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December 2007

November 2007

BIRDS: Red-breasted nuthatch


               These rarer cousins of the white-breasted nuthatch have been in the area for awhile, and I finally got one at my feeder one afternoon this week.

   The red-breasted nuthatch is a beautiful little bird, more a European sportscar than a clunky sedan like the sparrows at the feeder.

   If he could sing like a Carolina wren, he'd have the whole package.




Paper vs. plastic

   The Record has a front-page story of mine today about a proposed New Jersey ban on plastic grocery bags.

  The story started out on Monday afternoon as a quick small article and just kept getting bigger.

   The paper vs. plastic debate is extremely complicated -- in the end, the best way to go seems to be to bring your own reusable bags to the store.


OWL: A new -- or old -- arrival

Ace_is_on_the_case   I am happy to announce we have a screech owl living in Owlendale once again, at least occasionally.

  Although I have not seen Ace for a couple of days, he has stayed in the box several times over the past 11 days.

   I would not have any idea of how often he has been staying here without the video-camera.

   I also have been checking the Quacker Track video-cam to make sure he has not been staying in the wood-duck box instead.

   (He has not.)

  I have missed the little guy. The last I saw him was last June, when the final owlet fledged.

  Even though we have never talked, or even really said hello, Ace has been a good neighbor.

  Quiet, well-mannered, and a good mouse exterminator. Who could ask for more?

   I hope that everyone will give him plenty of space -- or else he will be driven away, which would be a shame.

   This happened two owl seasons ago, when people got too close to the box.

    What you see in the photo above is all you'd see when he's at the opening -- if you'd see him at all.

   So I hope people will follow and enjoy Ace's exploits on this blog, and leave the little fellow alone.

   Below is a photo of Ace taken on the screech-cam last week.

   Is he the same Ace as last year?

   He is gray-phased, just like last year, he looks like Ace, and owls tend to return to nesting sites when they have been successful.

  I am trying to find way to post videos of Ace so that they are easier to see. Right now it is so iffy and time-intensive I may have to post the old way, which was less than satisfactory but better than nothing.

   Stay tuned!