Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Lots of Questions and NYC Saves the Last Bit of Salt Marsh

A female House Finch has a drink. I've begun to worry a little about the local group's eyes. The species is prone to a type of conjunctivitis which drastically reduces their ability to care for themselves.

The female Dark-eyed Junco doesn't have the irritated area around her eyes.

This male House Finch's eyes look even more irritated than the female's did.

Here is another female. Her eyes are wide and have some shine.
Her chest and belly are interesting. Currently the breast is speckled and the speckles then ease into organized stripes. What is the evolutionary advantage of that pattern strategy?

Here's her rump. Even the fluffy feathers of her bottom seem to have a lateral stripe.

Speaking of stripes, what is the advantage of the bright white stripes on a Chipmunk? One certainly wouldn't want a predator to go for that portion of one's body. An optical illusion of some kind perhaps?
--Is this Chewie? It turns out it wasn't. As when I later opened the garage door for the first time of the day, Chewie came racing out like a mad thing and sped across the road. Thankfully there were no cars coming.
Why does he keep going into the garage? There is plenty of seed on the patio. It certainly isn't much, if at all warmer than being outside?

The morning was filled with birds I couldn't get a camera on. Having gone most of the summer without sighting a Blue Jay in town, two from farther north have now definitely moved in for the winter. As I've mentioned before, the Blue Jays in more temperate areas were drastically reduced by West Nile Virus but their populations have yet to rebound as the Crows have.

And it looks as if the Nuthatch is going to winter as well. His little squeaky toy call is nearly constant as he raids sunflower seeds from my feeder and the one next door and stashes them. Today was about stashing the seeds in the cracks of the bark of this tree. Yesterday I saw a Chickadee raiding his hidey holes in the Goodie Stump again.

And from New York Times Link Man, Bill Walters--New York City saves the last remaining piece of the Staten Island Salt Marsh. So what if it has discarded toilets, it also has pickle weed.

NEW YORK REGION November 7, 2007
On Staten Island, a boggy green break in one of the city’s most industrialized stretches of waterfront is being preserved.
Donegal Browne

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