Bohemian Waxwing at -30°C.

Throwback Thursday is a follow-up of sorts to yesterdays Wordless Wednesday post. Here’s a Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) at -30°C.

Both birds were photographed in Saskatchewan, Canada in the winter. I’m always impressed by the way small birds survive winter temperatures.

Nowadays some digital cameras make a big deal about a freezeproof rating of -10°C. I find that rather humourous having shot film at -40°C and digital at -20°C.

I found a small flock of Bohemian Waxwings feeding along a fence line one morning. I briefly considered putting up a portable hide (blind) until I thought about how hard it would be to peg down given how frozen the field would be. In the end I followed them along the fence line for a while before leaving them to finish stripping the berries.

A Bohemian Waxwing at -30°C.

 

An autumn Pine Siskin.

One from the archives, taken in Saskatchewan, Canada in the 1990s. The Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus) looks fluffed up against the cold but it will get a lot colder in the winter.

Pine Siskins can survive very low temperatures. Their metabolic rate is 40% higher than typical for songbirds of their size. In extreme cold they can increase their metabolic rate up to five times normal.

This is my favourite Pine Siskin shot from Saskatchewan although I can’t explain why. The bird isn’t doing anything and is partially obscured by a branch. Maybe it’s the colour combination of the bird and the autumn leaves.

An autumn Pine Siskin.

Saskatchewan’s Provincial Flower.

Having posted a photo of White Trilliums, Ontario’s Provincial Flower I thought a photo of Saskatchewan’s Provincial Flower would make an follow up post of sorts.

The Prairie Lily is found over a quite large section of North America and isn’t limited to prairie habitat. Interestingly, as the Provincial Flower of Saskatchewan it cannot be picked, uprooted or destroyed in any manner in the province.

I found a group of three or four growing in a ditch on a quiet back road. Rather than walk up to the flower with a close up lens I set up my long telephoto on a tripod. That helped isolate the flower from cluttered surroundings and avoided trampling other plants in the ditch.

Saskatchewan's Provincial Flower

A wandering Willet.

Having been posting photos of birds in Ontario recently I thought it was time I posted something from Saskatchewan.

Now that summer has arrived here’s a photo of a Willet in breeding plumage wandering around a marsh looking for something to eat. Taken from a vehicle window using a bean bag to rest the lens on.

A feeding Willet.