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Nature of New England                           


                     

Nature Journal

Notes about birds, mammals, wildflowers, insects, and more
 
 
Sunday, July 20, 2003
 

I heard the young barred owls again last night at dusk, so I went outside to see if they were nearby.

As I sat on the back steps, they flew to a branch that was about 10 feet from me. They were quite a sight - both of them sitting on that branch together! I would guess that they were about two-thirds the size of an adult barred owl.

I watched them fly around in the nearby trees for a while before I lost sight of them in the woods.

 
 
Saturday, July 19, 2003
 
Last night after dark, I heard the screeching sounds of two young barred owls. After the young owlets leave the nest, they continue to be fed by their parents. And they use this screeching sound to let the adult birds know when they're hungry - which seems to be most of the night!

I went outside so I could hear the owlets better and try to guess where they were located. Surprisingly, each one was in a separate tree. Last year, there were barred owls nesting nearby, but the begging sounds came from only one location.

When they leave the nest, young barred owls usually just clamber onto a nearby limb. They don't fly until up to six weeks later. Maybe these two little owls are at the stage where they can fly - but are still dependent upon their parents for food.
 
 
Thursday, July 17, 2003
 
Eastern Tiger SwallowtailThe Eastern Tiger Swallowtails are still flying. Spotted this one sipping nectar from a Wild Sweet William flower.

This butterfly also feeds on the nectar of the Joe-Pye Weed, Common Milkweed, and many other flowering plants and trees. It can be found in open woodlands and fields.
 
Tuesday, July 15, 2003
 
Yesterday, I noticed a chestnut-sided warbler singing while it was sitting in a small maple sapling. This bird would sing for a little while, stop, and then move further up the tree. It continued this until it reached the top of the tree.

The chestnut-sided warbler builds its nest only a few feet off the ground - usually in dense shrubs, brambles, or saplings. I think the warbler I saw might have a nest somewhere near the house. But I hesitate to look for it - not wanting to disturb this bird during its nesting period.
 
  
Sunday, July 13, 2003
 
Whitetail BuckSaw this whitetail buck near the house yesterday. The sumac saplings and other vegetation do a good job of hiding this deer - even though it's browsing in a fairly open area.

I rarely see bucks near the house or
even in the general vicinity. This buck's
antlers are growing - one is about 4 inches
long and the other is only about 1 inch long.
 
 
Friday, July 11, 2003
 
Today, for the first time this year, I saw the tracks of a whitetail fawn. The doe's tracks were right nearby.

After her fawn (or fawns) are born, the doe will spend a few hours at the birth site while she cleans the fawns, nurses them, and removes everything that might contain their scent from the birthing area. She then moves them to separate bedding areas.

The doe visits each fawn only two or three times a day to nurse it and groom it. She then moves the fawn to a new bedding area. This helps protect the fawn from predators. The doe will usually remain within a few hundred feet of her bedded fawns - watching for any signs of danger.
 
 
Wednesday, July 9, 2003
 

Wood FrogFound this wood frog climbing on a
lichen-covered rock near a brook - deep
in the woods.

This frog can be identified by the black markings on either side of its head. (You may have to enlarge the photo to see those markings.) This amphibian is usually found in damp woodlands and is active during the daytime.


The wood frog's diet consists of insects,
snails, worms, slugs, and other small
invertebrates.
 
 
Monday, July 7, 2003
 
The Great Spangled Fritillaries and the Cabbage White butterflies are flying. There are still some White Admirals around but not nearly as many as there were a couple of weeks ago.

Saw a group of wild turkeys yesterday - about 4 or 5 males. They were foraging under some hemlock trees. It was probably the same group that I saw about ten days ago.

Also, the woodchucks have been more active lately. It seems to happen around this time of year. I would guess that the young woodchucks have been weaned by now. But I haven't seen any sign of them.
 
 
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