Nature Notes

July 30, 2008

Merlin becoming more common in Ontario

Filed under: Birds,Canada,Video — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 5:32 pm

Video available Video available

Merlin

Merlin

The latest breeding bird survey for Ontario (2001-2005) shows that the Merlin has been moving south as a breeding species. As the BBS Atlas notes, in part this is due to increased breeding in urban areas, something it has done in the prairies for many years.

The image and video are of an adult bird from Cambridge where a pair successfully raised four young.


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July 22, 2008

Piping Plovers in Ontario

Filed under: Canada,Conservation — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am
Piping Plover

Piping Plover

The Piping Plover was listed as an endangered species in Ontario in 1977. Its preferred breeding habitat is sandy beaches which, of course, have been increasingly used by humans. It has recently bred at Wasgaga beach, Oliphant, and Sauble Beach here in Ontario. One large reason for its successes are dedicated volunteers who patrol the nest sites, helping to guard against human interference. Now the birds need to contend against their traditional enemies, gulls and crows.

Above is a shot of the male with his jewelery at the Sauble Beach site. Below is a distant shot of the female and a chick. A closer shot would have upset them.

Piping Plover

Piping Plover

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July 8, 2008

A Rarity, for a while

Filed under: Canada,Introduced — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 2:30 pm
Eurasian Collared-Dove

Eurasian Collared-Dove

I went to have a look at a rare bird reported in the Grimsby, Ontario area, a Eurasian Collared-Dove. It is an introduced species in North America, with the initial release in the Bahamas in the mid-70s. It has established itself on the mainland of the North American continent and is spreading across the continent. While still a rare bird in Ontario, there will probably come a time when it it much more common.

This is an old trick for this bird, in the 90s it rapidly established itself over much of Europe from its probably historical roots in India.

July/2007


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July 7, 2008

Photoshop Tutorial- 10 Seconds for a Perfectly Level Horizon

Filed under: Photoshop Tutorial — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 9:11 am

Photoshop Tutorial:Level Horizon

This shot of the courtyard of the Louvre is obviously tilted, perhaps the result of too much French wine. Lets first add some canvas all around to give us some room to work. This is optional but you may find it easier to work with.First take our cropping tool, pull it over the entire image and then use the mouse to pull out the handles on either of the opposite corners. Click on it and we have some additional canvas.

Photoshop Tutorial:Level Horizon

Underneath the Eyedropper tool, you will find the Ruler. Select it and use it to draw a line across two points of the correct level horizon. You click on one end and with the mouse button held down move to the other end. When you release it you have a line showing. I’ve done mine through the larger pyramid so you can see it (Below).

Photoshop Tutorial:Level Horizon

Go to our commands of   Image>> Rotate Canvas>> Arbitrary. You will see a number in the dialog box which represents the angle our ruler is on. In our example below, it is 2.22 Degrees

Photoshop Tutorial:Level Horizon

Now click on OK and Photoshop rotates your image so that your ruler mark is now level, along with your horizon.

Photoshop Tutorial:Level Horizon

Crop and fill in blank canvas to suit your composition and you are done. It takes me far longer to write this than to actually do it. A little practice and you’ll be able to do it in no time.

Photoshop Tutorial:Level Horizon

Index to Photoshop Tutorials.

This tutorial is a part of the Photoshop Workflow Series


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July 4, 2008

A Peregrine success story

Filed under: Conservation — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 1:04 pm
Young Peregrine harassed by Mockingbirds

Young Peregrine harassed by Mockingbirds

The Peregrine Falcon has been endangered by such things as habitat loss and the effects of DDT.

It has made a comeback and often it is breeding in populated areas, sometimes in the heart of cities.

In Burlington, Ontario, at a lift bridge, a pair has attempted to breed for some years. It has been unsuccessful due to the contamination in the area it chose to nest on. a steel girder which had oil about it. This year a platform was made for it and the pair successfully raised 4 young.

Above, one of the young birds, is being harassed by a Northern Mockingbird who is unhappy with its settling near their nest. The pair of Mockers soon persuaded it to move on.


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