Welcome to our monthly celebration of nature and photography!

» Quiz - Common Birds!
» Five Things About...woodpeckers
» More names of groups of birds


Mount Wilson
A little patch of Partridgefoot flowers, Luetkea pectinata, welcomes you this month.
Where's Lily?

While you're reading this month, be sure to keep an eye out for Lily the Ladybug.

She's managed to hide in one of the photos, but which one?!

Some plants are thermogenic. They have the ability to generate heat
that can even melt their way through snow to allowing early germination.

Which common west coast plant has this ability?

Compare your answer with the answer at the end of the newsletter. 

Here's a close-up image to test your mystery-solving skills.
As usual, you'll find the answer at the end of the newsletter.

Great Spangled Fritillary, Speyeria cybeleFemale Pileated Woodpecker,
Dryocopus pileatus
_ North America has over 20 different species of woodpeckers while round the world there are over 200 - many are threatened due to habitat loss.
  Woodpeckers have chisel-like bills used for drilling on trees in search of food such as insects. They use their long tongues to capture prey inside a tree.
  Woodpeckers can peck 20 times a second! Both male and females drum the trees which is believed to play an important role in communication.
  Woodpeckers feel no pain at all when pecking trees. Their brains are protected by special air pockets in the skull.
  On the nostrils of woodpeckers are feathers that look like bristles which are to prevent inhaling wood particles. Other feathers on the back help provide stability and keep them upright when on trees.

This month's quiz is a matching one!

Can you match the photos of the following birds with the correct name?

Make a list 1 through 12 and start matching! Good luck.

(Note: Don't worry if you have some images left over as there are more names than photos.)
_ _ _
Bird 1
Bird 2
Bird 3
Bird 4
Bird 5
Bird 6
Bird 7
Bird 8
Bird 9
Bird 10
Bird 11
Bird 12
Anna's Hummingbird   American Robin   Bewick's Wren   Blue Jay
Brown-headed Cowbird _ Canada Jay _ Chipping Sparrow _ Hermit Thrush
House Finch   Northern Flicker   Rufous Hummingbird   Steller's Jay
    Varied Thrush   White Crowned Sparrow    
Quiz answers are found later in this issue of Whispers.

Demonstrate your wisdom and nature know-how by throwing
a few fascinating nature words into your daily conversations!
A good friend of mines was telling me the other day the one thing about birds she admires is the interesting hmuh that some birds have.

What on earth was she talking about?
  a. A colourful pattern on a bird's breast.
  b. An unusual thing on a bird's head.
  c. An extraordinary large bird nest.
  d. A bird's migratory flight path.
You'll find the answer at the end of this month's Whispers.

Did you know we have over two dozen pages of amazing special places in the natural world? Each one takes you on a virtual tour of some of the most incredible national, provincial and state parks as well as other wonderful places.

Drop by The Travel Office and go exploring! Just click here!

This super photo of a busy Cattle Egret comes to us from Judy Howle, Columbus, MS. What an amazing pose!
This beautifully composed photo of some stunning Purple Coneflowers, Echinacea purpura, was sent in for us all to enjoy by Susan Kalman, Allegany, NY
Marilyn Flanagan, our friend in Florida, spotted this cute Carolina Wren. It looks a little suspicious!
This cute Black-capped Chickadee was captured by Tracy Capps of Mascoutah, IL.
Penny of Toronto, took this great photo of a Kiskadee while in sunny Mexico.
Penny also spotted this pretty Yellow Warbler in Mexico.

Many thanks to Judy, Susan, Marilyn, Tracy and Penny for another great selection of images.
If you have a nature image you'd like to see in this section, please let us know!.

While wandering on Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park, Washington, we came upon a butterfly lick and this dazzling Chalcedon Checkerspot Butterfly, Euphydryas chalcedona.
Do you have an idea for a fun caption for this photo a Pine Siskin gathering nesting material?
Here are some ideas:

#1 - "OK, where is the end to this bit?"
#2 - "Once I clear this lot off I won't need any more."

If this month's photo inspires you, please send us your caption in an e-mail.

Marilyn Flanagan of Florida takes us to the Orlando Wetlands Park this month.

The habitat here supports numerous species of animals including over 200 bird species.
What an amazing place to visit and explore!

___Two bears were enjoying themselves in a pub, when some scuba divers came on the TV.
___"Why is it those divers sit on the side of the boat and fall backwards out of the boat?" asked Ted.
___His buddy thought for a minute and said, "Oh, that's easy. If they fell forwards, they'd still be in the boat!"
"You have to explain everything to some folks."

Our Monthly Selections
Here are this month's choices:
Bird - Mew Gull | Wildflower - Pineapple Weed | Bug -  Candystripe Spider

Click to visit__ Click to visit__Click to visit
Click on the images to visit the pages.
A Little Reminder
It's time to clean those suet feeders. A small scrubbing brush and an old tooth brush with warm soapy water works well.
Tips and Ideas
Bushtits seem to look pretty much identical, but if you look closely you'll see that their eyes are different. The female, above, has a yellow eye.
Male Bushtits have black eyes with no yellow.
Found At Last! The Elusive Blue Hen Chicken!
__ Our page of Provincial and State Birds is now complete, thanks to Greg Nussbaum who provided us with the last photograph we needed, the state bird of Delaware, the Blue Hen Chicken.

Check out the page here.
About Birds: Bird Group Names - Part Two
A congress of crows
A bevy or covey of quail
A covey, lek or pack of grouse

A flight of cormorants

A cast or kettle of hawks


A charm, troubling or hover of hummingbirds


A charm of goldfinches

A bew or covey of partridges

A congregation of plovers

A spring of teal

A covey of ptarmigans

A flight or coot of doves

A murmuration of starlings

A charm, trembling or trimming of finches

A muster of storks
Screech owl
A parliament of owls
A muster, pride or ostentation of peacocks

A sedge of cranes
Brown pelicans
A squadron of pelicans
Picture of the Week
Click to visit   Be sure to drop by the Inn every week to see the latest Picture of the Week.
You can also do so by clicking on the image to the left or by clicking here.
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Past Issues
If you want to see any of the past issues of Whispers, they are available here.

Did you know that the state bird of Hawaii is a rare goose called a Nene, Branta sandvicensis?  The species name sandvicensis refers to the Sandwich Islands, the name given to the Hawaiian Islands by Captain Cook in honor of John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich. Lord Sandwich is said to have enjoyed eating meat between two pieces of bread which allowed him to play cards and eat without using utensils and getting his fingers greasy!

in 1990, Oklahoma named the White-tailed Deer the state's game animal.

Our trivia answer is the Skunk Cabbage.

A very vocal Caspian Tern is the subject of this month's mysterious close-up.

A hmuh is
c. an usual thing on a bird's head.

Quails have a hmuh as evident on this California Quail.

_ _ _
Bird 1
Northern Flicker
Bird 2
Steller's Jay
Bird 3
Anna's Hummingbird
Bird 4
House Finch
Bird 5 White-crowned Sparrow
Bird 6
Varied Thrush
Bird 7
Chipping Sparrow
Bird 8
American Robin
Bird 9
Rufous Hummingbird
Bird 10
Blue Jay
Bird 11
Bewick's Wren
Bird 12
Canada Jay

Click here to learn more about fungi

Still looking for Lily?

If you need a little clue, click here!
Thanks for joining us this month. We hope you enjoyed this issue of Whispers. We invite your comments and ideas - just drop us an e-mail. See you next month!
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