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Posts Tagged ‘cold weather’

A juvenile Red-tail hawk in the yard this morning looking really fierce.  Additionally, Eastern Bluebird courtship started today (later than usual due to the cold weather). I cleaned out the birdhouses on my Bluebird Trail this morning. Also a pair of Hairy Woodpeckers searching for spiders and eating raw peanuts this morning. The Hairy Woodpecker appears to be banded:

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My guess is they have not gone any further south yet, this year. We have many days of very cold weather coming later this week (low 5-10F and highs 25F), so they may need to move on. They are shaped much like Bluebirds (also Thrushes). The bluebirds spend every winter here in the Boston Mountains. Included is a Bluebird picture from yesterday near a canebrake.

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This little male Ruby Throat Hummingbird, awakened to low temperatures of 56F and the temperature dropped to 56F by noon today, they will find temperatures as low as 44F tomorrow morning. They came late to the feeders this morning; say about 11 AM. In addition to using feeders, the birds glean dormant insects from leaves and bark, he says. “When temperatures rise, they hawk tiny insects out of the air. They also feed at sapsucker wells,” eating both the sap and trapped insects. To conserve energy, hummingbirds often go into torpor at night, and on colder days before migration to the Yucatan, Mexico ,slowing down their heart and lungs to a fraction of daytime rates. I could walk right up and touch him.  “These birds are very cold hardy” !!

 

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After 2.2 inches of rain since my last POST, it has cooled off quite a bit. We had 35F yesterday and 33F this Sunday morning. I had to scrape (thick ice) the windows at dawn today before I could drive – hadn’t had to do that since last March. It has actually been colder in some of the lower locations. Under 30F. These heavy frosts are going to get the color change, which seems on hold, going again. At this time, I think next weekend and the following week are the first color peak. Usually 7-10 days later is the second peak, just as pretty, but with a lot more oranges, yellows, and rusts, mixed in with green Shortleaf pines. That can be as late as November 10th. I drove down to Kyles Landing on Saturday, yesterday, and the color is beginning but has a way to go yet.

Kyle's Landing of the Buffalo River

Kyle’s Landing of the Buffalo River

One of my alarms - a Carolina Chickadee

One of my alarms – a Carolina Chickadee

I usually put sunflower seed on a stump outside my front window. The birds have not paid much attention to it until three days ago. I have had about 6 cardinals, titmice, and now 2 pairs of Chickadees. When the stump is empty they let me know. I just love those birds. The fawn I have watched grow up this year and are young adults now and are showing some fear of me now. Good Thing ! No spots left on these fawns.

 

A fawn takes of at the sight of me now

A fawn takes of at the sight of me now

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We got 1.21 inches of rain yesterday (Saturday) following about 0.80 the previous 2 days which brings the month of October total to over 2.0 inches. It was 42 degrees at dawn this morning. I am looking for the upper 30s on Monday morning. Since I live close to and surrounded by National Parks and US Forest Service land; it has been impossible to get around for photography due to the government shutdown.

While the US government plays games (an they are silly); all we can do it WAIT while both sides bargain with money they DO NOT HAVE (funny money). It is sad to see it come to this !!

I do spend lots of time doing necessary yard work and planting winter crops for wildlife.

The Eastern Bluebirds have been keeping me company the whole time and enjoy using my lawnmower handle as a lookout for insects:

 

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Well  —  we broke an record held since recording began in 1809 here in NW Arkansas. We got 1-2 inches of snow in higher elevations on 5/3. The cold and rain continued for 2 1/2 days and its reaches 33F near dawn today. There was enough wind to prevent a heavy frost. The last few days (with little in any sun) I was able to photograph some songbirds that seemed to enjoy the cold weather; Pine Siskins and Redpolls; no doubt returning to Canada and Alaska, but must have wondered if they arrived up north already:

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Despite the cold weather, and late spring, the red winged blackbirds are coming in flocks and roosting along the Little Buffalo River. I like this shot — because its hard to get a photo that distinguishes the back eye from the black feathers on this bird:

 

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