Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Nose to Nose

Down on the farm everybody is nose to nose!

The spring has brought the wood frogs to the vernal pools to spawn.  Nose to nose, this pair seem particularly interested in one another.

A pair of young calves pause to nuzzle a moment before returning to cavorting about the pasture.
Being ready to capture special moments can make the difference between snapshots and memorable photographs.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spring Time Creek Sitting

Spring is officially here.  Sometimes it feels like it while at other times its hard to discern it from winter.
With half an inch of new snow on the ground, Saturday morning was one of those times that felt like winter.  The ice has thawed from the creek bordering our family farm and that is where I placed my little pop-up blind in hopes of photographing passing waterfowl.  During the course of the morning I was entertained by hooded mergansers, wood ducks, an immature bald eagle, Canada geese, a muskrat, and an early arriving phoebe.  Also present in good numbers were the usual year around residents; juncos chickadees', cardinals, titmice, and blue jays with red bellied woodpeckers drumming in the background.  The following are a few Saturday's better creek sitting photos.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring Babies

Spring signals a time of new life in the world of wildlife.  And down on the farm the cattle are busy birthing a new generation just in time to take advantage of the lush spring pasture that will begin growing shortly.  Human, wild or domestic, babies just can't help being too cute!

Thursday, March 05, 2015

March: Wind & Snow

March, is a month of transition, some days are like winter while others are more spring like.  With snow falling today and tonight's temps to be in the single digits, one would never guess that spring is only two weeks away. 

Winter will soon be past but for some animals spring will not arrive soon enough.  Last year's growing season provided mast, grasses, and browse that wildlife depends upon to get through the winter however by now many of those foods are or will soon be exhausted.  It has been my experience that small fawns, weakened by winter, frequently will die about the time the grass begins to green in spring.

 Birds that flock to feeder are more aggressive now than they were a few weeks ago.

Earlier in the year the bird feeders were a nicety, a place for an easy meal.  Now with natural foods becoming more difficult to find fights between birds frequently erupt. 

Soon spring will usher in a new season of abundance, but until then many species of wildlife are facing their hungriest time of the year.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Snood Mood

Today's post focuses upon the snood of the Eastern Wild Turkey.
The snood, the small fleshy protuberance on the turkey's forehead, changes length and color depending upon the gobblers mood.  When the bird is not aroused as pictured here, the snood is short and pale.

As the bird begins to become aroused the snood begins to lengthen.

In conjunction with the lengthening of the snood the gobbler's head changes colors from being predominately red to varying shades of red, white, and blue.

I have read of research where snood length directly correlates with mating success.  Studies have shown that females preferring gobblers with the longest snoods.

If that is indeed the case, this long snooded bird should have no problems finding a mate come spring!