More Backyard Wildlife

Yesterday, Diane, Ritka, Farli, and I went out in the back area beyond the fenced yard here. I wasn’t paying particular attention to Ritka, but Ritka had found some interesting scent. Our attention was caught, though, when a half-dozen birds broke cover and flew off, the smallest of them as large as a full-grown pheasant. We have wild turkey in the area. The smaller birds we are assuming are young of the year.

Down at the pond, there is a mallard hen with a half-dozen half-grown ducklings. We had a load of sand dropped off next to the pier at the pond, giving us a few feet of sandy beach rather than mud. It makes it a bit more pleasant to check out what’s up. We can hear frogs toward evening. And we have had a fair number of lightning bugs, too.

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Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.

2 thoughts on “More Backyard Wildlife

  • 2007/07/18 at 2:36 pm
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    I wish we had turkeys up here. We do have pheasant, and partridge are common. A bald eagle has made a nest near my mother’s house along the highway in a pine tree beside a river. I can’t see if there are any chicks. In our lake the other day I saw a duck (I think mallard) hen with 15 (!) chicks. I had to count them twice there we so many. I wonder if she adopted or is some kind of communal mom. That seems like a lot of chicks. Man could those little guys skip over the water fast.

  • 2007/07/18 at 8:17 pm
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    There was a famous foul-up with a project to provide pre-built nestboxes for wood ducks. In an appropriate wetland, workers nailed up nestboxes to every tree they could manage. Trouble was, woods ducks do nest parasitism. The females, confronted with oodles of easily-recognized nests, laid eggs everywhere they could, which meant some females ended up with far more eggs than they could hope to maintain and hatch. The message was: put up nestboxes at irregular, long intervals.

    15 chicks is not absolutely out of the question, though. I do recall mallards laying over a dozen eggs. At least with ducks we are talking precocial young.

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