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Posts Tagged Wildlife

Goslings at Vassar Farm Pond

I watched the Canada Goose family paddling around the pond:

Goslings at Vassar Farm Pond - 2017-06-04 - family

Goslings at Vassar Farm Pond – 2017-06-04 – family

A hiker on the trail around the pond brought them to DEFCON 4:

Goslings at Vassar Farm Pond - 2017-06-04 - alert

Goslings at Vassar Farm Pond – 2017-06-04 – alert

The little ones aren’t triphibans yet, but they know the drill:

Goslings at Vassar Farm Pond - 2017-06-04 - wing exercise

Goslings at Vassar Farm Pond – 2017-06-04 – wing exercise

Maybe he only does that when Mom’s not watching?

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Golden Tortoise Beetle

An iridescent ball appeared on the kitchen wall:

Golden Tortoise Beetle - left top - light

Golden Tortoise Beetle – left top – light

Despite the silvery shine under LED lighting, it was a Golden Tortoise Beetle:

Golden Tortoise Beetle - right top

Golden Tortoise Beetle – right top

The iridescence shows up better with a bit of underexposure:

Golden Tortoise Beetle - left top - dark

Golden Tortoise Beetle – left top – dark

Transparent armor: who’d’a thunk it?

Golden Tortoise Beetle - left front

Golden Tortoise Beetle – left front

Mary spotted one in the garden some years ago; I’ve never seen such a thing.

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Beware the Hissing Goose!

Rolling into Vassar Farms, we encountered a Canadian Canada Goose (*) family:

Geese at Vassar Farm Pond 2017-05-21

Geese at Vassar Farm Pond 2017-05-21

The gander pulled straight up and hissed as we rolled by at what we thought was a respectful distance:

Geese at Vassar Farm Pond 2017-05-21 - detail

Geese at Vassar Farm Pond 2017-05-21 – detail

Their little fuzzballs retreated in good order under the fence toward the pond; they don’t need much survival training.

Word has it a goose family (perhaps this one) built their nest near a path around the ponds and defend their turf with sufficient resolve to deter even singletrack bikers.

I occasionally see snakes along the way, but none that hiss:

Black Snake on Rail Trail - 2017-04-28

Black Snake on Rail Trail – 2017-04-28

We approach rail-trail curves with a bit more caution than some folks; I’m at about the spot where that rider began losing control and didn’t quite wipe us out.

Update: They’re “Canada Geese“, with (AFAICT) a legal distinction between Canadian tourists and resident Yanks during the hunting season. Thanks to David for the reminder!

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Mystery Pigeon

Mary spotted this critter atop the roof and, much to my surprise, it waited courteously until I deployed the camera:

Mystery Pigeon - on roof ridge

Mystery Pigeon – on roof ridge

It looks, walks, and acts just like a pigeon:

Mystery Pigeon - walking on roof ridge

Mystery Pigeon – walking on roof ridge

… but we’ve never seen one with those feather patterns & colors. It’s not in any of our books, so it may be an escaped domestic pigeon.

Those feathers require plenty of body maintenance:

Mystery Pigeon - body maintenance

Mystery Pigeon – body maintenance

As nearly as we can tell, it’s wearing a green leg band with three digits that might be 904:

Mystery Pigeon - leg band composite

Mystery Pigeon – leg band composite

If this was your bird, it flew through Red Oaks Mill NY just after noon on 1 May 2017 …

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Monthly Image: Turkey Mating

Early spring brings out large turkey flocks and provides a window into their otherwise rather private lives.

Despite all the strutting and posturing by the males, the ladies call the shots. When we see a hen go hull-down like this, we know what’s about to happen:

 Turkey mating - invitation

Turkey mating – invitation

Getting into the right position seems remarkably awkward and requires some cooperation:

Turkey mating - mounting

Turkey mating – mounting

When her head and tail pop up, you know the thing is going right:

Turkey mating - the moment

Turkey mating – the moment

And a back massage always feels so fine:

Turkey mating - massage

Turkey mating – massage

Then he’s back to strutting & posturing:

Turkey mating - aftermath

Turkey mating – aftermath

We hope they’ll show us their chicks

Taken with the DSC-H5, hand-held through two panes of 1955-era window glass: ya get what ya get.

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Honeybee Escort

The first pleasant day after a long string of snow and rain got us outside again:

Honeybee escort - 2017-03-29

Honeybee escort – 2017-03-29

The honeybee at Mary’s elbow escorted us for a bit, then flew between us and continued on her mission.

Despite appearances, she passed a few inches from my helmet:

Honeybee escort - detail 2x - 2017-03-29

Honeybee escort – detail 2x – 2017-03-29

We all agreed: it was a fine day for a ride and a flight!

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Turkey on the Rail

We’ve often seen turkeys perched on horizontal tree branches and split-rail fences, but this is new:

Turkey on patio rail

Turkey on patio rail

Apparently she wanted to use the bird feeder atop the post festooned with plastic squirrel deterrence. Not being Elastigirl, she couldn’t quite stretch from rail to feeder, eventually gave up trying, and flapped to the driveway.

We’ve been turkey-watching for nearly two decades, it’s been eight years since we saw a turkey on the patio, and a few days after I set up the yard camerashazam, this bird shows off for my friend in Raleigh while I’m in the Basement Laboratory. I’m insane with jealousy.

In point of fact, turkeys seem perfectly aware of people inside the house, so it’s not surprising they avoid the patio. When we move close to a window, the flock decides it has business elsewhere and, generally without haste or confusion, flows over the hill and away.

Obviously, I must set up motion detection and capture some images …

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