Mr. and Mrs. Nuthatch

Wednesday, January 23, 2019,

Okay, boys and girls, today’s offering comes with a lesson. Here is how to tell the difference between male and female White-breasted Nuthatches. In the photo above we have a male doing the whole “Ain’t I cute?” pose. You see that black cap he’s wearing? Now, check out the female below. She wears a cap as well but hers is the same gray that adorns both of their backs. Can you see the difference? Then my work here is done. JK


An Energetic Shoveler

Tuesday, January 22, 2019,

This is a series of photos I took of a male Northern Shoveler stretching his wings or maybe just shedding some excess water. Or both, I don’t really know.

What I can tell you is that these are one of the most specialized ducks that visit Long Island. I’m not sure that you can see it in these pics, but Norther Shovelers have a very unique bill that they use as a sieve to filter out seeds and aquatic invertebrates from the water. They usually go around with half of their head submerged as they sweep that extra wide bill from side to side in search of dinner. It really is an amazing adaptation.


Wigeon at Frank Melville Park

Wednesday, December 12, 2018,

This is a male Wigeon. Wigeons are one of several species that I like to refer to as ‘Winter Ducks’, because they and a few other species only visit Long Island during winter. Other of these ‘Winter Ducks’ include Gadwalls, Northern Shovelers, and Hooded Mergansers. There are several other species that come under that umbrella but the Wigeons, Gadwalls, Shovelers, and the Mergansers can often be found at either of the ponds at Frank Melville Park. This park is a magnet for these winter visitors. If you are interested in viewing uncommon ducks, then maybe you should consider visiting Frank Melville. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. JK

A Squirrel at Sweetbriar Nature Center

Wednesday, December 5, 2018,

Here are a pair of pics of the rarely seen Eastern Gray Squirrel.  This little guy was hanging out at Sweetbriar Nature Center in Smithtown, where I am a sometime volunteer. I go there from time to time to visit with friends and to walk around the grounds taking photographs of birds and other local wildlife. Sweetbriar is a great place for that sort of thing. I heartily suggest that you check the place out. JK