Previous month:
April 2007
Next month:
June 2007

May 2007

Mrs. Wood Duck flies out


   I video-recorded Mrs. Wood Duck as she flew out of the box this morning. 

   I figured I recorded her flying in -- might as well catch a departure as well.  You can hear a camera shutter going off in the background.

   At 6:15 tonight, she flew back in... which means no babies have left the box yet.

    I am hoping that in the next three mornings, I might be able to see the duck babies jump from the box...

   The four owlets were asleep at 6:30 p.m. but night time seems to be busier.

   They are owls, after all.

   Mrs. Wood Duck video:

Download MVI_1017a.avi

A little red fox in Mahwah



    Pedro, a follower of this post, kindly passed along this great photo of a little red fox in Mahwah.

   He also shared his photos of the black bears earlier this week. 

  Thanks, Pedro!!

  He writes:

  I guess you could say I've been blessed by nature this past few days.

   I went to search for fawns to photograph, which involves moving very slowly through the woods and instead I ended up with this.

   I came across a group of young red foxes playing around and it took me about 45 minutes until I got this shot.

    A lot of patient steps to get closer without them noticing.

    It's a young red fox with a fawn's leg in its mouth. It was taken in the mountains in Mahwah.

I figured I'd share as it's something most of us have never seen.


Wild turkey in Allendale











I saw a wild turkey at the intersection of Brookside and Crescent avenues in Allendale last week, but I didn't have a camera.

   Yesterday, as luck would have it, I did. 

   The turkey is a bit shy, which is good, so I had a bit of a run-around trying to photograph it and making sure it stayed away from the road.

    I understand it hangs out around there a lot, and that it has been known to use the crosswalk, but it is not in a good place.

    It did remind me of the ocellated turkeys I saw in Central America in Belize and at Tikal in Guatemala.

   They were in very good places in a very bad region for turkeys.

    The turkeys in Central America are ocellated turkeys, and they can be seen only in protected areas because they have been so over-hunted.

    Here's a picture I took of one at La Milpa in Belize earlier this year. He liked to follow me everywhere I went in the vicinity of the dining hall. 

   The bottom picture is a close-up of his head. 

   I am told that female turkeys find it attractive.  He probably had a similar opinion of me.




Updates galore on the last day of May




    I am sitting at my window, well before 7 a.m., watching for a snapping turtle that I'd seen earlier crossing the brook in my back yard.

   At one of my feeders, a female ruby-throated hummingbird slurps down the nectar.

    My eyes, however, are on the nesting boxes just beyond my backyard.

   I have checked the screech cam, and the owlets are fast asleep, but I wonder if I might glimpse their mom.

   The owlets are getting so big that they seem to have an organized way of sleeping even as they lay flat in the box. (see image above.)

    Last night the owlets dined on frog and (I think) gosling, among other creatures. Their appetite is huge these days.

   To the left in my morning view is the wood duck box. It has now been more than six weeks since April nor'easter that flooded our back yard and allowed the wood ducks to swim by and discover the box.

   Wood duck babies should be jumping out of the box any morning now, and I spend my early mornings waiting for the female to arrive and call to her fresh-hatched young that it's time to meet the world.

   For now, I wait and watch, and take it all in.