Monday, September 18, 2017

Blue Jays Survive Hurricane Irma in Florida



Blue Jays Survive Hurricane Irma in Florida

The Backyard Blue Jays survived Hurricane Irma which was a category one when it passed the Backyard. A lot of trees de-leafed and blown down in the conservation area, but the birds and squirrels know how to survive. More on that later. But that's not to say they weren't hungry and happy for a friendly peanut when I got back home! Good to see them again.
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Blue Jays Survive Hurricane Irma in Florida



Blue Jays Survive Hurricane Irma in Florida


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Chipmunk Tries To Fit "Square Peg Into Round Hole"



Chipmunk Tries To Fit "Square Peg Into Round Hole"

Chipmunk collects corn cobs as trophies, but how does he get them into his burrow. Any human can relate to the trials and tribulations and frustrations this little fellow goes through - one also wonders what's going on in the cute things tiny little brain. Feel free to suggest other thought bubbles in the comments section! Filmed with great luck using two trail cameras once I found his corn cob decorated burrow entrance.

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Chipmunk Tries To Fit "Square Peg Into Round Hole"


Chipmunk Tries To Fit "Square Peg Into Round Hole"

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Bizarre Fly Imitates A Hornet or Yellow Jacket



Video: Bizarre Fly Imitates A Hornet or Yellow Jacket

The Virginia Flower Fly or Yellow Jacket Hover Fly (Milesia virginiensis) is a bizarre fly that looks like a big scary hornet. In the south, it is sometimes called the 'good news bee' for its habit of hovering in front of a person "giving the news". It is also said to be good luck if one can get the insect to perch on a finger, no doubt because this is difficult to do. It mimics the southern YellowJacket as a defense mechanism - that works really well because when you see one of these you don't want to mess with it. I have only caught fleeting glimpses of this strange fly over the years, but here caught in the open on the deck it is making an aggressive hornet stand - lucky for it I know its secret. Despite its looks -once you realize what it is you should remember is is actually an important pollinator of flowers and not dangerous at all. Enjoy one of the more unique disguise adoptions of Nature and let them "Bee" - maybe they'll bring you luck.
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Virginia Flower Fly or Yellow Jacket Hover Fly



Video: Bizarre Fly Imitates A Hornet or Yellow Jacket

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Song Birds Pull Together After Hurricane Irma



Song Birds Pull Together After Hurricane Irma

After a rocking windy and rainy night of the remnants of Hurricane Irma passing through the Great Smoky Mountains its #Songbird strong this Morning! Daylight brought an unusual sense of camaraderie among the American Goldfinches, Juncos, Chickadees and other small birds. Six Goldfinches managed to squeeze together on what was left of the finch sock with no fuss or pushing and shoving and even the Dark Eyed Junco's were behaving themselves. A note: deciduous trees provide little shelter in high winds - little birds just love big dense arborvitae  trees for shelter from storms and nest building.

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Song Birds Pull Together After Hurricane Irma

Song Birds Pull Together After Hurricane Irma


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Eye Of Hurricane Irma Passing Over Florida Keys - HI Res Radar Animation...



Eye Of Hurricane Irma Passing Over Florida Keys

HI-Res Doppler radar loop of Cat 4 Hurricane Irma's Eye passing over Key West and the Florida Keys this morning Sunday September 10, 2017. The Florida Backyard and its creatures are well away from the worst of Irma, but our thoughts are with those people and wildlife in her path. Radar imagery courtesy of NOAA NCEI and the dedicated NWS people keeping it running at the Key West NWS office.

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Eye Of Hurricane Irma Passing Over Florida Keys - HI Res Radar Animation...

Eye Of Hurricane Irma Passing Over Florida Keys





Goldfinches Up close




Goldfinches Up close

A male American Goldfinch in all its splendor spends some quality time in front of the camera - taking a break from the Finch feeder. Summer is almost over and you can begin to see a little fading of the bright yellow that is the hallmark of these gorgeous little birds. The bad little birds acting up are Dark Eyed Junco's - starting to see a lot of them lately. They are cute little tubby birds in their own way.

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Goldfinches Up close



Goldfinches Up close

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Chickadees!




Chickadee


Chickadees - just Chickadees for a change. A rare chance to have food to themselves except for one brief visitor. In the Great Smoky Mountains Black-capped and Carolina Chickadees ranges overlap and it can be a challenge to tell them apart. What type of Chickadees do you think these are?

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Monday, September 4, 2017

Squirrel Fight In The Forest




Squirrel Fight In The Forest

Short and violent - a Red Squirrel challenges another for dominance over a feeder by launching a sneak attack high in the forest of the Great Smoky Mountains. Only in slow motion can we appreciate these amazing animal athletes of the tree tops - they jump through the air with abandon - and they're not even flying squirrels.
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Squirrel Fight In The Forest
Squirrel Fight In The Forest

Squirrel Fight In The Forest




Sunday, September 3, 2017

Mourning Dove Deciding



Mourning Dove Deciding

A Mourning Dove is having quite the time deciding what little piece of root it wants - Its the end of August so I don't know what it wants to do with it - nest building is a little late. The Doves have been attracted to this digging site around a deck I'm fixing for some reason I thought maybe the clay or loose dirt. Doves tend to have an indecisive look about them anyway. It likes the real long root, but its still connected so the quest continues until it slowly walks away with just the perfect little piece of root.

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Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove Deciding


Saturday, September 2, 2017

Bull Elk Enjoying A Sit Down Breakfast




Bull Elk Enjoying A Sit Down Breakfast



A bull Elk or Wapiti relaxing and enjoying a tasty breakfast of some sort of tree branch he has brought out into the open near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Happened upon this fellow while hiking - I have never seen a bull elk so mellow before although most are habituated to some degree to humans this is a little unusual. Of course I did not approach any nearer than my initial encounter - talked softly and then moved on. Although large this fellow is not big enough to seriously compete in the upcoming fall rut for the right to a harem maybe in a year or two.

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Bull Elk