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Nature of New England                           


Nature Journal

Notes about birds, mammals, wildflowers, insects, and more
Sunday, April 27, 2003
I woke up this morning to the beautiful song of a wood thrush outside my window. During the summer, it seems that the song of the wood thrush is fuller and richer. Today its song was clear and flute-like.

The wood thrush usually sings near my house all summer long - mostly in the morning and early evening. I welcome back this bird and its lovely song.
Saturday, April 26, 2003
Cavity in Maple TreeLast summer, over a period of two months or longer, I heard strange whining, screeching sounds coming from the general direction of this old maple tree. (Had to put a fan in the window so I could sleep through it!)

After listening to my bird song CD, I
discovered that these sounds are
made by young barred owls.

It's possible that the natural tree cavity in this photo was a barred owl's nest cavity last summer. It's thought that the barred owl uses the same nest site for several years in succession, so I'll be keeping an eye on this tree - and looking for other possible locations for the barred owl's nest.

You can also see what looks like woodpecker "foraging" holes near the cavity in this tree. But I don't know if that's an indication that a woodpecker had nested there - or just that it happened to be foraging there when the nest hole was not in use. My guess would be the latter.
Friday, April 25, 2003
I haven't yet seen the courtship display of the woodcock. And I'm no longer hearing its "peenting" call in the evenings.

But, here's an interesting article by Robert Winkler that describes the woodcock's courtship flight.
Thurday, April 24, 2003
Spring PeeperWe had snow flurries yesterday afternoon that continued into the night. In the evening, I heard the spring peepers. Was surprised that they'd be out when it was snowing.

Though I did hear a few peeps about a week ago, last night was the first
time this year I've heard them in full
chorus. They usually start peeping a little
earlier in the spring.
Wednesday, April 23, 2003
Here's a interesting quiz. This feather is from a bird found in the New England area. Check the hints and see if you can identify the bird.

Here's a beautiful feather from another New England bird.
Tuesday, April 22, 2003
Ruby-throated HummingbirdThe ruby-throated hummingbirds have arrived in New England - and some have even been spotted in southern Canada.

Young bald eagles are hatching in some parts of New England, as can
be seen in this webcam from

The adult eagles will brood the young eaglets to keep them warm until they are able to maintain their own body temperature.
Monday, April 21, 2003

With this warm weather we've been having, many insects are appearing - ladybugs, wasps, ants, lots of different types of moths, and other insects that I can't even name. Am also seeing numerous species of spiders.

When I'm out walking, sometimes an insect will go whizzing by and I'll turn to see what it was. But it's usually gone before I get more than a glimpse.

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