Friday, October 18, 2019

White Winged Dove Flock





A small flock of White-Winged Doves descended upon the Backyard recently - they are uncommon visitors but tend to show up more heading into cooler weather. Non-native White Winged Doves are considerably larger than the Mourning Doves. Also featured is a small flock of Grackles that get along just fine with the Doves.
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White Winged Dove Flock

Curious Young Elk





Enjoy this frisky young elk born in the spring as it visits the Backyard and checks out the hummingbird feeder. Like young deer they have white spots this one will soon lose.

Filmed with Canon SX70 HS https://amzn.to/2J4eyvT
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Curious Young Elk












Saturday, October 12, 2019

Squirrel's Fascination With Huge Rock - Part 2




Cute and obsessive Squirrel hangs out at this rock every day - with a little bit of a different angle here it can clearly be seen licking the rock for I guess salt and other minerals, but other than some sort of addiction or unusual deficiency I can't imagine what it needs all those minerals/salt for. The first video is at: https://youtu.be/mw1phhjiGfI
It also looks like he is licking or eating dirt at one point. Not other animals or especially squirrels do this on these particular big rocks that I've seen. I put a Clobo trail camera on the the rocks full time to see what goes on during the day when I'm not around. The mystery continues - stay tuned......
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Squirrel's Fascination With Huge Rock - Part 2


Friday, October 11, 2019

Blue Jays and Crows Love Cat Food Kibbles - Big Bird Feeding Strategies





Big Backyard Corvids like Blue Jays and Crows and also Grackles love cat food or "kibbles and bits" either dry or moist - and as you will see my squirrels turn their nose up at it. I enjoy all Backyard Birds and the intelligence and interactivity of Jays and Crows which you can get to know personally is a joy. Many people don't like these birds because they have a tendency to dominate feeders. But to really enjoy all of Nature's creatures you need to have various feeding locations and strategies. Having a separate large platform feeder with sunflower seeds and peanuts will keep your squirrels occupied and the large birds will defer to the squirrels, having another large feeder with cat kibbles will keep your big birds occupied and take the pressure off tube and small house feeders for the smaller birds. Of course in real life it isn't always so smooth, but the animals work it out. Watch the Blue Jay chase off the crow only to be pushed out by a Grackle, but it all works out in the end and they all get their kibbles. I have a manageable number of these local living big birds year round, but on rare occasions a large winter flock of Grackles or Crows will pass through my strategy is to only put a small amount of kibble food out like a cup or so that way large numbers of migratory birds wont hang around too long.

Filmed with Canon SX70HS https://amzn.to/2ooQPzC
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Blue Jays and Crows Love Cat Food Kibbles - Big Bird Feeding Strategies

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Blue Jay Imitates Osprey Whistle Calls




This Blue Jay perfectly imitates the most common sound of an Osprey or "Fish Eagle" calling in the Backyard. I kept hearing what i thought were osprey in the Backyard for the last six months only to be fooled by a Blue Jay, but today I finally got it on video. You be the judge - the imitation is pretty spot on. This behavior has been documented in Florida, but I'm not aware of any audiovisual documentation so I consider myself fortunate to finally catch the "impersonator" in the act. Seehttps://sora.unm.edu/sites/default/fi...

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Blue Jay Mimics Osprey Whistle Calls

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Bull Elk Bugles, Grunts and Monkey Sounds


Bull Elk Bugles, Grunts and Monkey Sounds


The Elk Rut is on for 2019 and big Bull Elk are starting to bugle, grunt and make other wild sounds in addition to scratching trees and rocks and logs and other such displays of macho- ness. Note the Blue Jays alarming on the Elk, The woods are so thick and steep that we can only get a glimpse of the bull making the noise but in the close confines of a little stream valley the sound is really intense. Enjoy!
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Bull Elk Bugles, Grunts and Monkey Sounds

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Chickadees Real "Chick-A-Dee" Call



Chickadees Real "Chick-A-Dee" Call


A Chickadee really calls "Chick-a-dee" I very rarely hear this clear exact call of the bird's name and the only reason I caught this one is it was on a Clobo Trail Camera https://amzn.to/2kD7SvG which has exceptional sound quality. Chickadees make a variety of calls that you will hear also hear on the video captured over several minutes. This 4,000 foot high area of the Great Smoky Mountains is one of the few places were the range of the Black Capped and Carolina Chickadees overlap and we get some unusual sounds sometimes compared to the traditional "Chick-A-Dee-Dee-Dee that most are familiar with. There are sometimes hybrid Chickadees although these appear to be Carolina Chickadees making this call.
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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Cute Elk Calf Tries to Eat First Apple




Precious young elk calf about 4 months old tries to eat a big red delicious apple with the cutest results and expression - stick to grass and tree leaves for now! Just like deer fawns elk calves have white spots when they are young.
Filmed with Canon SX60HS
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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Red Squirrel vs. Gray Squirrel



Red Squirrel vs. Gray Squirrel


Who wins the feeder fight, the bigger Gray Squirrel or much smaller Red Squirrel? If you've been following this channel over the years you will no doubt pick correctly. Red squirrels don't take bluffs and false charges by Gray Squirrels kindly and will launch themselves with reckless abandon even high in the trees to intimidate. This one barely hangs on by a claw and then recovers to get the spoils. See https://youtu.be/aFFZMtUQTio for an example of two red squirrels going at it high in the trees. Note the Chipmunk wisely just stays out of the way.
What is surprising is that in the UK where Gray Squirrels were introduced they have a tendency to dominate the native Red Squirrels and take over their territory. Perhaps the red squirrels there had evolved to be more passive due to lack of competition and are more easily intimidated.

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Red Squirrel vs. Gray Squirrel


Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Female Ruby Throated Hummingbird




A female Ruby Throated Hummingbird stands guard over one of the nectar feeders. Unusual in that a male has not forced her out, but I have 3 feeders to try and reduce fighting, and the females can hold their own. They tend to be a little bigger with a longer bill, a white flecked throat and, most obviously, white at the tips of their tail feathers. You'll hear the soothing sounds of a Mourning Dove at the beginning and the sweet chirp of American Goldfinches after about the 2-minute mark.

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Female Ruby Throated Hummingbird