Monday, December 01, 2008

Doorstep Dove and Friend? Turkey Tracks, Squirrel Tracks, Rabbit Tracks, and Crow Tracks.

In September Doorstep Dove and Friend, the bonded Mourning Dove pair I've been watching for going on three years disappeared.

In fact there were no Mourning Doves at all in neighborhood. During the summer the accipitors trolled the neighborhood and to make matters worse, Wisconsin has a Mourning Dove hunting season.
I began to fear the worst.
It had been months without a sighting, and in past years they'd never disappeared. Daily they arrived at dusk, usually both but on rare occasions only one, but now no one came to watch the sunset from the warm bath. I did miss Doorstep looking at me through the window and bobbing her head. I'd mimic her and she'd mimic me and then with a flip of wings she'd go about her business.
Then yesterday I looked out the window and there was a plump Mourning Dove on the back of the glider. She looked, bobbed her head, I bobbed mine and I knew Doorstep was BACK!
And today, she appeared with Friend at the feeding area. I feel a lot better now.
Five inches of snow last night and a sunset promising more snow tonight.
Turns out Blossom hadn't made a dive the other night after all and though still slowly listing to the side, she's still there. Now with a bowl of bird seed in her paws.
Do you recognize these tracks?
I'm not sure I would have, but I saw the perpetrator. Those are Crow tracks. Though Crows will hop now and then, this guy was walking in the snow.
For comparison, these are a pair of Crow tracks interspersed with those of a squirrel. I'm not sure whether a fat squirrel or a Crow is heavier but as the squirrel has more feet on the ground at a time compared with the one foot at a time Crow, the Crow would more likely break the crust of the snow than the squirrel if they were the same weight.
And here, squirrel comes into frame, runs in a circle and runs out of frame.
And these are? The exclamation point tracks of the Cottontail Rabbit.
Photograph by Wisconsin photographer, James Blank.
And this? Here's a hint. It's big. Were talking turkey, here.


Karen Anne said...

That's great news about Doorstop and Friend.

It is hunting season here now, and in the early mornings guns go off and the birds on my deck panic and take off. I hate this.

Donegal Browne said...

Currently it is gun deer season in Wisconsin.