Wednesday, March 17, 2010

On Rainbow Lake

We've just moved into a house that backs up to a small reservoir of probably three acres surface area. It's called Rainbow Lake, and one can see a few species of ducks and other water-loving birds on or around it at just about any time. This morning I've observed an American coot (Fulica americana), a male and female northern shoveler (Anas clypeata), some of the usual mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), a pied-billed grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) and a group of ring-necked ducks (Aythya collaris; these diving ducks always seem to prefer the middle part of the lake).

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Uganda's national bird

Originally uploaded by ian.shelburne

This is a grey crowned crane, the national bird of Uganda. Cranes in general are spectacular birds, but the crowned cranes (both grey and black) are stunning even in this excellent league. This one lives in the Abilene Zoo, and was enjoying the early-spring sunshine last Saturday after an unusually cold and moist winter.