Thursday, March 27, 2014

Red Fox at Breakneck Hill Conservation Land

I started the day at Wildwood Cemetery, seeing Wood Ducks again, but only one pair this time.  On the other side of the water is a car wash.  An employee was using a leaf blower to blow all the sand out of the bays.  The wood ducks were escaping from that "danger", so they came over to the quiet side of the water where I was.  I am in awe of their ability to live in such close proximity to human noise and pollution.  I hope they stay.  I guess they don't have much choice.

 Wood Duck

Wood Duck pair

As I continued on through the cemetery, I stopped briefly when I heard a woodpecker drumming.  It took me a few minutes to locate it, a Downy.  When I returned to the car, I noticed a Red-Tailed Hawk perched on a sunny branch.  Smart choice, Mr. Hawk.  It was only 19 degrees.  I bet that sun felt good!

Red-Tailed Hawk

There's a little brook that empties into the river next to the cemetery.  I took some photos of the ice formations, because I think they are interesting and cool (and hopefully not going to be around much longer)!

I walked my lunch hour at Breakneck Hill Conservation Land.  It had warmed up considerably since this morning and was holding at about 39 degrees.  Nice bright sunshine, too.  There were several dog walkers just starting out, so I took off in a different direction.  Song sparrows were singing all through the area between the parking lot and the community garden.  It made me wonder how closely together they are willing to live.  After a little searching, I found that average territory of a song sparrow is less than one acre, and that in spring, a male is known to sing 6-8 songs per minute, at dawn, to maintain its territory.  They're working hard!  I heard them after 1PM, and they were still frequently singing, but it is the time of year that they are trying to attract a female, too.

Click here if you want to read about some research done at University of Washington to determine territorial defense warnings given by Song Sparrows.  Pretty interesting, and the video is amazing!

Besides the Song Sparrows, I saw one Red-Tailed Hawk, several House Finches, an Eastern Bluebird, half dozen House Sparrows, Black-Capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, and a Mourning Dove.  The best sight, though, was as I was coming back through the center meadows.  I spotted the Red Fox running across the meadows.  Not two seconds later, two dog walkers came over the hilltop.  Again, I am in awe of these wild creatures that can live so close to us and our domestic pets.  I really thought that fox was long gone.  Amazing that it can successfully live in an area so often visited by dogs.

 Red Fox

It won't be long before these meadows and trees start greening up and filling in.  And then the butterflies will be back!

No comments:

Post a Comment