Monday, 25 July 2016

American Crow (Corneille d'Amérique) and other delights

24 July 2016

     I have always found it difficult to get good pictures of black birds and yesterday was no exception. American Crows Corvus brachyrynchos were not hard to find and some even reasonably cooperative in terms of picture taking!

     We have been having a prolonged dry spell and the ground is baked. I suspect that it is difficult for many species to find food and these opportunistic corvids were gleaning whatever morsels they could locate.

     I always find it very appealing to see all the various colours, tinges and hues when the plumage of a bird which appears to be totally black is examined closely. Crows are handsome birds indeed and possessed of a high degree of intelligence. Wonderful birds to study!

     Neither Miriam nor I could initially identify this stunning plant we came across.

     It took quite a bit of research to pin it down but it is a Trumpet Vine Campsis radicans, native to the eastern United States and naturalized in Ontario.

     It was impressively beautiful and we were happy to have found it. It has distinctive fruit as may be seen in the picture below.

     The ubiquitous Soldier Beetles seem to be quite willing to accept this plant as a host for their reproductive period.

     A pair of Western Ospreys Pandion haliaetus has raised young on a communications tower in Erbsville this year. One cannot get close enough at the right angle for a good picture but the following image at least records the presence of two birds there on this date. Whether they are adults or hatch year birds it was impossible to tell given that we didn't have a telescope with us.

     We were delighted to find this Clover Looper Caenurgina crassiuscula, a moth which exhibits both diurnal and nocturnal behaviour. There was always vegetation between us and it but I managed this picture anyway.

     An Ebony Jewelwing Calopteryx maculata was perched nicely to bid us goodbye at the end of what had been a very pleasant stroll.


  1. Beautiful images, my favourite is the Crow.

  2. Ah yes, "Greenshanks" and "The Greenshank" both by Nethersole Thompson. i thought I directed you to the former? Ah well, if you are happy with your purchase together with part of The Times. Pity it is not the original letter but even so I can't imagine there are many such clippings. It does make me wonder who originally owned your copy?

  3. Crow is a gorgeous bird. Awesome photo.

  4. I do love to watch the crows on our farm. I read an article about a girl who fed crows and they left her treasures in exchange.

  5. Interesting birds ravens, they are not very attractive because of their plumage but I like to see them for their great intelligence

  6. Beautiful pictures of the Crows, David. I never succeeded in making a good en profile picture. Mostly they turn around and walk away. Nice pictures of the Trumpet Vine. We are familiar with the species, our Clematises are overgrown by it.
    Gr Jan W

  7. Hi David.

    Cute series of photos David.
    Cute birds in the mast.

    Groettie from Patricia.

  8. Hello David, still not my good old self I must apologische for not responding on your late blogs. But I do follow them. Great you saw the nest of the Ospreys, one of my favorite birds. Love the blog about the bees. And that Mink, wow what a beauty that is.
    Take care,

  9. Hello David,
    corvids are very difficult to photograph. This one is very beautiful no ? I think the American crow is more blue on her wings ?
    The following is good !

    I have a lot of foie grass in my home, it's a home cooking :)) Lol

  10. Think I have a couple of crows in my USA photos! I really have to find time to get around to them before my memory lapses but there is so much to do at present, will be glad when the house is looking ship shape again and re-decorating is over. Hopefully it will then all last for another 10 years!! The trumpet vine is very pretty, Diane

  11. David these are great captures,and I find Magpies are the same problem.

  12. Your crow images show the blue shine beautifully, David!

    That trumpet vine is very special - the last image of it reminds me of an old wind-up phonograph!

    The Ebony Jewelwing is fabulous!

    Love to you both - - - Richard

  13. Hi David, great post, your crows appear to have more blue in the wings than we our native birds. The Trumpet Vine is certainly colorful, what a super flower. Also good to see some of your Ospreys.
    Regards John

  14. Hi David,
    Yes I agree! Birds with dark plumage are as difficult to photograph than very light ones!! You did jolly well considering!
    Corvids here in France are not easy to approach. This one was a kind individual!!
    The Trumpet vine looks much like our Bignonia, colour and shape, they must be of the same family.
    Nice to see the "demoiselle" in your post, you don't often publish dragonflies!
    Keep well both of you and share my warmest huhs :)
    PS: you are very welcome to 'foie gras' if you come back to France!!!

  15. David you may be interested in watching this. A very good series of 3 programmes.

    1. Hi Phil: I would have loved to have watched these episodes but they are blocked. Here is the message I get: BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Thanks for thinking of me anyway.

    2. Yes it's region blocked, I'd love to be able to watch the iplayer here in Japan but it's just not possible........

  16. Dearest David,
    Indeed the American crow does have a rather iridescent plumage and yes, it is very hard to capture that.
    The Trumpet vine is all over Georgia and looks very colorful.
    Those Western ospreys obviously preferred the high rise area for building their nest.
    Sending you hugs,

  17. Strange to see an Osprey nest like that..............

  18. Hi David,
    Black is also difficult to photograph but this black crow you still can pack quite nice. You can see the springs and the pattern so it's your well done :-)
    That vine I find very special and very beautiful. That trumpet flower that I really like. You ehbt as a beautiful series made. Cool to see an osprey and you can also keep an eye from afar. The moth and the banded demoiselle are very nice.

  19. Splendid photos David and nice lighting. Your other photos are also impressive. Love the trumpet flower. We get a lot of those around here. I am back and catching up ever so slowly :)

  20. A beautiful selection of photo's for us to enjoy.
    I liked the crow, but I especially liked the trumpet flowers - what lovely colours.

    All the best Jan

  21. Beautiful photos of Crow, David
    Also nice the soldier on the flowers.
    The banded demoiselle I like the most.
    Greetings Tinie

  22. Great captures! I love all black birds.....and blackbirds. To me they are a really interesting group of birds. American Crows are awesome. I couldn't resist. Last weekend, I took several pictures of the birds and enjoyed watching the juveniles forage around the ground. Have a wonderful weekend! Chris

  23. The pictures are excellent, but, my favourite is the Ebony jewelwing, superb David.

  24. It is very difficult to take a good picture about black birds, but these are very good. I also find it very difficult to take a picture about red rose...
    Western Ospreys have found a very interesting place for their nest :)