Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Red-tail Updates and a Beastie Miscellany

A Blue-winged Teal floats on a pond along Highway 59 between Milton and Whitewater WI

A muskrat house with a single egg perched on top. Canada Geese and Wood Ducks seem to love nesting on these residences. This egg looks to be that of a Canada Goose and may be a dud left on the nest when the parents and new goslings headed off to spend their time on the pond. Interesting though that nothing has come along and eaten it.

I haven't had a Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel in the feeding area for at least two years. I was very surprised to look out and see this guy. Another change this year, I've never had White-crowned Sparrows remain in the area for breeding season. This year a pair have and seem to spend the majority of their time when not feeding hanging around in the twigs that make up the human sized nest.

Note the evolutionary modification of the external ear. Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrels spend great amounts of time burrowing therefore the external ear is swept back to help keep the ear canal free of soil.

Good news from Christopher Lyons , one of the major watchers of the Fordham Hawks, Rose and Vince.

I stopped by the Collins Hall nest shortly before 1pm today, and saw at least one chick, probably two--just one little dandelion-head popped up, but there was another little ball of fluff over to the right. I'm guessing there will turn out to be three, as usual, but confirming that could take another week or so. Rose was standing over the nest, looking well-pleased with the general state of affairs.

It was already clear there were eyasses being fed as of last week, but this cinches it. Still plenty of things that can go wrong, but the fertility of Rose and her new mate is clearly not an issue.

I still haven't had more than a passing glimpse of Vince, but Rich Fleisher tells me he's taken some good photos, and I hope we'll be seeing those shortly. What we can see right now is that you wait until after a nesting attempt has failed to start looking for reasons why it did. ;)

Thanks Chris! Can't wait to see Rich's photos myself.

Unfortunately there is more bad news from Jeff Kollbrunner concerning the nest of Mama and Papa, which is on the NYCAudubon HawkCam-

Hi Everyone,

More bad news to report. Just a week after the third and smallest eyass was most likely predated from the nest the Briarwood nest has had the second eyass perish overnight.

This time the body of the eyass remains in the nest. Its declining health plus the cold temperatures and strong winds didn't help the situation. We noticed its health declining over the weekend and with no access to the building could not attempt a rescue.
We hoped it would survive until Monday morning when we would have building access but that was not in the cards. A rescue would have been very difficult and maybe not attainable anyway had there been building access.

We will monitor the health of the remaining first and largest eyass very closely, we hope it will not need any intervention and can fledge normally on its own.

Best, Jeff
Fingers crossed D.B.

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