I’ve been spending a lot of time out in the Blueberry patch this August. It’s been a great summer for berry pickers!
At this time of the year the name Blue Bead Lily makes sense. The bright blue berries of this plant are everywhere in the woods right now. Don’t get them confused with Blueberries – the berries from this lily are poisonous.
In spring, the flower of this plant is quite beautiful. They are in flower right before the Mocassin Flower Orchids start blooming. The scientific name of this plant is Clintonia borealis. New York Governor DeWitt Clinton (1769-1828) is credited with the name. He was an early naturalist and he’s most famous for the promotion of the construction of the Erie Canal.
This year there is an active nest of Merlins over at Nelson’s Resort. Merlins are a small Falcon and their nest site is very noisy. The parents are extremely vocal when coming in and out of the nesting area. I don’t know why they are so vocal, most birds are very secretive around a nest site.
Anyhow, you can see that the 3 chicks are different ages from each other. Some birds lay their eggs and then start sitting after all their eggs have been laid. This method makes all the chicks the same age when they hatch – Mallard Ducks and other waterfowl do this. But these Merlins must have hatched on different days. The oldest is on the right and the youngest is sitting in the nest. It must get a little unfair at some times, as the oldest would be the strongest and most aggresive when it comes to feeding time. I think some raptors use this to their advantage, when food is scarce, the most dominant bird will survive — if there’s abundant food, all will have plenty to eat, but when times are tough >>>> only the strong survive >>>> survival of the fittest, as they say.
This beautiful Trumpeter Swan family is at Bug Creek over by Elephant Lake. There are actually 3 cygnets in the family.
I like how the parents heads and necks form a heart shape over the two young ones in this photo.
I checked the White-throated Sparrow nest yesterday, and the adult bird sat tight on the nest as I peered through the long grass where the nest is located on the edge of the trail.
She finally flushed when I held the camera up to take a quick photo. When the bird got off the nest, I could see young nestlings in the nest – they look like they had just hatched.
I quickly got out of there because I wanted to disturb the bird as little as possible, and I didn’t want to leave any human scent on the grass that might attract a predator like a Fox or Bear or even a dog going for a walk with their owner on the trail.
Trumpeter Swan Cygnets
I’m so happy this morning! I just drove by the Voyageur Statue Pond and there were 3 Swans a swimming. Upon closer inspection, they were 3 young adults – they’re heads are still gray indicating they are young birds – I’m hedging a bet that they were our 3 cygnets from last summer coming back to their old pond where they spent so much of their childhood last summer. The other pair of Swans (who are probably their parents) are on an adjacent pond and are raising a new family this year.
The Osprey has at least one chick in the nest AND there was a Great Blue Heron standing on one of the nests that I thought had been abandoned. Yippeee! My babies are doing well!
one-legged Wilson’s Snipe
no, this isn’t a joke! My new office is located next to a “wet meadow”, aka swamp, and every day this week I saw a shape on top of the telephone pole. I thought that it was just an insulator for the power line, until one day I thought that I better check out that shape with my binoculars.
And yes, the Snipe does have 2 legs.
Got the bins out of the back of the car and it was a bird sitting up there! A Wilson’s Snipe!!!
I knew I had them around there because I had heard them winnowing and squacking like they do. So I was thrilled to see one! He let me get close – usually these birds are extremely spooky – they won’t let you get close.
Snipe on power pole
Much to my amazement, when I photographed this crazy bird, there was another sitting on top of the power pole 2 poles away! They were up there surveying their territory. I might have to try to find a nest next week.
White-throated Sparrow nest
Found on the side of the trail this morning. We flushed the bird, then found the nest hidden in a clump of grass.