Monday, October 20, 2014

Northern Flicker Eating Ants



Northern Flicker - Yellow Shafted variety (unique red mark at nape of the neck) makes a rare appearance in front of the camera eating ants. A very striking member of the woodpecker family it usually eats ants and bugs on the ground and is often heard in the deep woods with a call rivaling the great Pileated Woodpecker, but in the deep Great Smoky Mountains it is a rare sight.  It would have stayed longer, but a Chipmunk spooked it. 

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Northern Flicker Eating Ants

Funny Chipmunk Tries To Bring Corn Cob Into Burrow


We now know what the chipmunk last seen steeling a corn cob that it had just eaten the corn of of at: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zegitIelTY was going to do with the corn cob!
The Chipmunk wants to put a six inch long corn cob in its burrow which is two inches wide. Never mind why it wants to do this, the question is - can it do it or will it give up and throw a chipmunk fit? 

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Funny Chipmunk


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Marbled Orb Weaver Spider - Halloween Pumpkin Spider



Orange Marbled Orb Weaver Spider in Macro - this is the perfect Halloween or "Pumpkin Spider" as it matures to a bright orange in October. Jack-O-Lantern Head and Eight big eyes staring at you - what's not to love! This one was blown out of its web onto the deck in a storm and like most Orb Weavers they are not great "Walkers" and people have nothing to fear. They are gentle spiders and quite patient while I filmed with the lens about an inch away. You can see it set a silk thread to secure itself several times so it could jump to escape if need be. This gorgeous spider was safely put back in the brush.

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Marbled Orb Weaver Spider Pumpkin Spider

Marbled Orb Weaver Spider Pumpkin Spider

Funny Talking Chipmunk Falls Off Deck !



Chipmunk inexplicably tries to take a corn cob home and takes a fall off the deck. Just remember this is one tough Chipmunk and it was not hurt - because it is a Mighty Chipmunk! Having survived a nasty wound from a predator - probably a fox-  he now survives a 12 foot fall off a deck in the woods with a corn cob and just shakes it off! Much more to come from this little one - because of the injury its easy to tell it from the many other Chipmunks - and it is a character!

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Funny Talking Chipmunk Takes a Fall !


Elk Eating Apples Great Smoky Mountains



Young Buck Elk feasting on ripe apples in the Great Smoky Mountains and checking out a bird feeder too. Much too young to participate in the fall rut he's off by himself enjoying a fall bounty.

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Elk Eating Apples Great Smoky Mountains

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar - Yellow



Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar Halysidota tessellaris comes in a variety of colors - this is the yellow variety. Called  "Tussock moth" for the tufts of hair on the caterpillar. (tussock = a tuft or clump of green grass or similar verdure, forming a small hillock--Wiktionary.)
The long black and white "lashes" front and reare shout out - danger!  "don't touch me". Indeed they are akin to extremely small sharp needles.  A skin irritation and sometimes a severe allergic reaction can occur when contacting the sharp spines which are said to have a feel like rubbing raw fiberglass threads into your skin. This one is in a rush to cocoon up for the winter! The wildest looking variety of Tussock Moth Caterpillar the White-Marked can be seen at:

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Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar - Yellow


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Haunting Screech Owl Call Ringtone Free Download - Subscriber Appreciation!


Haunting Screech Owl Call Ringtone Free Download

Free High Quality Haunting Screech Owl Call Ringtone Download for YouTube Subscribers and Blog Readers!

Free Haunting Screech Owl Call Ringtone for your phone. I will try and have a new and interesting nature ringtone every other month for Blog readers and viewers of the companion Backyard Birding...and Beyond YouTube Channel.

Here is the Link to the free Haunting Screech Owl Ringtone. On a desktop PC it will take you to a Google Drive page with the name "Haunting Screech Owl Ringtone.mp3" in the upper left of the page with a download arrow and there will be a "download" button in the top middle . The download address will have a coded URL, but will be put in your download directory with the name: "Haunting Screech Owl Ringtone.mp3". However, on some smart phones you'll only see the download button in the middle of the page and the coded file-name may be put in your download directory and look like a bunch of numbers and letters - this is not a problem - simply rename it to "Haunting Owl" for example - it just takes one extra step.
You can download it to your desktop PC and transfer to your phone's ringtone directory via USB connection or download it directly to your phone. I will not provide technical support as there are many devices out there. On my Droid I simply downloaded it and it is stored in the download directory and then I copied it to the ringtone directory and selected it as a ringtone.  I also copied it to the alarm and notification directories as it would be great for these as well. Most devices are similar. Good luck. Thanks for watching and reading and enjoy your new ringtone!


 Link to the free Haunting Screech Owl Ringtone.
Subscribe to get the latest videos and ringtones: 
http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=MyBackyardBirding



Haunting Screech Owl Call Ringtone Free Download
Audiogram of the original recording



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Downy Woodpecker


Male Downy Woodpecker gets first dibs on fresh block of suet. This handsome fellow may be one of the fledglings from earlier in the summer. Downy Woodpeckers will come to suet feeders all summer - just have to put them away at night if you live in bear country or the Raccoons zero in on the suet..


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Male Downy Woodpecker

Canadian Geese Migration



Canadian Geese flocks forming up and loudly honking over the Great Smoky Mountains early October 2014 and continuing south as part of fall migration.

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Canadian Geese Migration

Hummingbirds Bulk Up For Fall Migration



Preparing for fall migration southward a cold Ruby Throated Hummingbird puts on a lot of weight in early October and guards its nectar feeder in preparation for the long flight from the Great Smoky Mountains to perhaps Mexico or Central America. Freezing temperatures have arrived as of 10/5/14 and a few straggler migrants will continue passing through and feeding voraciously. Feeders will be kept out for a few more weeks just in case a late arrival needs help. Contrary to some beliefs, leaving hummingbird nectar feeders out in the fall does not delay migration, but rather helps those hummers migrating later in the season.

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Ruby Throated Hummingbird Migration
Ruby Throated Hummingbird
A Slender Summer Resident Ruby Throated Hummingbird