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Posts Tagged ‘animals’

Copperhead is venomous but shy. Surprised me !! Always startled by them, but I let him crawl on his way to a rock pile – they don’t get much bigger than this one (~ 40″). Be careful this spring:

 

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A continuing series of redheaded woodpecker behavior. Today they are working together guarding the territory (river cane out of focus behind them):

 

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The redheaded woodpeckers must be getting ready to mate and lay eggs real soon – perhaos later this week. This pair began working together on Monday 4/1/13; eating wasps and carrying nesting material and stuffing this hole:

 

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Nest building has started early in the Murray Valley near Parthenon, AR. Maybe this is just being territorial behavior and not real nest building. This usually happens about mid-January a full month from now. I have not seen them carry any sticks yet.

The Great Horned Owl in Nest in mid-December 2012

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The great horned owl is one of the most fearsome predators of the wild. Almost its only natural enemy is other great horned owls.
Name: Derives from feathered tufts on each side of the head, which aren’t true ears.

Scientific name: Bubo virginianus.

Range: Almost everywhere in North America except the far Arctic.

Breeding: Begins mating hoots shortly after New Year’s and often nests by late January or February. Eggs sometimes freeze in the nest. Its early nesting season takes advantage of a larger prey base. Young owls mature as other creatures begin spring breeding and either become or produce owl food.

Size: As much as 25 inches long, with wingspan of 3 to 5 feet.

Age: As much as 29 years in captivity, probably 12 to 20 years in the wild for those that survive their youth.

Diet: Eats a wide range of insects, birds and animals, even skunks and porcupines.

Hunting technique: Mostly nocturnal but will hunt by day in forests, deserts and canyons. Dives noiselessly. Acute hearing and eyesight pinpoint activity on the darkest nights.

Nest: Uses former homes of eagles, hawks, herons, crows and sometimes squirrels

Nest evidence: Besides the nest occasionally smelling of skunk or other prey, the ground beneath might be littered with owl pellets: wads of hair, bone and feathers that aren’t digested by the young.

Flight speed: As much as 40 mph.

 

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Was so good to see this bird today. The frost was heavy, the skies were clear, and the temperature was 29F and the air still. Dark-eyed Juncos are neat, even flashy little sparrows that flit about forest floors of the western mountains and Canada, then flood the rest of North America for winter. They’re easy to recognize by their crisp (though extremely variable) markings and the bright white tail feathers they habitually flash in flight. One of the most abundant forest birds of North America, you’ll see juncos on woodland walks as well as in flocks at your feeders or on the ground beneath them. Taken with a Canon 7D and a Canon EF 300L f/2.8 IS Lens.

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Cool Facts

  • Juncos are the “snowbirds” of the middle latitudes. Over most of the eastern United States, they appear as winter sets in and then retreat northward each spring. Some juncos in the Appalachian Mountains remain there all year round, breeding at the higher elevations. These residents have shorter wings than the migrants that join them each winter. Longer wings are better suited to flying long distances, a pattern commonly noted among other studies of migratory vs. resident species.
  • The Dark-eyed Junco is one of the most common birds in North America and can be found across the continent, from Alaska to Mexico, from California to New York. A recent estimate set the junco’s total population at approximately 630 million individuals.
  • The oldest recorded Dark-eyed Junco was 11 years 4 months old.
  • Dark-eyed Juncos breed in forests across much of North America and at elevations ranging from sea level to more than 11,000 feet. They are often found in coniferous forests incuding pine, Douglas-fir, spruce, and fir, but also in deciduous forests such as aspen, cottonwood, oak, maple, and hickory. During winter and on migration they use a wider variety of habitats including open woodlands, fields, roadsides, parks, and gardens.
  • Dark-eyed Juncos are primarily seed-eaters, with seeds of chickweed, buckwheat, lamb’s quarters, sorrel, and the like making up about 75% of their year-round diet. At feeders they seem to prefer millet over sunflower seeds. During the breeding season, Dark-eyed Juncos also eat insects including beetles, moths, butterflies, caterpillars, ants, wasps, and flies.

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Three weeks ago this hawk went frogging on the Little Buffalo River. She was successful on many occasions. I caught this one:

 

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