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20 April 2016

Who ate the woodpecker?

Occasionally, our big windows get in the way of birds. The latest casualty was a hairy woodpecker, Leuconotopicus villosus. While it’s sad that our home being where it is caused the end of this bird’s life, its body was an opportunity to teach my son something about wildlife and ecology. We have a motion-sensitive wildlife camera trained on our compost pile, and so I put the woodpecker’s body there in …

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31 December 2015

2015 Yard List

It’s that time of the year – a time to state my “yard list” tally for the previous year. I have been posting this list every year since I moved to the Fort Valley: 2012 (39 species) 2013 (51 species) 2014 (58 species) In 2015, we had 65 species of birds spotted and definitively identified in our yard. In order of first appearance, they were: Carolina wren Dark-eyed junco American …

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1 January 2015

2014 Yard List

A list of birds seen in my yard this year. Lists for 2013 (51 species) and 2012 (39 species) here. Downy woodpecker Mourning dove Dark-eyed junco Tufted titmouse White-breasted nuthatch Black-capped chickadee Goldfinch Pileated woodpecker Red-bellied woodpecker Turkey vulture Hairy woodpecker Eastern phoebe Red-tailed hawk American crow American robin Cardinal Bald eagle Brown creeper Barred owl Carolina wren Brown-headed cowbird Chipping sparrow Whippoorwill Turkey Broad-winged hawk Black vulture Blue-gray gnatcatcher …

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10 February 2014

Refuge, by Terry Tempest Williams

When Michael Collier came to visit last year, he recommended a couple of books to me. I finally got around to reading the first of them – Refuge, a memoir mixed with natural history of Utah by Terry Tempest Williams. The arc of the story is essentially twofold: the women in Williams’ family get cancer, and get treated for cancer (mastectomies, chemo, nutritional supplements to negate the nausea of the …

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1 January 2014

2013 Yard List

Here’s our birding yard list (species seen in/from our yard) for the past year. You can compare it with 2012’s list here. Canada geese Goldfinch Tufted titmouse Dark-eyed junco Mourning dove Black-capped chickadee White-breasted nuthatch Downy woodpecker Hairy woodpecker Blue jay Brown creeper American crow Red-bellied woodpecker Pileated woodpecker Red-shouldered hawk Carolina wren Turkey vulture Eastern phoebe Turkey Purple finch Red-tailed hawk Northern flicker Barred owl American robin Eastern bluebird …

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5 December 2013

The Snoring Bird, by Bernd Heinrich

Some time ago, when I reviewed some books here, Thomas Hodgson left the suggestion that I might enjoy The Snoring Bird, by Bernd Heinrich. So I asked the library to order it, and they did, and as soon as it arrived, someone else checked it out. Then I got my turn, and today, when I returned it, it instantly got whisked off to another eager reader! Wow – a popular …

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20 November 2013

First shots from the Fort Bentley wildlife cam

I was hoping for some more exciting wildlife than this… Three tufted titmice – Not what I was shooting for. Instead, I was hoping to catch sight of what I initially inferred must be a flying squirrel nesting under the eaves of the house. But I guess not – must just be a mouse in the wall…

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23 October 2013

The business end of the limb

Last week, we had two wildlife deaths at Fort Bentley. The first was a mole (cause of death unknown), and the second was a screech owl (hit by a car). Here’s the mole: A look aft, at the digging apparatus: What astonishing “paddles” it possesses! There forelimbs are easily five times the size of the hind limbs, and equipped with such extraordinary claws… Here’s an iPad (i.e. low quality) photo …

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5 October 2013

Birdprints

A long time ago, I posted here an image of an “owlprint” – the pattern of duff left on a pane of window glass when a screech owl smacked into it. We’ve had a couple of new avian impacts lately out at Fort Bentley… Here’s a clear mourning dove imprint on the upper level window glass (viewed from below, both inside and outside). No flash in either case… And here’s …

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1 January 2013

2012 Yard List

Here’s our “yard list” of birds since we moved to the new place in June: Pileated woodpecker Red-bellied woodpecker Eastern phoebe Great blue heron White-breasted nuthatch Scarlet tanager Whippoorwill Chipping sparrow Ruby-throated hummingbird Tufted titmouse Black-capped chickadee Indigo bunting Chimney swift Red-eyed vireo Turkey vulture American crow Great crested flycatcher Louisiana warbler Broad-winged hawk Eastern bluebird Turkey Carolina wren Downy woodpecker American goldfinch Veery Yellow-billed cuckoo Brown-headed cowbird Mourning dove …

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