Posts Tagged Wildlife

Insouciant Squirrel

Squirrels spend most of their time on all fours and, when they do pop up for a look around, generally seem hunched forward, ready to drop-and-run.

Not this critter:

Squirrel leaning back

Squirrel leaning back

Definitely brandishing a big leaning ‘tude

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Grasshopper on Broccoli

This critter has been ravaging the broccoli plants in Mary’s Vassar Farms plot:

Grasshopper - Broccoli at Vassar Farms garden

Grasshopper – Broccoli at Vassar Farms garden

Nothing to do but eat, excrete, and procreate in the warm sun:

Grasshopper - Broccoli at Vassar Farms garden - overview

Grasshopper – Broccoli at Vassar Farms garden – overview

Life is good!

She can’t bring herself to mash it, as she does with the myriad other critters having no redeeming virtues. Grasshoppers, it seems, have good PR agents.

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Monthly Image: Hawk vs. Squirrel

A hawk, perhaps an immature Red-Tailed, landed on a branch outside the kitchen window while we were eating lunch.

After a minute or so, a squirrel ran up the maple and began taunting (?) the hawk:

Immature Red-Tail Hawk vs. Squirrel - approach

Immature Red-Tail Hawk vs. Squirrel – approach

The hawk obviously had no clue what’s going on inside that critter’s little brain:

Immature Red-Tail Hawk vs. Squirrel - faceoff

Immature Red-Tail Hawk vs. Squirrel – faceoff

The squirrel alternated between inching out on the branch, closer each time, and dashing back to the tree trunk, for maybe ten minutes. It eventually reached the rightmost patch of lichen, a foot from the hawk, without suffering any damage, after which it ran down the tree and away. We have no explanation.

Perhaps this is the same squirrel as before? All we know: (over)confidence goeth before gibbage.

Taken with the DSC-H5 near the end of the adventure; it took me a while to deploy the camera. The first picture looks diagonally upward from the kitchen, through three layers of 1950-era glass. The second comes from the back door, zoomed about 10x, with no tele-adapter. Obviously, good color correction didn’t happen here…

 

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Too Many Deer, Twice More

We spotted a classic example of deer damage at the corner gas / repair station:

Deer-smashed car

Deer-smashed car

The undamaged bumper below the smashed grill and hood is diagnostic; the legs bounce off the bumper, while the body punches the grill back through the radiator. The airbags didn’t fire, but I’m pretty sure that car is just as dead as the deer.

Plenty of deer-colored fur clinches the diagnosis:

Deer-smashed car - hair detail

Deer-smashed car – hair detail

A few days later, a vulture overflew me on Hooker Avenue:

Vulture - 2016-09-25 - Hooker Ave

Vulture – 2016-09-25 – Hooker Ave

It was flapping strongly, powering its way up to cruising altitude, which seemed odd that far into the urban heat island. On the return leg of the ride, I saw what had its attention:

Deer carcass - 2016-09-25 - Hooker Ave

Deer carcass – 2016-09-25 – Hooker Ave

All swoll up, as the saying goes, and ready for the carcass disposal crew…

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A Curiosity of Sparrows

There’s obviously something going on inside the long-abandoned nesting box:

Sparrow investigating bird box

Sparrow investigating bird box

You’ve seen this happen to people, too:

More sparrows on the bird box

More sparrows on the bird box

How many sparrows can fit on the roof of a bird box?

Four sparrows investigating bird box

Four sparrows investigating bird box

There’s always room for one more:

Late season sparrows on bird box

Late season sparrows on bird box

Perhaps they were having a family reunion?

Taken with the Canon SX230-HS from the patio, zoomed all the way, and ruthlessly cropped.

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Monthly Image: New Coopers Hawks

“Our” Cooper’s Hawks have long since flown off, although one occasionally swoops through the yard on an urgent mission. I took this picture on an early July morning, when they were still being companionable:

New Coopers Hawks - Watching the Area

New Coopers Hawks – Watching the Area

Taken with the DSC-H5 and 1.7x teleadapter, zoomed in all the way, and dot-for-dot cropped. The birds look fine and the image looks awful…

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Wasp Flyby

I didn’t notice this at the time:

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The camera runs at 60 frame/s, so the entire show spans a bit more than half a second: zzzzzip!

I think it’s a member of the Yellow Jacket wasp family, noted for their in-your-face attitude and repeat-fire stinger. They’re highly capable flying machines, that’s for sure…

We were pulling out of the local “health food” store with fresh-ground nut butters in the packs, nearing the end of a 17 mile loop on a fine Sunday morning.

 

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