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Showing posts from February, 2012

Bath Time

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The sun came out yesterday, which can be a rare event during February around here.  I took the opportunity to visit Cranberry Lake in Deception Pass State Park.  I spotted some of the park residents also taking advantage of the sunshine.  Even though it was still chilly, these Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) were obviously having a good time bathing, splashing and socializing.


Altogether, there were thirteen birds in the group.  I am not sure if these are year-around residents, or migratory birds spending winter in the park.  We have seen family groups here before.

Canada Geese have become unwelcome pests in some locales.  They often find city parks and golf courses to their liking which leads to conflicts with humans.  They can also be a threat to aviation.  On Vancouver Island in Canada, wildlife biologists are concerned that their increasing numbers are damaging the natural habitat and threatening other wildlife.

Locally, I am not aware that the geese are considered a problem.  I…

Meet ArtMagenta

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We wildlife enthusiasts spend a lot of time nourishing our left brains with data about taxonomy, habitats, ranges and the like.  If you are like me, you want to know everything possible about the species you see.  Sometimes these pursuits leave little opportunity for the right brain's imagination and creativity.  Even with wildlife photography we can get caught up in the technical details of a photo instead of stepping back to enjoy the "big picture."


How great it is to discover a wildlife blog that seems to be designed for the right brain.  Ulf Andersson is an illustrator in Sweden who goes by ArtMagenta on the internet.  He publishes the blog Bird of the Day.  Don't worry, you don't need to tala svenska to read it since his posts are in English.  For me, the drawings evoke a Japanese style of painting, simple, elegant and colorful.  Rather than portraying fine anatomical detail in his birds, he gives us wonderful caricatures that display their personalities.


I…

Birdcam Sabotage and a Lesson

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Webster's New World Dictionary defines "sabotage" in part as:
"Destruction of railroads, bridges, machinery, etc., as by enemy agents or an underground resistance." "The deliberate obstruction of or damage to any cause, movement, activity, effort, etc."
This is the current state of affairs at my Birdcam 2 station in the back yard.  The key words in the definition are "enemy agents," "deliberate," and "damage."  In this case, the enemy agents are the non-native Eastern Gray Squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis):


This Birdcam photo shows the suet feeder under attack when it was still relatively undamaged.  For several weeks I had been getting virtually nothing but squirrel photos at the Birdcam from dawn to dusk.  Two entire cakes of suet would be consumed in a single day.  The situation was insufferable.  I took some steps to try to solve the problem.  You can see these in the photos:
I used a more robust latch to lock the suet…