Monday, July 13, 2009

Sunday Miscellany

Doorstep, up left, and Friend Mourning Dove, down right, take their ease, feathers fluffed after their bath. At first glance I thought these two doves were fresh off the nest.

The overcast sky is making their feathers look darker than usual. They are fluffed up and hunkered down a common young Mourning Dove position for dozing.

A Mourning Dove, like a pigeon, comes off the nest fully flighted and full sized. They haven't done a super amount of flapping or practicing to fly. For a day or two they flap and gain altitude without lateral movement. Then suddenly one day they follow their parents away from the nest when the parents leave to forage. (One of the mysterious questions of urban life for many is, "Why don't I ever see a baby pigeon?")

People may not see a baby unless they view a nest but they do see many juveniles without knowing it. The giveaway for pigeons is the color of the cere and for doves it is the lack of a little bluish dot at the fore corner of their eyes.

You'll have to look carefully but as all their feathers are fluffed so to is the bluish dot, making it possible to see it from this angle. It is the mark of a more than fledgling Mourning Dove.
Photograph by Jackie Dover
From Tulsa's Jackie Dover--
Hi, Donna--Thought you might like to see my backyard baby wren, up close and personal this morning. I'm not sure how old she is or if there are any siblings in the wren house with her. (If there are, then I guess she would be the publicity hound.)

Photograph by Jackie Dover
Just a couple quick snaps, affording some moments of quiet appreciation for a tiny life in a big world.
Jackie Dover
Tulsa Hawk Forum

And from NYC Botanical Garden Watcher Pat Gonzalez--
I took this photo at the NY Botanical Garden here in the Bronx. I've seen squirrels eat all kinds of stuff, they regularly raid the garbage cans there. But this one was for the books. The bagel is nearly bigger than he is!

Adaptability, the secret weapon of urban wildlife.
Photograph by Paul Anderson
Paul and Marian Anderson of Milton, Wisconsin, kindly allow me access to their faster Internet connection now and again. They had told me that there were a horde of brown bats that lived in the attic of the house next door so one evening I waited for their fly out and counted over 400 coming out from under the eaves before it became too dark to reliably count anymore.

This evening Paul went out with his camera and caught a few of those bats in the act of hunting.

Photograph by Paul Anderson
I've yet to figure out why people find bats unattractive if not downright creepy and ugly. Come on, they have cute little faces and they are mammals that fly. Not all so many species of those around to be sure. And just think of all the mosquitos they eat which then can't bite us.

I sent Robert Schmunk, main watcher of Red-tails Isolde and Norman formally of the Cathedral Nest, asking--

Is there any word as to how long the scaffolding and construction at the Cathedral may encompass St. Andrew?

Rob responded--

The scaffolding around the clerestory came down about May 1. The rest came down a couple weeks later, although there might still be some near the transverse arches that is still up.


If the new apartment building next to the Cathedral hasn't made the area unfavorable to hawks, perhaps there is hope that Isolde and Norman might be back to their old digs in time for the next breeding season.

An Update from Astoria Park Hawkwatcher Lisa P. She has the best luck!
Date: Friday, July 10, 2009, 10:14 AM

Saw two fledgings Monday-Wednesday in their normal spot in the trees.

I actually saw 3 this morning! Two sitting in a new tree ! The third was in a tree I always see them in. He actually flew onto the branch! They were talking too.

Donegal Browne

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