Marlene zooms in on this Tinkerbell-sized hummer! “Here is a beautiful Hummingbird that I spotted at Jackfish Lake near Athabasca. This little guy was brave and hovered so I could take as many pictures as I wanted”. At incredible speeds they dart up, down, upside down – even backwards – and as we see here, show off their famous hover.
DID YOU KNOW? To hover, the wings beat horizontally in a flattened figure-of-eight pattern. The slight lift and drag forces balance out so that the bird hangs almost motionless. At top speed, the body is near-horizontal and the wings beat almost vertically to produce maximum forward thrust. And those beats are astonishingly fast - anywhere from 55 to 80 times a second!
GO WHATEVER SPEED IS WITHIN YOUR COMFORT ZONE AND MAKE TRACKS FOR THOSE GREAT OUTDOORS. FRESH AIR PHOTOS AIR ON BT EVERY MORNING AT 7:10 AND ARE FEATURED RIGHT HERE ON THIS BLOG. MAYBE TOMORROW WE’LL BE LOOKING AT YOURS!
Smack dab in the middle of moving to a new house, I was without cable for this week’s episode of The Bachelorette (Mondays, 9pm, OMNI).
Good thing our BT Bachelorette panel was on hand Tuesday morning after the 8am news to bring me up to speed. Check out the video link below for this week’s installment.
Want to join us for the official Bachelorette finale party on Monday, July 16th at The Ranch? Fire off an email and let us know how many friends you’ll be bringing! Bachelorette cast-off Ryan Bowers is hosting the big event – not one to be missed!
Talk about lining up the perfect shot! George’s pelican pic is in the best light at the optimum angle: “This picture was taken in Cuidad del Carmen, Mexico. I spent many hours trying to get good shots of the pelicans, my favorite birds. They swallow an entire fish at once”.
DID YOU KNOW? The Pelican’s bill is longer than any other bird – it’s nearly half a meter (a foot and a half) long. And as you can see, it’s main function-with pouch-is to catch fish. The fascinating pelican pouch can hold the equivalent of two flushes of a toilet. Even more amazing? The pelican tightens the pouch after catching a fish, expelling water and forcing the prey down its throat. George’s photo is so clear that we can see the ‘hook’ on the end of its beak. Called a mandibular nail, it helps the pelican nab prey. The nail is also used to preen and to intimidate predators, competitors, and humans who try to get too close.
THE POWER OF THE ZOOM SHOWS US THE POWER OF THE POUCH. WE INVITE YOU TO SHOW OFF YOUR FAVORITE PHOTO. UPLOAD IT TODAY, SEE IT ON BT AND THIS BLOG, TOMORROW!
Mr. Waxwing looks like a superhero with his perfectly fitted black mask. Credit goes to Don for this kodak moment: “Here is a Cedar Waxwing that I captured the other day. A whole flock invaded this blossoming tree and dined on the fruits and berries. The next day they moved on, so I was very lucky to have seen and ’snapped’”. To attract waxwings plant dogwood, serviceberry, cedar, juniper, hawthorn, and winterberry trees.
DID YOU KNOW? The purpose of ‘why’ they have wax on the wings has has eluded many an ornithologist. But back in 1987 there was a study conducted in Kingston, Ontario by D. James Mountjoy and Raleigh J. Robertson. They analyzed old and young males and females and found that most mated pairs were composed of two birds belonging to the same tip index category, where the number of tips correlates with age. Young & old birds all paired up with other members of their own peer group. So why do waxwings wear wax on their wings? To take the guesswork out of dating! This wax is pretty wise.
YOU CAN EITHER TAKE YOUR MATE WITH YOU, OR INCLUDE THE WHOLE FAMILY. MAKE SURE YOUR KODAK MOMENT MAKES IT ON BT AND THIS BLOG – UPLOAD YOUR PHOTO TODAY!
Wowza. Even if this guy goes home empty handed, he’ll have one amazing sunset to remember. Paul put down his own fishing rod for just a minute to camera capture his buddy: ”I am camera shy – I like to ‘take’ the pictures. This beautiful spot is Heritage Lake next to the highway 2 overpass in Mornville. Great spot for a morning fish as well”.
DID YOU KNOW? Heritage Lake is also called Morinville Lake. It is one of the largest stocked ponds in the province. The Alberta Conservation Association has an Enhanced Fish Stocking Program and each year about 9,000 rainbow trout are released between April 15 and September 30. The stocking program is currently supported through a provincial program that uses revenue from fishing and hunting licences. Paul is such an avid fisherman – he created a website with everything from tours to lures: www.wee-hours.com
CARE TO SHARE ‘YOUR’ HAPPY PLACE? WE OF THE FRESH AIR PHOTO NATION ARE WAITING FOR YOUR NATURE PIC RIGHT NOW.
“Another of Mother Nature’s true beauties. These Saline Shooting Stars are now blooming in many wet spots in Alberta. Get out and enjoy but do not pick! You said it! Thanks very much Murray! Tough “and” beautiful, they do indeed like moist, prairie meadows and are found from Fort Chipewyan to Ponoka. They start to appear soon after the snow melts.
DID YOU KNOW? Want the BUZZ on how Shooting Stars are pollinated? It’s pretty cool! We know that when bees visit a flower, the flower’s pollen sticks to the bee. And when that bee flies to another flower of the same type, the pollen that was stuck to it gets brushed onto the pistil (the reproductive part of the flower) and viola! …. the flower is pollinated and will develop seeds and fruit. BUT with the Shooting Star: bees grab hold of the petals and gather pollen by vibrating the flowers by buzzing their wings (buzz pollination). The vibration is what releases the pollen. Told you it was pretty cool!
GET UP NICE AND CLOSE, YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO DISCOVER. UPLOAD YOUR PHOTO TODAY, SEE IT ON BT AND THIS BLOG TOMORROW!