Sunday, May 20, 2018

Prostrate Squirrels Defeat Blue Jays Fake News Trolling


Blue Jays Troll with Fake News - no problem! Squirrel assumes a prostrate position to keep a low profile to avoid predators. This clever squirrel assumes the position while eating bird seed out in the open where hawks might pick them off and they can resist the Blue Jays constant trolling to get them to move their big butts and scurry away from the seed in fear. He lies totally flat and prostrate with his rear claws dug into the wood while eating happily away as the Blue Jays Troll away with near perfect false Red Shouldered Hawk News!


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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Blue Jay Rusty Pump Handle or Squeaky Gate Calls


Amazingly loud "rusty pump handle" or "squeaky gate" sounds of bird songs or calls driving you crazy - what is that - its Blue Jays! I have never heard these calls from all the Blue Jays in Florida, but high in the Great Smoky Mountains this is the most common sound the Blue Jays make and it echoes through the forests off and on all day. The Blue Jays are in mated pairs and after awhile I realized if I first heard these calls nearby it meant that they were heading to the sunflower feeder and waited but even then it was hard to get video of them actually making these calls.


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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Cute Young Red Squirrels in a Basket



Irresistibly precocious Red Squirrel youngsters are out of the nest and quickly becoming friends. What better way to celebrate a return to Backyard North!


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Cute Young Red Squirrels in a Basket

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Big Snake Photobombs Chillin Squirrel (The Dude)


"The Dude" of Gray Squirrels Abides - I love this guy - he has set a new standard for not getting excited! More on that later. Have you seen those You Tube videos of the heroic squirrels bravely taking on big snakes to protect their family and territory - well lets just say this is - not -one of those videos!


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Big Snake Photobombs Chillin Squirrel (The Dude)

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak Female


Female Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks look like gigantic finches with huge, powerful beaks that can easily crack sunflower seeds and eat them as fast as squirrels as you'll see in this clip. I was excited to get this footage because I have only ever captured fleeting glimpses of the male bird and never the female. The high terrain of the southern Appalachians is at the extreme southern end of their breeding range. This bird was rather tolerant of me being so close. I have heard their beautiful singing before, but never captured it on film.


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Rose-Breasted Grosbeak Female


Monday, May 14, 2018

Jack In The Pulpit Colony




Fascinating and beautiful Wildflower - May is Jack in the Pulpit wildflower season in the Smokies and I find a large wild colony centered around a very old large specimen next to a heavily shaded spring. Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum), also commonly called Indian turnip, is a shade requiring species found in rich, moist, deciduous woods and floodplains. A long lived perennial (25+ years), it will spread and colonize over time from an acidic corm. Bright red seeds will show in late summer or early fall, I'll try and check back on those.
https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pla...

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Jack In The Pulpit Colony

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Baby Owl Adores Mothers - Happy Mothers Day!





The only baby Screech Owlet absolutely adores her Mother. Some say animals do not have or display real emotions, but long-time animal observers like myself and many scientists have found and observed otherwise. Of course debate continues and you can Google the topic and read up, but if you watch animals a lot I think you know the answer. For now, just enjoy the incredible bond that has developed between the only baby owlet and her Mother. Mother's voice was imprinted on the owlet for several weeks while still in the egg and then constant care, companionship, and communication while together in the nest box for five weeks resulting in these tender scenes right before they leave the nest box for the last time.

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Baby Owl Adores Mothers -  Happy Mothers Day!
Baby Owl Adores Mothers -  Happy Mothers Day!

Baby Screech Owlet Leaves the Nest Box - Mini Documentary


The only Screech Owlet has fledged from the nest box! She was overdue, but I think that was because she was the only baby and there was not the usual urgency when there is 3 or 4. The parents decided this was the night and they simply don't bring any food and called from the trees and the owlet made the big jump!


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Baby Screech Owlet Leaves the Nest Box - Mini Documentary

Friday, May 11, 2018

Baby Screech Owlet Listening to Mockingbird Singing


The only Screech Owlet is totally mesmerized by a Northern Mockingbird singing away on the perch in front of the owl nest box. Owls eyes are a window into their soul and you can feel the sense of wonder that she is experiencing as she watches the big world she is about to join outside the nest box.
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Baby Screech Owlet Listening to Mockingbird Singing
Baby Screech Owlet Listening to Mockingbird Singing


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Mother screech Owl Guards the Nest Box


Mother Screech Owl is pulling her final day shift watching the nest box with the precious only owlet inside. Watch around 11:52 mark for some pretty amazing scratching of some itches - incredible that she can do that to her skin and feathers with those razor sharp talons.


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Mother screech Owl Guards the Nest Box