Song Sparrow

This past weekend we had a crazed Song Sparrow sparring with his own reflection on our bedroom window.

Song Sparrow

singing Song Sparrow

He would sing from his favorite perch, spy his reflection, and in his agitated state he would fly to the window to challenge the other bird.

Sparrow, Song

Sparrow, Song

The other bird (his reflection) would follow his exact moves, making the Sparrow even more enraged. It was driving him nuts and it was also driving us nuts as he would get up at the crack of dawn to perform his antics. Finally, we cut down the tree where he was perching cutting off his bothersome reflection. The tree that we cut down was already dead and had been for a couple years. Usually I like to leave some of the dead trees standing as it provides a perch for the birds when they’re visiting the feeders and the dead trees can have other positive attributes for birds.

However, it fixed this bird’s whistle! He soon found another perch to perform his song.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Metamorphosis

dragonfly larvae

Waterbug

The other morning I found a really cool bug on the dock. It had just crawled out of the lake. I knew what it was and found a big jar to capture the waterbug.

emerging dragonfly

emerging dragonfly

I went to work and forgot about it for a couple hours. Pretty soon there was a huge dragonfly metamorphosing. I had waited too long before checking on it and I found to my surprise that the process was almost complete.

dragonfly + pupae

dragonfly emerging from pupae stage

I couldn’t believe that the huge dragonfly had emerged from the small pupae.

Dragonfly

Dragonfly

After a couple more hours in the big jar that was holding him captive, he was fully developed. And really kind of pretty. I turned the jar onto its’ side and the dragonfly flew to freedom without any harm being done.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bog Walk

 

Maianthemum trifolium

Maianthemum trifolium

Or 3-leaved False Soloman’s Seal — what?

 

laurel,bog

Bog Laurel

parula,north

Northern Parula

northern parula

Northern Parula

warbler,blackburnian

Blackburnian Warbler

warbler,blackburnian

Blackburnian Warbler

warbler,tennessee

Tennessee Warbler

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Spring Peepers

Spring Peeper

Spring Peeper

Ever wonder what a Spring Peeper looks like? On our bird walk last Wednesday at the Vermilion River Gorge Hiking Trail, Julie Grahn found this tiny little frog. She identified it as a Spring Peeper by the X on its’ back.

Here’s a link to a video where you can hear the little frogs peeping. Spring Peepers

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bald Eagles in Voyageurs National Park

For the latest report on the Eagles of Voyageurs click on the link below

http://www.nps.gov/voya/parknews/bald-eagle-nesting-areas-protected-in-voyageurs-national-park-2014.htm

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Oh sweet Canada

White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

That’s the mnemonic phrase for this bird, “Oh sweet Canada, Canada, Canada”. The White-throated Sparrow is everywhere in the forest around Crane Lake.

Some people say that the phrase they repeat is “Poor Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody”. Which do you think?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Swan Nest

Trumpeter Swan Nest

Trumpeter Swan Nest

Thanks Harvey for the photo of the Trumpeter Swan Nest in the pond on the Nelson Road.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Moose in Voyageurs National Park

Voyageurs National Park Completes 2014 Moose Population Survey

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS

Date: May 8, 2014
Contact: Steve Windels, 218-283-6692
 

Wildlife biologists at Voyageurs National Park recently completed an aerial survey of the park’s moose population in Feb/Mar, 2014.The 2014 population estimate for the Kabetogama Peninsula was 40 moose, similar to estimates from 2009-2013 of 41-51.The Kabetogama Peninsula is a 118-square mile roadless area that contains almost all of the park’s moose population.

Fewer calves were observed in 2014 than in the previous 3 surveys, and the calf:cow ratio of 0.23 was also lower than estimates from 2010-2013 of 0.54-0.61.Two adult collared moose moved from the park into Ontario a few weeks before the survey began and another died during the survey.If those moose had been present during the survey, the 2014 estimate would have been inside the range of past counts.Biologists also confirmed the presence of at least 3 moose in the southern portion of the park.

The continued apparent stability of the low-density population in Voyageurs is corroborated through ongoing monitoring of GPS-collared moose.Only 1 of 14 collared adult moose has died since the last aerial survey was completed in 2013.Overall, mean annual mortality of adult moose in Voyageurs National Park has been 10% since monitoring began in 2010.By comparison, annual mortality of adult moose in the declining northeastern Minnesota moose population in recent years has been around 20%.

Voyageurs National Park is at the current southern extent of moose range in North America.Warmer annual and summer temperatures may be stressing moose populations in the region.The moose population declined by about 50% between 2006-2014 in northeastern Minnesota and several areas in adjacent Ontario have also documented recent declines.There are likely multiple factors involved in the observed declines including climate-related stresses on health and reproductive status, diseases and parasites, predation, and changes in habitat.Moose in Voyageurs experience all of these factors, including the brainworm parasites and high densities of wolves and bears.It is unclear if population dynamics in the park are indeed different from those in adjacent areas or if the park, at the western and southern edge of these other populations, will experience similar declines in the near future.Park biologists are continuing studies to understand the complex relationships that drive moose population dynamics in the park.

The National Park Service will continue to monitor the Voyageurs National Park’s moose population on an annual basis.In addition, Voyageurs National is investigating other aspects of moose ecology in collaboration with University of Minnesota-Duluth, Bemidji State University, Lakehead University, and other partners. Other studies include how moose behave in response to high temperatures and other weather events, how and why moose use wetlands for foraging and temperature regulation, and the interactions of moose, deer, beavers and wolves.

The 2014 Voyageurs National Park Moose Population Survey Report can be downloaded from the NPS website: http://irmafiles.nps.gov/reference/holding/493661.

For more information contact:

Steve Windels, Wildlife Biologist, Voyageurs National Park, 218-283-6692, e-mail us

www.nps.gov

About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 395 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Swans

I went over and checked the pond on the Nelson Road to see if the Trumpeter Swans were setting up shop yet. And Yes! There is a pair there and one was sitting on a nest. It looks like the same spot where they built their nest last year. I wonder if they use the same nest? And I wonder if it’s the same pair of Swans that have nested here for the last two years. I think that it probably is.

I hope they have a successful nesting attempt this year. Last year something happened to the 3 cygnets that were seen. I suspect it was probably the neighborhood Eagle, but it could have been any number of predators.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

more Spruce Grouse

Spruce Grouse

Spruce Grouse

I was out in the woods again in search of my favorite bird, the Spruce Grouse.

Spruce Grouse display

Spruce Grouse display

And I was treated to a beautiful male who couldn’t stop displaying. I think they think that the camera shutter noise is another male Spruce Grouse. He must have “clicked” his tail at me more than 2 dozen times.

Finally, the Grouse got so mad at me that he came marching right up to me, I thought he was going to fly up and land on my head, but instead he jumped up on the big boulder that was about 5 feet away from me. He got up there and “clicked” his tail shut as if to say “you wanted to see me? here you go”, and then he flew up to the Jack Pine where he had been eating needles earlier. That was my cue to leave him alone.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment