The Owl and the Mockingbird (and the Hawk)

About 11 AM on Wednesday (1/5/11) Facilities Tech, Al Gustafson spotted a Northern Mockingbird harassing a Barred Owl in a small pine tree 30 feet or so from the east entrance to the Farm Yard. Al radioed me, and I was able to get a dozen or more photos of the bird. And, many Museum visitors were able to get close looks at a bird that most folks would have passed by unseen. Thanks Al. Barred Owls are quite common inRead more

Red tails, Red breasts, and a Nervous NOMO

As a follow-up to the Spring? posting of February 25th regarding the questions on the Red-tailed Hawks: A few hours after posting the above, I was out in Catch the Wind and observed a pair of Red-tailed Hawks performing their aerial courtship flight. I didn’t get the whole sequence of events on film (digital), and the birds were way up there requiring a bit of enlargement, but hopefully you’ll get the gist of what the birds are doing. The nextRead more

A Change is Coming

A pair of Hooded Mergansers are still swimming and fishing in the Wetlands. It’ll be interesting to see how long they hang around. Last spring, they had departed by the third week of March. Red-shouldered Hawks have been putting on quite a show recently. After reporting that I had seen a Red-shouldered Hawk hunting in the Wetlands (see Explore the Wild Journal March 1-15, 2009), without actually capturing the toads and frogs that were breeding at the time due toRead more

There’s Always the Birds…

With the low temperatures of the 15th-18th of this month, the Wetlands iced over enough to force the Hooded Mergansers to take flight and seek bigger water where they could swim and dive for fish. One merganser returned on January 24 and four were in attendance on the 29th of the month. Canada Geese remained as long as there were small pockets of open water. They too finally departed as snow and more cold weather moved in on the 21stRead more