Thanks. I’m very proud of that header shot. Actually, that is a tachnid wasp; the aster it is sitting on is about 1 cm in diameter. I had my camera about 3 inches from this guy and he actually just sat there and let me take several shots. In this one he had his wings angled exactly right to catch the light and show their iridescence. I felt so blessed that this normally very “flitty” insect stayed still for me.
Yes, those are feathers. The Cooper’s hawk had a downy woodpecker for breakfast the other day and these wing feathers are all that were left after the meal was completed. I thought they made a nice accent. Of course, after the photo session I had to take them back outside. The authorities frown on possession of feathers from wild birds. Not sure why feathers you find on the ground are verboten, but there you go.
Hmmm. I”m not sure about the laws in Canada, except that it is illegal to possess eagle feathers unless you are First Nations. Also, I think feathers of raptors are off limits. Some artists paint on feathers here, but not eagle feathers, for sure.
The law here specifically mentions songbirds and raptors of all sorts (which includes owls). I’m not sure where woodpeckers fit in the scheme. I do know the turkey and pheasant feathers are fair game, as they are hunted birds with a season.
The fine for possessing an eagle feather here if you are not a Native American is quite stiff.