Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Jewel, Highbridge Eyass, Wood Ducks, Twin Whooping Cranes, and Hurray! A new urban Red-tail nest in Cambridge MA.

Photo by D.B.

Jewel does a little pleasurable preening with her eyes closed but soon she'll be distracted by her parents screaming, diving and making contact with an intruder Red-tailed Hawk.

Photograph by Mitch Nusbaum
But today first off is a Highbridge Update from Mitch Nusbaum-
Today at noon, Wednesday (6/2) there were 2 eyasses flapping and hopping as a parent sat to the upper right out of the image. The one on the right the other one is center.
All Wood Duck, Aix sponsa, Photos by Roger Brown

Remember Roger and Jackie Brown who virtually live in the woods. They of yesterday's turkeys and deer?

In Wisconsin there is some kind of special deal with the DNR. If you put in a pond on your property you get some kind of special deal, a tax credit or the like. Therefore, besides the fact they like ponds, they put one in. And they also put up Wood Duck Houses. That is one of this year's Mom's giving Roge the binoc, who-are-you-and-what-are-you-doing? look.

For the past three years the wood duck houses have been in use. In a past year Roger accidentally caught the hen coming out with the ducklings and much to his surprise, they swam around for a little while, trouped into the woods, and never came back. That, it turns out is what wood ducks do. Hence the name Wood Ducks.
Also it turns out, wood ducks have strange little feet, fit for swimmng but also for climbing. Feet exposed, Mama is getting ready to hop into the pond for a little swim and some lunch.
Which she does while keeping a sharp eye on Roger, who is way, way, up the hill sitting quietly in a chair trying to get some photos. He is waiting for the moment when she seems to be coming out alone but suddenly she comes out the door followed by a long string of ducklings. (Much more on Ducklings, by the way, from wildlife rehabilitator Cathy Horvath in an upcoming post.)

This Duckling Deluge, so far, comes sometime on Memorial Day weekend, often on Memorial Day itself.

Paddle, paddle

She has now decided it's time to go back to the nest box but she's still scoping Roger. The species is notorious for being wary. This is a great catch of a photo. Mom flies into the door but without brakes she'd smash into the back wall or squash the eggs so she ingeniously bends her rear half up turning it into a brake.
Coming out again but there seems to be a pesky pine bough poking at here door. She grabs it in her bill.

Tugs it.
And mouths it, but from the looks of things to little avail.
Checking, checking for predators.
Then the look about, and Roger gets a glare.

Looks okay, back into the pond.
Swim, swim...snack.
With a somewhat jaundiced eye always on Roger.

Anybody over there? Nope.
I just got word from Jackie Brown that sure enough, on Memorial Day, the hen popped out followed by 20, that's right TWENTY ducklings. They swam around a few minutes, then Mom got them corraled on the verge about the time some deer showed up and startled them. So off they went to the woods every darn one of them and they won't be seen again until next year. I'm hoping Roge got photos that he'll send along.

From Chicago’s Ken Zommer—

I head this story on the show Here & Now on WBEZ (NPR) yesterday (6/1/10) and wondered if you knew any of them,(because, you know, don’t all hawk watchers know each other?)?

Right. It's only within the last few years that the hawkwatchers in Manhattan and the other boroughs even got to know each other by email to any great extent. Too much time spent in the field. Though whenever we find out about a new pair in a new city, it's a big YEA!!!

Particularly as it has been another rather dreadful hawk season in Manhattan.

So thanks much!

The Red-taile
d Hawks outside of an office building in Cambridge, Ma.
(Ernie Sarro)

A family of Red-tailed Hawks have built a nest atop an office building along a busy four lane road outside Boston. Robin Young stopped by Monday as a crowd of bird watchers checked in on the family- parents Buzz, Ruby and their young- Lucky, Lucy and Larry. Larry took his first flight yesterday morning, but later in the afternoon slammed into the glass side of a building, though he’s now reportedly doing alright.

• Read: The latest on Larry the hawk
• More from Medford Wildlife Watch

>From Karen Anne Kolling of the Gonzo Deck--

Third and fourth whooping cranes ever born in the wild to the reintroduced Eastern migratory population birds trained to migrate via ultralight below.

(The first chick is in the current migratory population, the second was lost to predation. One and two were chicks of the First Family, the Mom of which was shot in the last migration.
These are chicks of a different pair. Great news after that terrible year.) scroll down to twins.

Donegal Browne

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