We have a new activity we're offering this summer at the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area called Ranger River Walks. We meet at different parts of our park and show whoever is there around. There's an asterisk next to the list of parks that denotes if it's a specific birding ranger walk, but if I'm leading any of them, they will automatically be a birding walk, I can't help it. I did one yesterday at Lock and Dam 1 to see the peregrine nest box (above). Unfortunately, the nest failed, but the adults are still hanging out.
The lock and dam is a fun place for some light birding anyway. There are usually herons and waterfowl hanging out right under the platform and it's fun to look right down on them, it's your chance to see those great long heron toes. The dam is a great spot for them to go fishing, you'll also see cormorants hanging out around the dame too.
This poor black-crowned night-heron was trying to fish but the great blue herons kept chasing him off. It finally found a spot around some rocks to fish in peace, but just another fun bird that you can find in our very urban park.
I think the next ranger walk I lead is on June 24 at Minnehaha Falls if you would like to come along. Maybe we'll find a merlin, they've been around there in the past.
After the Ranger Walk, I headed over to Crosby Park to help get things ready for the bird banding that we'll do this Saturday at the BioBlitz. There were indigo buntings all over the place, if you've never seen one or had a good look at one, you'll get it this weekend if you show up. Above is the same bird that I got the video of yesterday.
While I was there at about noon, I head some barred owls hooting and a black-billed cuckoo. I doubt we'll get those in the nets, but still there are some great birds to be found in that park.
And I leave you with a video of that peregrine falcon preening: