Saturday, March 30, 2013

92 species of birds can't all be wrong

30 March 2013.

I checked on the camera today, and am delighted to see that the beaver is still active.

 It is still chomping on the big tree that it has been chomping on for a couple weeks.  This is , by far, the biggest tree in Cromwell Valley Park that it has  cut down or tried to cut down.  I don't know if that is significant or not. One source I checked says that beavers only cut down large tree when smaller ones are unavailable.  That does not seem to be the case here. 

the old dam. 30 March 2013.
I also took a walk down to the first dam and den that the beaver built. You may recall that a flood at the
end of January, forced the beaver to look elsewhere for a home. The remnants of the dam are still visible, but with a large hole eroded in the center. Similarly, the den is still visible, but the hole made by an animal has eroded, and is filled with sticks.

the old den, probably home to a new animal. 30 March 2013.

the collapsed secondary entrance hole. 30 March 2013.

So, we all know that beavers destroy a lot of trees. But they do more than destroy. They create as well.
Bernd Heinrich, studying geese living in a beaver pond, found 92 species of birds in the pond. He counted 28 of them using the beaver-created habitat for breeding. (The Geese of Beaver Bog, Bernd Heinrich) His list is below:

  1. Horned grebe
  2. Pie-billed grebe
  3. American Bittern
  4. Great Blue Heron
  5. Canada Goose (breeds in pond)
  6. Mallard (breeds in pond)
  7. American black duck
  8. Green-winged teal
  9. Blue-winged teal
  10. Wood duck
  11. Ring-necked duck
  12. Lesser scaup
  13. Common goldeneye
  14. Bufflehead
  15. Common merganser
  16. Hooded-merganser
  17. Virginia rail (breeds in pond)
  18. Killdeer
  19. Solitary sandpiper
  20. Spotted sandpiper
  21. Common snipe (breeds in pond)
  22. American woodcock (breeds in pond)
  23. Bald eagle
  24. Northern harrier
  25. Sharp-shinned hawk
  26. Broad-winged hawk
  27. Osprey
  28. Ruffed grouse
  29. Wild turkey
  30. Mourning dove (breeds in pond)
  31. Black-billed cuckoo (breeds in pond)
  32. Barred owl
  33. Ruby-throated hummingbird
  34. Belted kingfisher
  35. Northern flicker
  36. Yellow-bellied sapsucker
  37. Downy woodpecker
  38. Hairy woodpecker
  39. Pileated woodpecker
  40. Eastern kingbird (breeds in pond)
  41. Olive-sided flycatcher
  42. Eastern Phoebe
  43. Least flycatcher
  44. Willow flycatcher
  45. Alder flycatcher
  46. Tree swallow
  47. Bank swallow
  48. Barn swallow
  49. Blue jay (breeds in pond)
  50. American crow
  51. Common raven
  52. Tufted titmouse
  53. Black-capped chickadee (breeds in pond)
  54. Winter wren
  55. Golden-crowned Kinglet
  56. Ruby-crowned kinglet
  57. Blue-gray gnatcatcher
  58. American Robin (breeds in pond)
  59. Veery (breeds in pond)
  60. Northern shrike
  61. Gray catbird (breeds in pond)
  62. Bohemian waxwing
  63. Cedar waxwing (breeds in pond)
  64. Red-eyed vireo
  65. Warbling vireo
  66. Tennessee warbler
  67. Nashville warbler
  68. Chestnut-sided warbler (breeds in pond)
  69. Yellow-rumped warbler
  70. Palm warbler
  71. Yellow warbler (breeds in pond)
  72. Northern waterthrush (breeds in pond)
  73. Common yellowthroat (breeds in pond)
  74. American redstart (breeds in pond)
  75. Rose-breasted grosbeak breeds in pond)
  76. Northern cardinal (breeds in pond)
  77. Song sparrow (breeds in pond)
  78. American tree sparrow
  79. Dark-eyed junco
  80. White-throated sparrow
  81. White-crowned sparrow
  82. Fox sparrow
  83. Swamp sparrow (breeds in pond)
  84. Red-winged blackbird (breeds in pond)
  85. Brown-headed cowbird (breeds in pond)
  86. Common grackle (breeds in pond)
  87. Northern oriole (breeds in pond)
  88. American goldfinch (breeds in pond)
  89. Pine grosbeak
  90. Common redpoll
  91. Purple finch
  92. Evening grosbeak

 More later.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

squirrels, deer, rabbits, fox, and a beaver. Oh My!

It's spring break so I had the pleasure of my son's company this week. We had a great week, and a very successful one. So let's not waste a lot of time with words. Let's just enjoy the results.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Eureka! Let's enjoy this as long as it lasts.

I checked the camera yesterday afternoon, and again this afternoon. I am glad to report that I've finally caught or favorite rodent on the camera. What fun.

I also observed an interesting phenomenon. 

I saw a tree nearly cut down by the beaver.
When I looked closer, though, I realized that the tree was ready to fall. Sadly for our rodent friend, it was hung up in branches of other trees, so couldn't fall. All that work and no food. Drats.

One last note. While out today I met a man who is attempting to trap the beaver, apparently at the request of the Park Manager. He said that he is going to relocate the beaver if he succeeds in catching it.

More later.