This very young robin was hanging out on the railing at a local park the other day. Linking to Friday’s Fences at Life According to Jan and Jer.
Tag Archives: nature
I couldn’t help myself…had to go out in the backyard this morning to photograph some of the beautiful new May flowers. The daffodils and tulips are all gone, but some new beauties have sprouted up instead.
Here are a couple of fence photos taken this year in early spring. It won’t take long for these locations to look dramatically different once all the plants and trees begin sprouting. Linking to “Friday’s Fences” at Life According to Jan and Jer.
The kestrel that I saw flew fairly close to where I was walking. It landed in a tree and then moved to a few different branches before perching on a nearby wire. Moments later, it was in the air. It hovered in place while beating its wings, before suddenly diving down. It’s amazing how it can stay in one spot, despite the wind. The kestrel put on quite a display searching for food before I lost track of it. I couldn’t tell if it succeeded in catching anything or not.
Guide books describe the American Kestrel as a raptor of the falcon family, similar in size to a mourning dove or a jay. They are very attractive-looking; the colored patterns on the underside of the kestrel reminded me of a common flicker.
An American Kestrel in central New Jersey was certainly an out of the ordinary sight for me.
After eating dinner yesterday, I couldn’t help but notice the sun shining through the clouds preparing for its descent. Rather than watching through the window or in my backyard, I grabbed my camera and headed out to a park to enjoy the view. Not only was I rewarded with a beautiful sunset, but I also managed to snap a shot of my first owl! Welcome sunshine, welcome spring.
I heard the male cardinal tweeting repeatedly the other day, so much so that I stopped what I was doing to look outside. From the top of a small tree, the male cardinal was loudly carrying on. The reason for all the ruckus? A female cardinal was perched nearby in an adjacent tree. After he finished his serenade, he flew over closer to the female and began chipping and strutting about, fanning his tail feathers and putting on quite a show. She played cool though, sitting very still and seemingly not giving him a glance. Today, I noticed the cardinal pair checking out the site of last year’s nest, so I suppose his display won her over. Spring is here!
Linking to “Signs of Spring” at the Outdoor Blogger Network.
The first raptor visit was early this morning when I was in the kitchen. Through the window, I saw the hawk perch low in the walnut tree next to our bird feeders. I wanted to take a photo through the sliding glass door, but the hawk flew off just as I returned from down the hall with my camera. Later this afternoon, I was outside in the backyard, with my camera, when the hawk returned a second time.
Normally, when a hawk is nearby, the backyard birds flee into the hidden areas of the bushes or pine trees and there is silence. All chirping ceases. This afternoon, the hawk appeared so suddenly it seemed to take the birds by surprise. They weren’t able to resort to their normal safety routines.
The female cardinal didn’t flee and hide. Instead, it stayed completely frozen in place on a tree branch, not moving whatsoever. The tufted titmouse was a little bit braver. It made a short, sudden warning call and then immediately dropped into the pine branches out of sight. The mourning doves stayed still in the same position they had been sitting in previously. The downy woodpecker, however, was the stealthy one. First, he froze on the tree branch. He didn’t move his head to the right or to the left, but you could tell he was aware of the danger. Then, he pressed his body down as close as possible to the branch. His final move was to swiftly rotate around to the underside of the tree branch to get out of the hawk’s direct line of sight. The woodpecker stayed completely still in that position, keeping the branch between himself and the hawk, until the hawk finally flew away. Once the danger was gone, the woodpecker moved back around to the top of the branch and started to eat some suet. The other birds also resumed their activities like nothing had happened.
Here are my contributions to ”Friday’s Fences” at Life According to Jan and Jer. These photos were taken in the same area of New Jersey, less than a mile or so apart.
The insect had a brownish colored abdomen with a pattern on it and long front antennas. I had never seen an insect like it before. I was intrigued enough to run back inside the office to grab my camera. After taking a photo of the bug, I Googled “large brown bug with antennae” to see what I could find out about it. I figured out that the mystery bug was a Western Conifer Seed Bug. Western . . . immediately I thought I had made a mistake identifying the insect. Since I live on the east coast, I checked to see if perhaps there was an eastern variety of seed bug. After a little reading on the Penn State Entomology web page, I learned that the western conifer seed bug has been expanding its range into the east. At first it was identified in Pennsylvania and now the bug ranges in New Jersey and even into Canada.
Although the western conifer seed bug I saw on the sidewalk was barely moving, apparently they buzz and fly like a bee. The bad news for me is that the bug is considered a pest that likes to come indoors, inside homes and office buildings, in the winter. Perhaps this western conifer seed bug has been hanging around with the stink bugs at my office all winter and I hadn’t noticed it before.