Watching the winter birds has been what this winter was all about for my daughter and I. Everyday we record the different species that drop in as she learns the different names. The more I sit and watch, the easier it is to see how incredible the wild really is. Taking time out of everyday to simply watch and learn about how nature works is what I will proudly pass on to my daughters.
This short video shows a few of our winter visitors displaying various feeding behaviors. Separating feeding stations 20-50 feet away from one another has provided enough open space for all the daily feeders to get along, squirrels included.
This creature is one of the main reasons for creating the Dusk to Dawn Nature Reserve. The Eastern Coyote is one of the most heavily persecuted and misrepresented animals in North America that I can think of. I know this video is pretty boring but it captures the last time I seen this family member before they would disappear to create a new brood of pups. I am now hoping this is not the last time that I see him/her. Over the winter there have been a few land purchases adjacent to my property that lie very close to the expected area I believed the coyotes to den. Over the past few months the new owners have proven to be very concerned with hosting extremely loud parties throughout the entire week. It's been quite a while since I've found any sign of my resident coyote family and my nightly howl project is proving to bare the same results. I know it's very early in the season for a lot of howling activity so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Even though, without a doubt, another transient coyote would soon use the area, the last 3 years have been focused heavily on tracking and locating this existing family.
The Variable Darner is a highly adapted predator that can often be found hunting around marshland and lake shorelines. While my wife and I were celebrating our 1st year anniversary this past week searching for wildlife, this Variable Darner caught a meadowhawk in flight and preceded to land on my back to enjoy his catch. Meadowhawks are difficult, at best, to ID in the field but this beautiful male Variable Darner is unmistakable. Closely resembling the Canada Darner there are distinct differences in the thoracic stripe markings. I hope you enjoy this short clip.
It is always of interest to me to pay close attention to the small creatures. A trip to Panmure Island's beaches produced great sightings of what I believe to be Steel-blue Cricket Killers (not certain) hunting and creating many burrowing sites. Watch this wasp dig through beach sand in real time.
As a naturalist, I spend a great amount of time in personal study. Discussion and research is key to exploring new and intelligent ideas and furthering our understanding of our natural surroundings.