Monday, March 26, 2012

Hanky Panky at the Heronry

We kayaked out to view a colony of breeding great blue herons on Thursday, making an effort to keep a low and unobtrusive profile. The courtship displays included much bill-clacking and posturing. Check out the sequence of events as a male flies, descends and then prepares to mate with Mrs. Heron, both exhibiting their fluffed-out neck feathers. The final shot shows the couple afterwards, at rest and possibly considering chick names.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Great Find & Possible Fashion Statement

As of yesterday, I can take finding a shed antler off my bucket list. Here it is, only two points and not much to brag about, but I was ecstatic. Then today, while visiting the Boston Flower & Garden Show, I realized that the antler might be put to excellent use in an Easter bonnet. Perhaps if paired with last season's bird nest and a few feathers ... Anyway, I hope to start a trend; check out the spring issue of Vogue to see if I succeed.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Deer Bed with Hair

I found a group of deer beds today, not on a warm slope as usual, but
rather in a low area. It was dry enough, but right near a red maple
swamp. Plenty of brush and edge habitat, so a good feeding area. I
guess the weather has been so mild that they don't need to seek a warm

There was quite a bit of hair in and around the beds. Are they already
shedding their winter coats? The 2nd photo is a close-up of the scat
pile to the left of the deer bed shown in the first photo. Hopefully
you can see the hair.

From Southboro, MA.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Chipmunk Building Nest

My son was enchanted by this chipmunk preparing its winter den in our yard, and made this video through the window. This was in October, 2011, just days before the Halloween snow storm. Chipmunks line their dens with leaves and other debris, and here you will see it selecting leaves and folding them up into its mouth for easy transport. We watched for quite a while, and noticed that the animal seemed extremely picky, rejecting leaf after leaf until finding just the right one (and you can see it reject a leaf in the middle of the video). But then a minute later, it would select a previously rejected leaf and carry it down the hole. This went on until almost all of the leaves within a few feet of the entry hole were taken.

Opossum video

This opossum enjoyed a Valentine's Day meal when it stumbled across some
bones and the remains of a rabbit carcass in the wetlands near my home.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Raccoon drowns my wildlife camera

For the last few weeks, I've had several cameras set up around a rabbit
carcass on the edge of a frozen pond near my house. I recently moved
another camera there, and wedged it under a fallen log to get close-up
videos of the night-time visitors.

Unfortunately, the warm weather melted most of the ice, and a curious
raccoon knocked the camera over and into the melt water. When I
retrieved it this morning, I watched as two cups of swamp water drained
out of the bottom of the camera housing. I pulled the batteries, dried
it off, and put the entire camera into a bag of rice to absorb moisture.
I doubt the camera will be salvageable, but at least the memory card
recorded the final video this camera took. Enjoy!