Friday, 12 September 2014

Van Wagner's Beach

I had a day off today and after looking at the forecast I decided to head down to Van Wagner's Beach in Hamilton to look for Jaegers!  No not the alcohol, the birds!  Jaegers are a small group of arctic breeding birds that are similar in size and structure to gulls.  They are typically only seen in Ontario along the edges of the Great Lakes, on their way out to the ocean.  The most interesting thing about these birds is that they chase gulls in an attempt to force them to regurgitate the food they have consumed so that they can eat it!  There are 3 species: Long-tailed, Parasitic and Pomarine Jaeger.

Today, the winds were in my favour, blowing from the east and it helped to push 5 of these birds close enough to the Hamilton shoreline for the birders to see.  Of these we only identified 2, both were Parasitic Jaegers.  The other birds were too far out to separate.  I snapped one shot of the only close bird.
We identified this bird as a dark Juvenile Parasitic Jaeger. By far the most cooperative bird of the day

The lookout at Van Wagner's Beach

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