Friday, July 25, 2014

Stella Hamilton Documents Fledgling Bugsy's Big Moment and Attention Bats-Mayflies Swarm Over the Midwest

 Photo courtesy of
                                     Pale Male keeping watch.

 Stella Hamilton actually got photos yesterday of Bugsy's big moment. 
 6:24 PM  I saw Bugsy catch and kill this squirrel

                     6:36 PM  Hawk and yummy squirrel.

 6:40 PM  Bugsy jumped off a low branch like Batman and boom! He killed it instantly.

In other words a perfect kill.  Bugsy is good.

And just in from Robin of Illinois, the mayfly hatch is so huge you can see it on radar! 

"Mayflies swarm Mississippi river
"On the evening of July 20, 2014 mayflies hatched along along the Mississippi river between Minnesota and Wisconsin in such great numbers that they were picked up by radar resembling light rain. the hatch began around 8:35pm. According to the National Weather Service: "this particular emergence was that of the larger black/brown Bilineata species. The radar loop below shows the reflected radar energy (reflectivity) from 8:35 pm to just after midnight. The higher the values (greens to yellows) indicate greater concentrations of flies. Note how the swarm is carried northward over time."

Happy Hawking!
Donegal Browne

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Milkweed Buds, Another Try at Bat Fly Out, A Tidbit From Stella on Pale Male's Fledgling Bugsy and Last But Not Least...SO YOU THINK YOU WANT A PARROT!

The mature Common Milkweed I transplanted is coming along.  See the coming blossoms center?  Also a couple of interesting insects...

So far so good.  Which is more than I can see for my efforts to catch the small bat colony which resides somewhere on or in my house at fly out.
 Not a bat in sight though I thought I was watching all the time...okay most of the time, as I got an important text, perhaps at the exact moment I should have been watching. 
 This is the area under the eaves that the other bats appeared to be coming from on Little Brown Bat fly out night.  It is in inky darkness at fly out time so I just periodically and blindly took a picture, and later brought up the image in the photo program with hope to have caught something...which I didn't...yet anyway.

And a very nice tidbit from Central Park Hawk Watcher Stella Hamilton.  Bugsy the fledgling of Pale Male and Octavia, who was notorious for eating bugs earlier in his fledglinghood actually brought down a squirrel today on her own!  Squirrels being no easy prey as they have extremely tough, hard to puncture skin and very sharp teeth.  Bugsy as it turns out is quite precocious.


Yes Ladies and Gentleman Quicksilver the African Grey Parrot ran amuck while I napped having inadvertently fallen asleep with the parrot at large in the house.

In the past this hasn't been a problem as Silver didn't, for whatever reason, go into the kitchen on his own.  Well this day he obviously did and when he heard my footsteps approaching from the other side of the house, I heard a little parrot voice saying, "I'm sorry.  I'm sorry."

At the sound, I was filled with dread.  It has to be something really egregious before Silver apologizes before I even appear on the scene.

Note the pile of lime jello on the stove top and a smaller pile of lemon on the counter.  Silver was standing between them apologizing with bits of teabag clinging to his chest.  The dog was snacking on the coffee cake on the floor and Squirrel the Cat was sitting on the counter, left, hoping for Silver to dispense something he'd like very soon.

Therefore think very carefully about your patience level and how much you can take before the lifelong decision of a very smart feathered friend who cannot help but open the cupboard when you're distracted,  chunk things out and chew them.

But as the pet is a parrot, at least he English.

Happy Hawking!
Donegal Browne

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

When Last We Saw Little Brown Bat....

2:12 PM When we last saw  Little Brown Bat he was climbing the house, I assume so he could get out of the too hot sun and away from me.  Look at his beautiful eye.

2:12:06 PM Much closer to the eaves and shade now.
 2:12:09 PM  He gets his right foot up next to a right
 finger and PULLS!
2:12:25 PM  And he's made it round the corner.

2:12:35 PM  See him way way up there next to the eave spout? And he made the whole climb in less than 2 minutes.
 2:12:45 PM  What is Little Bat doing now?
2:12:51 PM  Little Brown Bat is TURNING!

Keep in mind the whole time he is doing all this...

...I'm down here.  I'm seeing him move but that's about all.  I've been cropping down the previous photos in a huge way to see what he's doing.
2:14:09 PM Now what?
2:14:30 PM  No more wiggling that I can see from the ground.

At this point I decide that Little Bat might like his own bat bath close by...just in case. And while I was at it, decided to grab my other camera that has a longer lens and maybe I could see what Little Bat was doing up there in the moment.
2:16:25 PM  Looks like he's sleeping quite peacefully.

3:34:24 PM  Still sleeping, but he's moved a little higher on the wall.
7:24:01 PM  Crapola!  Where did he go?
 7:24:24 PM There he IS!  Around the corner sleeping in the late day sun.
7:24:59 PM Out of the corner of my eye I see a very big bird fly by and swing the camera up.
A horrible picture but good enough for an identification.  Little Brown Bat and I had a mature Bald Eagle fly over us.
 7:30:51 PM Look how protuberant Little Bat's eyes are under his eyelids.
 8:31:40 PM Good grief!  Now where?
8:32:09 PM  Ah!  Around the corner masked  by the eaves spout...he's moving.
 8:32:14 PM Finger stretching down
8:32:19 PM  Ah Oh!  Little Bat is moving again.  I begin to wonder if  the click from the camera, the auto focus bouncing, or just my mere presence gets him going.
8:32:46 PM And around the corner he goes. 
8:52:59 PM  See him up there hanging by his feet in the corner?  Then the big surprise...another bat comes whipping out of the opposite corner of the roof on that wall.  WOW!  Has to be a hole up there somewhere.
8:54:27PM  Another one!  But they're too fast for the camera in this light to nab them.

8:55:02PM  I hear faint scratching and chittering but still can't catch the other bats with the camera.

 8:57:12 PM  Little Brown Bat stretches out his wings but still doesn't fly out.
9:00:26 PM   Little Bat starts crawling right.  More metallic scratching noises and chittering from the other bats, likely less than a dozen, making their way out of where ever they are
9:04:21 PM And then he was GONE!  One or two more bats came from the secret exit and they were done flying out to eat their 6000 mosquitoes per hour.  I didn't get a good count of the new bats but let's say conservatively that there were 10 and that they eat mosquitoes for 8 hours...that's 480,000 mosquitoes.

Glad I'd already ordered a 20 bat, bat house for Little Brown Bat.  He can invite a few more of his friends for daytime sleepovers.

Donegal Browne

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Hamilton Central Park Hawk Report for 7/20 and 7/21 Plus Another Little Brown Bat Saga!

Stella Hamilton report for 7/20/2014   6:07 PM
This is the only picture I have of the hawks from today. Pale Male.  The babies were very quiet . I saw one baby  soaring over the east drive on 79 th street .
 I will try again tomorrow after work. 

And indeed Stella did go out again today and had much better luck.

               Hamilton report for 7/21/2014

7:03 PM  Fledgling on Backstop 6 of the Great Lawn. 
7:21 PM   Play ball! 

TANGENT- There is something about a ball that tends to attract the attention of the young of many species and sometimes the not so young as well.  Robin of Illinois sent in a video of a turtle and a dog playing ball.  And the turtle takes no prisoners...

              7:24 PM Back Stop 4
What did I say about balls?  Guess who has the best view of the ball game?  I remember one afternoon in Morningside Park when both of Isolde and Tristan's eyasses sat on the ball field fence side by side and watched the game for awhile.
               7:25PM Play ball.  
              Fixated on the ball yet again.  I love it.

  I came around the corner of the house to turn off the outside water spigot and hanging on the wall of the house was Little Brown Bat.  I made a bee line for the house and the camera.
2:11:06 PM  When I got back little bat had gone round the corner to the N wall and was climbing up the wall by way of the wisteria.
 2:11:13 PM  Little Bat leaves the wisteria for the brick.
 2:11:15 PM  He's moving far faster than the last time we saw him.
2:11:16 PM

2:11:18 PM  He's really climbing quite fast now.  But why is he out and so exposed in the daytime in the first place? 

2:11:23 PM  It looks like he's heading for the eaves of the house which makes sense.  There will be shade there most of the day.
2:11:35 PM  Still putting forth a yeoman's effort.

2:12:01 PM  Almost to the eaves!

Blogger doesn't want to take anymore photos on this post so stay tuned for The Mystery Of Little Brown Bat.

 Next post!

Donegal Browne