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Nature of New England                           


Nature Journal

Notes about birds, mammals, wildflowers, insects, and more
Saturday, August 30, 2003
Red-tailed Hawk FeatherFound this red-tailed hawk feather in the woods. This feather is from the inner part of the tail.

Red-tails have a complete molt once a year. The molt begins after the fledglings have left the nest and continues into the fall.

Immature red-tailed hawks have a grayish-
brown tail. They don't get their red tail
until the fall of their second year.
Thursday, August 28, 2003
Saw a "hummingbird moth" the other day. They're a lot of fun to watch! It was a Slender Clearwing (Hemaris gracilis).

About a week ago, one of my neighbors saw a hummingbird moth that fit the same description. I didn't know this species was found in Vermont.
Tuesday, August 26, 2003
Fog in the ValleyWoke up to this peaceful scene this morning - with the fog looking like a river of white and the tops of the mountains showing above it.
Sunday, August 24, 2003

Seems like the sound of the snowy tree crickets is getting louder every night. They sound so beautiful! Their rate of their chirping depends on the temperature; the warmer it is, the faster they chirp.

If you count the number of times they chirp in 15 seconds and then add 40 to that, you'll get the approximate temperature in Fahrenheit. Here's a website where you can listen to their "songs" at different temperatures.

Friday, August 22, 2003
Eastern PhoebeI'm still hearing the song of the
Eastern Phoebe in the mornings and also sometimes in the evenings. While having breakfast, I often see one flycatching from a tree near the house.

Phoebes molt during the months of August and September. Some begin their southward migration around the end of September and others wait until
Wednesday, August 20, 2003
Saw 5 male turkeys a couple of days ago. I could tell that four of them were fairly young since they had short beards. There was one older turkey with a much longer beard. After breeding season is over, the male turkeys tend to travel and forage in small groups.
Monday, August 18, 2003
Indian PipesLately, I've been seeing a lot of Indian Pipes (Monotropa uniflora). As the blossoms on this plant ripen, the heads turn upward. And as the plant ages, its color turns to black.

Indian Pipes don't use chlorophyl; instead they receive their
nourishment from decaying organic

It is believed that these plants have a symbiotic relationship with certain fungi, which break down the nutrients so they are available to the Indian Pipes. And, since these plants don't need chlorophyl, they can grow in very shady spots.
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