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Nature of New England                           


Nature Journal

Notes about birds, mammals, wildflowers, insects, and more
Sunday, February 23, 2003
Eastern ChipmunkThe warmer weather we've had recently must have signaled to the chipmunks that it's ok to come out of their dens - at least for a little while.

Today I watched a chipmunk run out from behind a tree, turn around and
run right back. Then it ran in the
other direction, up a tree a little ways
and back down. After that, it disappeared back into its den.
Saturday, February 22, 2003
Late last night, I heard two barred owls near the house. First they were making their "hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo, hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo" calls. Then they broke into the "hoo-aw" calls and finally the monkey-like hoots. Soon after, they were out of earshot.
Friday, February 21, 2003
Red SquirrelThe red squirrels were busily running up and down the trees today. Saw a couple of gray squirrels earlier in the day. But their behavior is more sedate - usually moving at a much slower pace than the reds.

Have been hearing the crows a lot more lately. Yesterday, I saw two of them flying side by side while calling back and forth to each other.
Thursday, February 20, 2003

In New England, Northern Cardinals will begin their courtship activities about this time of year.

Males sing their whistling song back and forth when establishing their territories. This back-and-forth singing is also done between the male and female as part of their courtship behavior.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003
Whitetail DeerIt was much warmer today and we had some sunshine. I see the whitetail deer are out and about again.

Spotted this one under the hemlock trees near the house. There was another one a little further up the

I noticed the notch on this whitetail's right ear
and may be able to use that for future identification.
Tuesday, February 18, 2003
We had about 11 inches of new snow yesterday and last night. Not surprisingly, I haven't seen any wildlife today - except the birds at my feeder.

Am seeing the usual visitors: goldfinches, black-capped chickadees, red-breasted nuthatches, white-breasted nuthatches, and tufted titmice.

No sign lately of the juncos or sparrows. Also, haven't seen the purple finch in a while. About a week ago, there were four purple finches at my feeder - instead of the usual one. And I haven't seen any since then.
Monday, February 17, 2003
Whitetail Deer During SnowstormLate in the afternoon, two deer came down out of the woods again in back of the house.

Since there's crust under the recent snow, sometimes they were able to stay on top of the snow. But at other times, they sank in deeper
to the next layer of crust - as in this photo.

It was snowing quite a bit when I took this shot, but that didn't seem to bother them. (Tho' it did affect my ability to get a decent picture!)

If you look closely, you can see how the snow has piled up on this deer's back. The insulating properties of its winter coat are excellent, so the snow just sits there and doesn't melt.
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