Saturday, June 12, 2010

Barred Owls


An adult barred owl flew out in front of me yesterday as I was leaving my shed at the edge of the woods. I watched it land on a branch nearby, where it appeared to be observing something on the ground. Within a couple of minutes, it silently dropped down and captured a mouse. The owl then flew to another part of the woods, where I saw it join up with its baby, who'd been crying out for food for the previous hour or so. (I had looked and looked, trying to find the source of that strange, raspy noise.)
The adult owl then left again to hunt and within a few minutes it started to return with a full-sized squirrel in its talons. That didn't work out too well, and the squirrel dropped with a thump to the ground and ran off. Attached is a photo of the young owl.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Feline Scent Marking: Tracking Big Cats with Cologne

Scientists use Calvin Klein cologne to lure jaguars

Biologists Rony Garcia and Jose Moreira from the Wildlife Conservation
Society's (WCS) Jaguar Conservation Program say they use hidden cameras
as a primary source for observing and tracking jaguars in the
Guatemala's Maya Biosphere Reserve.

But they also rely on Obsession for Men, a cologne known for its complex
scent, to help lure then research and hopefully ultimately preserve
jaguars in the Central American country.

Read how they're using cologne to lure big cats in the rest of the
article, here:
http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE6580G320100609

Another report, focusing on cologne in zoos:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/06/09/national/main6564173.shtml


This study probably explains why I've never photographed a bobcat, and
why skunks find me irresistible.

- Dan

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Finally, Caprimulgus vociferus

Lars has been patiently waiting for the whippoorwill to come back. I was starting to lament its' absence this spring, but I was rewarded with his cry this past evening. I have lived at my house in Stow for now a third spring, and I hear the bird calling from the exact same location for the third year. They fly in the twilight with mouths open to catch insects (in French - "Engoulevent bois-pourri" or "air guzzler").

The bird calls at a very specific time of the late twilight. Last summer, I remembered it being about 9:45p (I'm sleeping too soundly in the early AM to hear the sunrise calls). This evening, it started at 9:30p. This should go later as the summer solstice approaches. The bird calls more with the full moon, as well. Eggs are laid about two weeks before the full moon, so that the adults can hunt more effectively in the moonlight and supply the new chicks with needed food.

I have attached video from two years ago, when three people came out for a visit from Mass Audubon after I had reported it on their website. The video was in the second week of June 08. My earliest recording is 5/14/08.

http://www.massaudubon.org/whippoorwill/index.php?type=declining

I am expecting him to become a nightly regular again. If anyone is interested, I can host.... Lars

video

video