Archive for February, 2014

Went into Jasper this morning; saw 2 mature Bald Eagles and a Roadrunner. The Eagles were at the Shop Creek crossing of Highway 327, and the Roadrunner was closer to Jasper. Woke up to 19F this morning on its way to 55-60 (maybe); forecast changed for cooler weather.


Not long after I posted the bluebird houses on my trail yesterday, I did get photos of the male in a pair looking into the house under a big Sweet Gum Tree.  Only one photo was clear. The picture was taken with a Canon 50D with a Canon 400mm Lens:



Also there was a nice sunset on a clear cold evening in NW Arkansas:



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Temperature 60F Winds NW at 35.

We started out with rain showers this morning, and then it became sunny and warm this afternoon: kind of reminds me of spring. The daffodils and crocus are coming up now.

I started this trail with two house exactly 3 years ago and have now grown it to 6 houses. Each pair is territorial and needs and acre to themselves. Any closer, it seems not to work out ! I have used several types of houses. All have pole guards and entrance guards to protect them when incubating and to protect the hatchlings later on. Here are some examples; and the Eastern Bluebirds are house hunting today. They used 3 houses out of 5 last year and fledged 7 broods (avg: 4 birds per brood):

I started pre season cleanup today but because of the long cold winter, I am waiting to clean out the last year’s nesting material until after March 1. Also, Eastern Blue Birds ¬†needs lots of low cut grass to forage in, so this grass needs to be cut very short:












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This time (at 5 PM) he/she landed in a tree in the backyard and I was able to sneak out the front door and around the house; he saw me as soon as I rounded the house; but, I did get a few capture photos before he was gone:



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The Redheaded woodpecker are using last fall’s forage which the cached in a stump; very smart of them considering how cold and icy this winter has been. It was a nice day yesterday and today we started out at 10F but have quickly risen into the 40s. This week looks to be a lot warmer with temperatures reaching the mid-60s in a few days:




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Life and Wildlife along the Little Buffalo River

Yesterday was a gorgeous day; the temperature here in Murray Valley reached 40F. I spotted a pair of Red headed woodpeckers in the Little Buffalo River bottoms near their forage area. They are nesting high in some dead trees not far from the river. The pair spent the day removing old material, possibly forage, from the hole they selected; maybe making 30 trips around the tree in the hour I watched. They ate lots of wasps also. Guess they are plentiful on these sunny warner days. They are magnificent birds !!!

We are expecting a cool down the first part of this week an then much warmer next week. I now expect the main warbler and vireo migration to begin around April 15th; nesting always begins in late April and early May:



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In a broken off tree in the backyard (first time I’ve seen a Red-headed Woodpecker in the yard), a young red-headed woodpecker !! They are born around the first of June with a completely grey head which they keep for most of the first year until the first molt in early spring the following year; he/she is in the molting process now. Taken with a Canon 1DS Mark III with a Canon 600mm f/4 and a 1.4 TC:


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Soaring quietly from a high tree branch, this Red Tail Hawk missed a vole in the ice (taken with a Canon 5D MK II with a Canon 400mm Lens):




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