This time of year, we spend a lot of time on the back porch. Skies are clear, temperatures are comfy once again and the mosquitoes are gone! We sit with friends, laugh at the dogs, feed raisins to our chickens and watch birds crashing around the gardens as they forage on seed stems of old plants.
But when the dogs are indoors and all is quiet, that’s when we see the Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) flying towards our pond. He’s kind of hard to miss, looking like a giant pterodactyl flapping its enormous wings as it lands:
Standing 4′ tall with a 6′ wingspan, the Great Blue Heron is the largest heron in North America, and we are always thrilled to see one visiting our small farm pond to hunt for frogs and fish. I can’t say the same for my horses though…when the heron flies directly over them as he lands or takes off, those nervous horses dive for the safety of their stalls!
Heron Takes Flight
Heron Takes Flight
The heron always uses the same landing strip (the road to our barn) where he first checks out the scene to make sure everything’s safe:
From there, he makes a quick flyover to the other side of the pond where he stands silently in the shallows, like a living sculpture, waiting to spear an unsuspecting frog or catfish for dinner.View full post
In an earlier article I shared my favorite locations for bird-watching on Cape Cod in Massachusetts and today I’ll cover additional destinations for bird spotting in the rest of the state.
Perhaps one of the least known places to watch wildlife in Massachusetts is Quabbin Reservoir. Constructed in 1930’s to quench the expanding thirst of Boston, the reservoir and surrounding watershed area covers 121,000 acres.
Located in central Massachusetts 12-miles east of Amherst it’s a mecca for bird-watchers. Quabbin Park is home to loons, great blue herons, and an abundant array of songbirds. A trip to the park should start out at the visitor’s center and administration building where you can pick up maps and guides. The 3-mile round trip walk from Goodnough Dike to Pepper’s Mill Road is a recommended trip for bird-watching.View full post
A suet log bird feeder is a great way to attract birds that are clinger feeders to your backyard, especially Red Bellied Woodpeckers, Downy …View full post
Eight years ago, Bill Askenburg established New England Birdhouse of Chelmsford, Mass., a niche business offering custom miniature replicas of clients’ homes that serve as weather-resistant bird shelters. As he works meticulously on each piece, he says he always considers how special each one is going to be to the recipient.View full post
More than two dozen albino ringneck doves were found clinging to life in a group of trees in a Queens, NY park. The non-native doves had presumably flown there after being released following a wedding. Volunteers from the Wild Bird Fund helped capture about 15 of the birds. About 25 doves remain, some too weak to fly back up into the trees after falling from branches. It’s believed that the doves were bred to be pets, and have no experience in foraging for food or living in the wild.
The only type of birds that should be used for dove releases are well trained white racing pigeons. These birds are trained by professionals to return home after being released.View full post
Video of baby bears ransacking a Colorado Springs family’s bird feeder and rummaging around their deck and backyard. According to the family, the three have visited the house about three times since the spring. This video was taken last week, and lasted about an hour. The bear cubs brought their mother during this last trip.View full post
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