Stephen Kirkpatrick

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Animal Olympics

I have had the privilege over the past two weeks to observe, photograph, and even hold a peregrine falcon. I discovered two nesting pair in the area where I have been summering in Quebec for 33 years. I have never seen peregrines there before.

Baby peregrine that fell out of nest

The Peregrine is renowned for its speed. This bird of prey reaches over 200 mph during its characteristic hunting stoop (high speed dive), making it the fastest member of the animal kingdom. If there were an "animal olympics," the Peregrine would win the gold medal. 

Immature Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)

The Peregrine's breeding range includes land regions from the Arctic tundra to the tropics. It can be found nearly everywhere on earth. This makes the Peregrine the world's most widespread raptor, and one of the most widely found bird species. Its diet consists almost exclusively of medium-sized birds, but Peregrine will occasionally hunt small mammals, small reptiles, or even insects. The Peregrine falcon became an endangered species, but since the ban on DDT from the early 1970s, populations have recovered, supported by large-scale protection of nesting places and releases to the wild.

What a privilege I have had, sharing my summer with these olympic champions.

Monday, July 23, 2012


24th Annual Loon Count

Common Loon (Gavia immer)

Saturday July 21st was the 24th annual "Loon Count" for us up here in the Gatineau area of Quebec. While it gave us the information we needed about the loon population on the surrounding lakes, which translates to the health of the lake, it is also a social event enjoyed some 60 participants.

Discussing count results at the cottage of Tim & Sheila Casgrain

The days totals

The loon count is also an opportunity to enjoy the surrounding scenery and wildlife (which is pretty nice.)


Calm morning for loon count


Bullfrog in Duckweed


Common Merganser Family

Wild Daisies

Arctic Tern

Yes, you can drink right out of the lake.

Common Loon "penguin dancing"

Day is done

Friday, July 20, 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Up The Lake

View from my cabin in Quebec.

More to come in the weeks ahead.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

God Bless America

While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.
God bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Through the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home
God bless America, My home sweet home.

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