Duke Farms Eagles Have TWO EGGS!

When I went on the DF nest cam last night, I couldn't understand why an eagle was sitting in the nest.

Now I know. A Facebook friend contacted me and said the eagles are on an egg already -- about a month earlier than usual as I recall.

Could it be so? Yes. And now there are two eggs. Wow.

 

 

 


Monday Morning Mystery Answered

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On Monday  I asked:

On a recent visit to Amsterdam, I saw this 1887 painting in the Van Gogh Museum. What kind of bird is it?

Hint: It's called "Kingfisher by the Waterside." But which one?

I think the more you know about a work of art, the better.

Was there a reason that Van Gogh chose this species of bird? It would be helpful to know what species it is before speculating.

Diane Louie and Ravi Potluri both responded correctly -- a Common Kingfihser.

You can read more about the somewhat Common Kingfisher here.

A photo of the Common Kingfisher from Cornell is below.

Not sure what Van Gigh was driving at, because to me the bird in the photo is magnificent and Van Gogh's is, well, meh.

What do you think? Does Van Gogh's painting seem different after seeing a photo of an actual kingfisher?

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Nifty Speaker @ Fyke on Friday

Friday, 8:15 p.m. Allendale Borough Hall, 500 W. Crescent Ave.

Pollinators in Peril: How you can help protect native pollinators by Blaine Rothauser

Butterflies, bumblebees, moths and other creatures help pollinate over 75% of our flowering plants and crops, contributing to over $29 billion in crops each year.

Currently, many species of pollinators are struggling to survive. Join Blaine Rothauser, biologist, naturalist, photographer and terrific public speaker, on a photogenic tour of the world of pollinators in New Jersey, exploring why pollinators are crucial to our environment, health, food systems and economy.

Learn how to help the declining species of New Jersey pollinators with simple steps we can take to protect them in our own backyard.

The program is free and open to the public. It will begin after a short Fyke members meeting.

A Ted Talk by Blaine is above (thanks, Deedee!)


More about that Little Snapping Turtle

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On Sunday I posted:

Found this little dude in my side yard yesterday.

I think he is dead -- maybe awoke early during the recent 68-degree days and then got caught in the cold???

No, he didn't die from carrying that quarter around. I placed it next to him for scale....

I brought him inside to see if he would wake up from its torpor. No luck.

I put him back outside this morning with my best wishes.

If you see a young snapping turtle at the CF this spring, I'd like to think it's little Tommy Torpor.

Allegra Mitchell of the Conserve Wildlife Foundation writes:

You are probably right that the little guy came out of winter hibernation too early and couldn't find a good spot to hunker down before the weather got cold again.
 
It happens on occasion. I had reports of a couple of snakes and frogs seen out on that weekend as well. 
 
(Thanks, Allegra!)

Last Week's Vague Mystery Answered

A few days ago, I wrote:

OK, I get it. Monday's Mystery was too tough to decipher. Here's what I was getting at: Why are these three state bird stamps the same but different, and how?

Example: New Jersey's stamp features male and female, but that's not the answer.

You may have to click on the stamps to examine them.

The answer I was looking for was given by Diane Louie:

Regarding your hint on the Goldfinches: Per Wikipedia (ibid.), Iowa and New Jersey both named "Eastern" Goldfinch as their state bird in 1933 and 1935, respectively, whereas Washington named theirs "Willow" Goldfinch in 1951.

However, in the stamp sheet, the updated name of "American" Goldfinch is used for New Jersey and Washington, but "Eastern" Goldfinch is retained for Iowa.

In short, the same goldfinches have two different names. Jut a bit odd.

Well done, Diane, and congrats to the others for their answers to my mystery...!


Monday Mystery 012020

Screen Shot 2020-01-14 at 7.43.42 AM
On a recent visit to Amsterdam, I saw this 1887 painting in the Van Gogh Museum.

Hint: It's called "Kingfisher by the Waterside."   But what kind?

I think the more you know about a work of art, the better.

Was there a reason that Van Gogh chose this species of bird? It would be helpful to know what species it is before speculating.

Answer on Friday. (Comments hidden so as not to spoil the fun.)


We Have a Birdy 30 Winner!

The grand prize winner in this weekend's Birdy 30 Competition is songbird Stephanie Stokes, who tallied 16 species in one half-hour span -- including a Brown Creeper.

Second place was a tie between Gabrielle Shmitt and Charley West, who both had 14,

Lisa Potash came in fourth with 13 species.

Six entrants  has 11 species.

Congrats to all who participated.

Best bird seen: Dark-eyed Junco, of course.

Or possibly Stephanie's Creeper.

 

 


Baby Snapping Turtle in January

IMG-0346Found this little dude in my side yard yesterday. 

I think he is dead -- maybe awoke early during the recent 68-degree days and then got caught in the cold???

No, he didn't die from carrying that quarter around. I placed it next to him for scale....

I brought him inside to see if he would wake up from its torpor. No luck.

I put him back outside this morning with my best wishes.

If you see a young snapping turtle at the CF this spring, I'd like to think it's little Tommy Torpor.