Tag Archives: birds

Sky Carp

I’ve never understood the animosity towards seagulls, commonly referred to as “Sky Carp”. Sure, they’re common and they can be scavengers, but these birds are highly adaptive survivors.


Seagulls on ice at Buckeye Lake, Ohio
Seagulls on the ice at Buckeye Lake, Ohio.

Today the snow let up enough to take pictures and these seagulls at Buckeye Lake were thriving in temperatures that were in the low 20’s.

I really started to enjoy watching seagulls when I first seen them in the deserts of California. It was freezing in January in the Mojave. The thought that anything could be thriving in such a inhospitable environment seemed amazing to me. I thought they were primarily water birds too, but it turns out that they are in just about every corner of the Earth, even Antarctica.

I’ve read that seagulls are a symbol of freedom. Maybe that’s why so many find them intolerable? That kind of hate without a good specific reason as to why attitude happens with freedom too.

 

A European Starling

European Starling
A European Starling

This a really common bird in Ohio called a European Starling. They are everywhere in downtown Newark, Ohio. They remain active throughout the winter too.

When this photo was taken, I was walking into work. This is one of the reasons I try to always carry a camera. Sure, it’s just a common bird, but it made me stop in my tracks and take a moment to enjoy natures beauty in an area where you really have to pay attention to find beauty.

It made me look up information about something so common that I really didn’t know much about too. I found out that they were brought here by Eugene Schieffelin, a wealthy industrialist. Like so many of today’s wealthy, they found it fashionable to fund junk environmentalism in the 1890’s too. In Schieffelin’s day, they thought it was a wise endeavor to import wildlife and plants from one area of the globe to another. Starlings have made a negative impact on the native birds and the effort proved destructive in the end. They’re still a beautiful and interesting bird to watch and photograph.

The Hooded Merganser Duck

Hooded Merganser Duck
A Hooded Merganser Duck taking flight.

I got a pleasant surprise yesterday as I headed to the woods on the first nice Saturday of 2014, a small flock of strange looking ducks called Hooded Mergansers were in the Licking River at Blackhand Gorge near Newark, Ohio.

Usually, ducks pretty much ignore you, but these are a little more stealthy. By the time I got a bead on them, they started taking flight. My camera has a sports mode that rapid fires and it’s a big help with wildlife. The quality of the photo isn’t as good, but it’s better to get a photo than none at all. This photo was the only one that even had a duck in it.

This is the first Hooded Merganser I’ve ever seen. It’s quite a thrill to get wildlife that’s out of the ordinary and it always happens when you least expect it.