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Nature of New England                           


Nature Journal

Notes about birds, mammals, wildflowers, insects, and more
Sunday, November 24, 2002
Watched a hairy woodpecker eating at my bird feeder today. I haven't put any suet out yet, so it was eating right from the tube feeder. (I'm waiting to be sure the bears are settled in their dens for the winter, before I put the suet out.)

Wonder if it was the same hairy that I saw in a tree a couple of weeks ago. That one was probably about 400 or 500 feet from my house - and I had seen one in the same area on previous occasions.

According to John Eastman (Birds of Forest, Yard, & Thicket), the home range of the hairy woodpecker is from 5 to 35 acres. During nesting season, they establish a smaller territory within their home range. They will vigorously defend their breeding territory, but their home range may overlap with other hairy woodpeckers.
Saturday, November 23, 2002
Gray Squirrel Tracks?I'm trying to learn to distinguish the tracks of the red squirrel from the gray squirrel. I think this photo I took is of the gray squirrel's tracks.

The front tracks and hind tracks seem to be the right size for the gray squirrel and the trail width is 4.75
inches. My sources say that the
maximum trail width for the red squirrel
is 4.25 inches.
Click to enlarge     

Trail width is measured from the outside edge of one hind foot to the outside edge of the other hind foot. Note that, in the photo, the hind feet are at the top.
Friday, November 22, 2002
Check out this great website about owls. It has info on North American and Central American owls, including photos and sound files.

You'll find species accounts for some of the owls and checklists for North American, Mexican, and South American owls. I think this is just about the best owl site on the web. No pop-ups, either. :)
Thursday, November 21, 2002
Here's a whitetail doe I saw near the house today. I find that, during hunting season (now!), the deer often will come close to the house. Maybe they somehow know they're safer here.

This doe browsed for a while, then

she bedded down - as seen in
this photo - until my plowman came to plow the driveway. Then she bolted.

Click to enlarge   
(I took these photos through the window, so that's
why they're
a little blurry.)
Wednesday, November 20, 2002
Saw the tracks of the red fox while I was out walking today. I think the fox was trotting or running because the tracks were not "direct registering."

When the red fox walks, its hind foot usually steps in the track of the front foot. This is called "direct registering." The tracks go almost in a straight line. When the fox trots or runs, the front and hind feet will make separate tracks.
Tuesday, November 19, 2002
Sky and CloudsI really enjoy watching the sky and the way the sun reflects off of the clouds.

Here's a photo of some clouds I saw recently. Don't know what kind of clouds they are, but one of these days I'll get out my weather books
and learn to identify them. Click to enlarge   
Monday, November 18, 2002
Saw goldfinches at my bird feeder today for the first time. There were so many of them I had to put out the second feeder.

There was also a flock of juncos feeding on the ground. During the past month or so, I've been seeing a flock of mixed juncos and tree sparrows near the house - before I put up the feeder. Wasn't sure if they'd stay around for the winter, since they didn't last year. Guess the sparrows have gone further south (or somewhere else), but looks like the juncos are here for the winter.
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