The geese have returned to the pond before they begin their journey south. The turkeys, hens and toms, are roaming the road. There are still plenty of grasshoppers for the turkeys to eat. We have had a cow elk and skunk walking the road. A surprise was the bobcat. The coyotes are hunting as a pair. The black bear and 2 cubs wandered are covering ground but doing a great job at evading the camera. Deer are common but bucks are not. The crow are on the move. -Patches
Eventually, all critters travel the driveway. Sometimes the game cam even catches them. A daytime appearance of the coyote on the driveway is unusual. He is traveling the driveway most nights. All sorts of deer use the pond and driveway. I am not sure why it always seems to surprise me that skunks climb stairs. The game cam caught one on the bridge step. For the last several days a blue heron has been hunting frogs in the pond. So far no bear sightings on the game cam. But as the apples ripen, I expect we will see them around.
Oh the Road & Around the Pond
This is an exciting time of year as we await the appearance of babies. We have does with rounded bellies. We have yet to see a fawn. The fall burning of tree stumps around the yard resulted in holes and burrows that were not always filled before winter set in. An opportunistic skunk moved into a burrow created by the removal of a tree root. Looking out the kitchen window we spotted 4 baby skunks. The babies are really cute but not particularly welcome.
He goslings are starting to color. The ducks paused to finally get their portraits. We have spotted only a handful of tadpoles. Those tadpoles are steadily growing. The turtles are on the move and on the road. We noticed a neighbor stopping to carefully remove a turtle on the road to the safety of a grassed area.
A pair of whopping cranes are occasionally stopping to hunt in the field. The coyote is hunting in the field and along the road. The feral cats are making regular treks along the road. -Patches
Perhaps you’ve heard the distinctive call of the sandhill cranes recently? -Patches
We’re actually in at the very south edge of the breeding range for Sandhill Cranes. They’re not particularly picky eaters- they’ll eat snakes, frogs, insects, seeds… Often, we’ll see them in the spring, hunting frogs in shallow water.
The Not So Perfect Game Camera: They’re Back!
Returning to the game camera line up for your viewing pleasure are striped kitties, otherwise know as skunks. Skunks have been absent for several months but have returned. Along with skunks featured this with week are feral cats and deer. -Patches
The sound of ravens noisily calling and the presence of eagles in the field, led us to walk the wooded trails. We did indeed find a fawn, the victim of a predator. A game camera was moved to observe the predator’s return. No sightings of lions or coyotes on the game camera instead there were birds. A camp robber, magpie, and golden eagle posed for the camera. With her wings spread the golden eagle seemed to be almost as large as the fawn.
It is an unfortunate happening. Many game cameras will be vandalized or pilfered over their lifetime. Python locks are used to keep the game cameras from being lifted. My vandals usually have 4 legs but occasionally there are those that have two.
The two-legged variety of vandals perch and defecate on the camera. The four-legged variety usually hit the camera with speed, resulting in the tripod mount being broken and the camera somewhere on the ground.
My usual 4-legged suspects are deer. Curious elk and cranky bears will also displace cameras. This week, I found two tripod mounted cameras upside down and facing the opposite direction of their intended targets. After reviewing the video, I have determined the vandal was a curious cow.
The cow investigated the camera in the early morning hours. -Patches
An opportunity to capture pictures of scavengers on a carcass presented itself. I placed two cameras overlooking the carcass. I had hoped the bears would find this substantial food source. If not, maybe I would have pictures of coyotes or foxes. I had 65 videos, some as long as 4 minutes of ravens, a lot of ravens. It is gruesome and repetitive to watch ravens feast on a carcass. Finally, the eagles show up.
It is still gruesome to watch eagles on a carcass. But on the video, there was a surprise. A brave and reckless raven would tug on the tail feathers of the bald eagle. The raven was more persistent in harassing the juvenile bald eagle than an adult eagle. The only reaction from the eagles appeared to be flapping their wings resulting in a temporary scattering of the ravens.
I also had 7500 photos of ravens and eagles to review. Not one picture clearly shows a raven tugging on the tail feathers of an eagle. Game cam videos do provide glimpses of animal behavior hard to capture on a still camera. The down side, video uses your batteries and SD cards quickly. Both accessories need to be replaced often.