snow, a blizzard of white from the north!

What are those birds?

Black-Bellied Whistling Duck on the Flyway Cam in Lake Onalaska/Pool Seven of the Mississippi River

What are those birds? The first one is a black-bellied whistling duck, which was spotted on our Flyway Cam on Monday, August 10th! They are cavity nesters who usually form gregarious flocks of up to 1000 birds, although this one was alone. It was also far, far out of its usual range. E-Bird shows just a handful of sightings in Wisconsin! The Flyway cam is getting busy now and we are seeing a lot of great species. You can watch

What bird is this?

August 17, 2019: American Avocet

What bird is this? https://youtu.be/VtOI3-WkTQQ. It’s an American Avocet! This surprise visitor showed up on the Flyway Cam this morning and back in July. When we first started looking into it, I thought it was an eastern bird moving west. But I was wrong! According to Birds of North America: “American Avocets specialize in using ephemeral wetlands of the arid western United States, and are iconic symbols and effective indicators of environmental stressors within western wetlands. Wide-ranging among seasons, Avocet

Identifying birds of prey in flight

Silhouettes of birds of prey in flight

Bald Eagle or Turkey Vulture? Is that a Peregrine Falcon or something else? Understanding body plans can be helpful in identifying soaring, stooping, and flying birds. Coming to our After the Fledge party in Decorah? Get ready for Turkey Vulture or Not with this article!  Bald eagles are soaring generalist hunters that eat almost anything they can catch. Peregrine falcons are energetic, acrobatic flyers that specialize in catching birds in the air. Both are birds of prey, but their body

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