Category Archives: Volunteering

Zoo Day, 09-15-21

I got up around 6:30 this morning, and worked on my journaling until about 8:15 when I headed over to the Sacramento Zoo. It was a cool 61º when I got there (which at 9 o’clock is pretty good) and about 73º when I left around 11:30 am. I wanted mostly to see the new capybara, but also just enjoy walking around, looking at the animals.

Does this really work? According to pestlockdown.com, not really.

“…The idea behind fake wasp nests is that wasps are territorial and will avoid living in an area that already has wasps. While the fake wasp nests don’t repel the wasps, they are intended to encourage the wasps to move to a different area to live, much further from the home, so they aren’t as much of a risk for homeowners and their families. The main goal is to keep wasps away from the home, so people and pets do not have to worry about being stung when they’re outside… There have been reports of wasps creating a nest right next to the fake wasp nest or one actually inside of the fake wasp nest. The wasps will notice that there aren’t any wasps actually living in the nest, which means to them it’s fine to set up their own nest inside…

“On top of the territorial aspect being incorrect and ineffective, many wasps actually build their nests inside the ground. Wasps such as yellow jackets will nest on or in the ground, which means they’re not going to care about fake wasp nests hanging outside of the home…”

I couldn’t get around some portions of the zoo because they were doing maintenance and trimming the trees. You’d think they could do that kind of stuff overnight so the guests aren’t interfered with. The jaguar wasn’t out and neither were the giraffes because of the work.

I walked in the direction of the Reptile House, which hasn’t been open since COVID hit, and was happy to see that it was open (with a mask-wearing requirement). What I didn’t like was the fact that although I was the first one to get there, two family groups with little kids saw me enter and they rushed in after me. One had a kid who asked loudly, “What’s in there? What’s in there?” at every single display but then never waited for an answer before asking again. And, of course, there was a screaming baby, which in the close, stone-walled tunnel-like environment of the reptile house was deafening. That along with the harsh Clorox smell inside the building gave me a temporary but harsh headache. Couldn’t wait to get out of there. [Later someone’s unmasked kid turned and sneezed all over me. Guh! Kids are like petri dishes for plague!]

Everything was pretty same ol’, same ol’ inside the reptile house, but I think there were more species of frogs than I’d seen before, and the pale Catalina Island Rattlesnake was new to me.

Over in the “Australian” section of the zoo, the Laughing Kookaburra had been moved into a brighter area by the Kangaroo enclosure.  And inside the Kangaroo’s habitat, there seemed to be a lot more ‘roos than I remember there being in there — including some youngsters. At first, I thought the smaller ‘roos were wallabies but, nope, they were little Kangaroos. In fact, I don’t think I saw a single wallaby in there.

There was only one of the Red River Hogs out in the adjacent habitat, and it seemed to be interested in whatever was on the other side of the closed doors along the back of the enclosure. I don’t know if the other hogs were back there or if it was a keeper preparing its breakfast, but it kept trying to open the door with its snout.

The Chimpanzees weren’t out yet when I went by their enclosure and although the Orangutans were out, they were very much aware of the people staring at them, and kept their backs to everyone.

But the Wolf’s Guenon monkeys were out, and the baby was running around like crazy. It climbed, and hung off the vines, tore and chewed at leather strips and paper treat bags (which were empty),and then jumped on its parent’s back. The parent reached back with one hand, pulled the baby off of it and set it down beside it — and then the baby took off running again. So much energy in such a little body!

The Squirrel Monkeys were apparently, finally, feeling more comfortable in their enclosure. The last few times I’d seen them, they were all bunched up inside their little houses, and only visible through badly scratched plexiglass. Today, they were out, active, jumping around and chattering to one another. Such cute tiny things.

About halfway through my walk, I stopped for a rest at the café and got some water and a plate of nachos. They make their nachos with red, white and blue tortilla chips so it’s all very colorful. The food there is very expensive, but I understand that a big chunk of the money goes to feed the animals, so I don’t complain about the expense. The water I got was in a refillable zoo-logo bottle that I can keep with me to remind me to hydrate regularly.

Lunch at the zoo. Tri-colored nacho chips with cheese, corn salsa, and jalapeno peppers.

The Cheetah brothers were out, and they’re beautiful to look at — such graceful, trim-bodied cats. I was worried though that one of them was pacing and pacing, back and forth across the front of their enclosure. That’s usually an indicator that the animal is anxious and uncomfortable.

Other studies have found that pacing is particularly prevalent on gunite; however, further research that controls for substrates is necessary to understand this variable. That said, the results reveal that pacing “is likely not a species-typical behavior, or a behavior characteristic of most wild individuals in a given species and advantageous for their survival and propagation.” In other words, pacing is indicative of an animal who is coping with stress by “disengaging from [its] environment” through repetitive, goal-less behavior…”          Sad.           

The pacing one’s brother looked a little more comfortable, walked about more slowly and chewed on some grass.

I could hear the male African Lion roaring loudly from its enclosure, but by the time I got to him, he’d gone quiet again. He was perched up on his rock, though, looking handsome and imperious, so I was able to get some photos of him.

The Lioness was laying down in the glassed in hallway between the two sections of the lions’ habitat. A little girl walked up to the glass and could see the male lion through it, but didn’t realize the female was right there — until the female jumped up at the girl and slapped her paws against the glass. Scared the bejeezus out of the kid and her family members, but I couldn’t help but laugh. (Was that mean?)

Another sound-miss was when I was over looking at the Flamingos and I could hear the Abyssinian Ground Hornbill honking noisily.  But I couldn’t get over there fast enough to see him doing his thing. *Sigh*

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

Anyway, one of the Snow Leopards was out. I think it was Blizzard, the big male. He was laying in the grass, sleepy, stretching, yawning. Then he sat up and posed for a few photos. Such a handsome cat.

A few habitats down from the Snow Leopard was where the Capybara was being housed. She was living inside the Anteater’s habitat. A nearby docent told me that the anteater is about 17 years old and doesn’t like to come out anymore, so they let the Capybara use its enclosure in the morning hours, and let the anteater out in the afternoon.

The Capybara is three years old, still considered a youngster, and weighs about 90 pounds. They expect her to get bigger as she matures more. Capybara’s are the largest living rodents in the world. She kind of made my day.

Right now, the zoo has just the one female, which I think is kind of sad because they’re highly social animals. Isolation can be bad for them. The docent said the zoo is looking for a companion for her. They’re semiaquatic animals, too, and the current habitat they have her in doesn’t really supply her with any sort of a pool, so I hope the zoo is able to construct something more true-to-life for her to live in, in the future.

This female, so far though, was looking comfortable, sitting like the Queen of Sheba so close to the glass of the enclosure that you could almost touch her.  There’s an auction going on right now for the privilege of naming her. I’d love to be able to do that, but right now the top bid is $2,650. Waaaaay out of my league.

There was a handful of Meerkats in their enclosure when I went by. One was in the turret, and the other ones were below it, grooming one another in the sand. I think the one in the center of the group was the dominant female, but I’m not sure.

On my way out of the zoo, I could hear a Red-Shouldered Hawk calling from a nearby tree. I was able to get some photos of it before I left. I walked for about 2½ hours and then went back home. Despite the “ferrets” and my sore hip poking at me all the while, I enjoyed my visit and all of the animals.

This was hike #79 in my annual hike challenge.

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Species List:

  1. Aardvark, Orycteropus afer
  2. Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Bucorvus abyssinicus [heard]
  3. African Cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus jubatus
  4. African Lion, Panthera leo
  5. Amazon Milk Frog, Trachycephalus resinifictrix
  6. American Alligator, Alligator mississippiensis
  7. American White Pelican, Pelecanus erythrorhynchos
  8. Anole, Anoles sp. (blue)
  9. Ball Python, Python regius
  10. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica [heard]
  11. California Tiger Salamander, Ambystoma californiense
  12. Capybara, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris
  13. Caribbean Flamingo, Phoenicopterus ruber
  14. Catalina Island Rattlesnake, Crotalus catalinensis
  15. Chinese Crocodile Lizard, Shinisaurus crocodilurus
  16. Comb-Billed Duck, Knob-Bill, Sarkidiornis melanotos
  17. Common Chuckwalla, Sauromalus ater
  18. Crested Screamer, Chauna torquata
  19. Crow, American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos
  20. Eastern Bongo, Tragelaphus eurycerus isaaci
  21. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
  22. Gila Monster, Heloderma suspectum
  23. Golden Mantella Frog, Mantella aurantiaca
  24. Green and Black Poison Dart Frog, Dendrobates auratus
  25. Green Mantella Frog, Mantella viridis
  26. Grevy’s Zebra, Equus grevyi
  27. Hawk-Headed Parrot, Deroptyus accipitrinus
  28. Laughing Kookaburra, Dacelo novaeguineae
  29. Madagascar Big-headed Turtle, Erymnochelys madagascariensis
  30. Madagascar Flat-tailed Tortoise, Pyxis planicauda
  31. Madagascar Tree Boa, Sanzinia madagascariensis
  32. Mallard Duck, Anas platyrhynchos
  33. Mediterranean Fan Palm, Chamaerops humilis
  34. Meerkat, Suricata suricatta
  35. Mongoose Lemur, Eulemur mongoz
  36. Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii [heard throughout the zoo]
  37. Ostrich, Common Ostrich, Struthio camelus
  38. Phantasmal Dart Frog, Epipedobates tricolor
  39. Red Gum Eucalyptus, River Redgum, Eucalyptus camaldulensis
  40. Red Kangaroo, Macropus rufus
  41. Red River Hog, Potamochoerus porcus
  42. Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus
  43. Regal Pelargonium, Pelargonium × domesticum
  44. Rhinoceros Iguana, Cyclura cornuta
  45. Smoky Jungle Frog, Leptodactylus pentadactylus
  46. Smooth-Fronted Caiman, Paleosuchus trigonatus
  47. Snow Leopard, Panthera uncia
  48. Spider Tortoise, Pyxis arachnoides
  49. Squirrel Monkey, Saimiri sciureus
  50. Sumatran Orangutan, Pongo abelii
  51. Tawny Frogmouth, Podargus strigoides
  52. Thick-Billed Parrot, Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha
  53. White’s Tree Frog, Litoria caerulea
  54. White-Faced Saki, Pithecia Pithecia
  55. White-Faced Whistling Duck, Dendrocygna viduata
  56. Wolf’s Guenon Monkey, Cercopithecus wolfi
  57. Wood Duck, Aix sponsa
  58. Yellow-Banded Poison Dart Frog, Dendrobates leucomelas
  59. Yellow-Billed Magpie, Pica nuttalli

Saw My First Fawns Today, 09-11-21

I got up around 6:00 this morning and headed out to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve for a walk. I hadn’t been there in a while. It was 61º when I got there, and went up to 90º by the afternoon.

Noise from the work being done in the river was really distracting, even overwhelming at times. Huge trucks are carrying and dumping gravel along the river side, and even larger front loaders are shoveling it around and laying it down in layers.  The work is to reform the river bottom to make it more amenable to the winter run salmon and steelhead.

From the Water Forum: “…For over 10 years, the Water Forum has partnered with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), along with the city and county of Sacramento to implement gravel restoration projects in the lower American River to promote the wild spawning of native steelhead and salmon… Quality spawning and rearing habitat for Chinook salmon and steelhead is limited on the lower American River because of Nimbus and Folsom Dams.

“Fall-run Chinook Salmon migrate upstream as adults to spawn from October through December. In the egg-laying process, females create a ‘nest’ in loose gravel in flowing water, depositing their eggs and then covering them up with more gravel.  Gravel is carefully placed in the river before fall-run salmon are triggered by cooling temperatures to spawn, and after the high spring and summer flows. The channel restoration projects are designed to create habitat based on modeling that takes into account factors such as water velocity and depth.  The project replenishes a resource that has historically been an important part of the lower American River and its delicate ecosystem…”

This is the first time work has been done near the Effie Yeaw preserve. It will be interesting to see if the changes really lure the salmon in to lay their eggs there.  This is site 30 of about 53 work sites along the river, and the cost for the work on just this site is over $4-million. Yikes!

Anyway, the first thing I saw was a female coyote.  She crossed the road in front of my car, then loped up into the tall grass. Two people walked by with their dogs on leashes, and the coyote turned to follow them. The humans walking the dogs saw the coyote, and pulled their pets behind them to protect them. The coyote then turned back and disappeared into the woods. She was beautiful; I wish I had been able to get more photos of her.

Coyote, Canis latrans

I saw a few deer, including a pair of moms with their fawns. These were the first fawns I’ve seen this season. They were maybe three or four months old and just getting out of their spots. The fawns were really feeling their oats and were running, stotting, and boinging off of tree trunks and fallen snags. It was hard to get photos of them; they were mostly just moving blurs. Finally, their moms led them off into the high grass and understory twiggy things where I couldn’t follow.

I came across one young buck, still in his velvet, but I didn’t see any older ones. I wonder if the noise in the river is keeping them at bay?

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

I saw Acorn Woodpeckers collecting acorns and moving them about in their granary trees. I also saw one drilling a new hole. According to Cornell: “…The birds drill the holes primarily in the winter, in the thick bark of dead limbs where the drilling does no harm to a living tree…” 

And a good article on the birds can be found HERE.

I also came across wild turkeys, quail and a few other birds, but not a lot. 

I walked for about 2 ½ hours and started to head back to the car. Even though I was tired by then, I made the effort to go take a look at the “bee tree” down one of the other trails. For some reason, seeing that the hive there is still active makes me happy. [And it was very active this morning.]

I also noticed little flags in the ground in the field near the tree and a new narrow trench dug out. I think they’re working on restoring and upgrading their fire suppression system. [So, more noise and dirt for the wildlife to have to deal with.]

The surprise of the day was seeing two very small specimens of Sulphur Shelf fungus.  It’s usually the first fungus to appear in the fall because it doesn’t need a lot of rain to wake up the spores. Should be seeing a lot of it out over the next few months.

The whole walk ended up taking about 3 hours. This was hike #78 of my annual hike challenge. #CABiodiversityDay.

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Species List:

  1. Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
  2. Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna
  3. Bewick’s Wren, Thryomanes bewickii
  4. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  5. Blue Oak, Quercus douglasii
  6. Bushtit, American Bushtit, Psaltriparus minimus
  7. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  8. California Quail, Callipepla californica
  9. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  10. California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
  11. California Wild Grape, Vitis californica
  12. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis [flyover]
  13. Clustered Gall Wasp, Andricus brunneus
  14. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  15. Coyote, Canis latrans
  16. Devil’s Beggarticks, Bidens frondosa
  17. Dog, Canis lupus familiaris
  18. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
  19. European Honeybee, Western Honeybee, Apis mellifera
  20. European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
  21. Gall Inducing Wooly Aphid, Stegophylla essigi [in live oaks, folds the leaf over itself; sometimes the leaf turns red/reddish]
  22. Green Lacewing, Chrysopa coloradensis
  23. Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  24. Jumping Oak Gall Wasp, Neuroterus saltatorius
  25. Killdeer, Charadrius vociferous [heard]
  26. Live Oak Gall Wasp, Spring Generation, Callirhytis quercuspomiformis [looks like a soft funnel, green to brown]
  27. Oak Apple, California Gall Wasp, Andricus quercuscalifornicus
  28. Red Cone Gall Wasp, Andricus kingi
  29. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  30. Saucer Gall Wasp, Andricus gigas [cup shaped, sometimes rough edges]
  31. Shaggy Bracket Fungus, Inonotus hispidus
  32. Striped Volcano Gall Wasp, Andricus atrimentus, Summer generation [looks like a tiny volcano]
  33. Sulphur Shelf Fungus, Western Hardwood Sulphur Shelf, Laetiporus gilbertsonii
  34. Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  35. White Alder, Alnus rhombifolia
  36. White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis [heard]

Stone Lake and Staten Island, 09-09-21

I got up around 6:00 this morning, and was out the door by about 6:30 to head over to the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. It was already 71º outside, and there were clouds in the air, so it was a little humid, too. (It got up to 99º today.) Not the best weather for walking. I’m generally not impressed with Stone Lakes at all, but one of my FB friends said she’d been able to find galls on the oak trees there, so I gave the place another shot.

Still not impressed.

Although there are quite a few Valley Oaks on the property, most of them are young and have very small leaves.  None of them were sporting many galls, and those that were sporting them didn’t have many species represented. There were quite a few Flat-Topped Honeydew galls all being protected by ferocious ants, some Oak Apples and Red Cones, Convoluted galls and Yellow Wigs.

But I didn’t find a single Spined Turban gall (which are very common in this area), and I only found one Club Gall and one Woollybear. Discoveries were few and far between — which makes for a “boring” outing.  I did find some old Spiny Leaf galls and Leafy Bract galls on the rose bushes.

I found a small aggregate of wasps napping between the leaves of a sycamore tree.  They often sleep together when they don’t have a nest, and are getting themselves ready this time of year to go into torpor for the winter months.

Black Paper Wasp, European Paper Wasp, Polistes dominula

The find of the day there, though, was a huge paper wasp nest. It was built on the underside of a lateral bar on a wooden fence and was almost as long as my forearm! There were hundreds of cells. It looked like the wasps had capped off the ones nearest the center of the nest, but the outlying cells were still open, and I think the queen was laying eggs in them.

Paper Wasps aren’t volatile like Yellowjackets; they tolerate you as long as you don’t disturb them too much, so I was able to get some close-ups of the gals at work. Among the group was one with an all-yellow face and pale eyes.  I think that was a Golden Paper Wasp, Polistes auriferi, among the aggregate of European Paper Wasps, Polistes dominula.  One of these things is not like the other…

There were also a handful of dragonflies and damselflies skittering about, and I was happy to get a couple of shots of a large female Green Darner dragonfly sunning herself on a rose bush. These dragonflies are usually the last ones we see in a season and breed in September and October, so I’m hoping to see more around before the year is up.

A female Green Darner Dragonfly, Anax junius

There wasn’t much else to see at the preserve, and I knew I was pretty close to Staten Island Road, so I decided to drive over there. Folks in one of the birding FB groups had mentioned that they saw Sandhill Cranes there already. I was skeptical. It’s really early in the season for them. But I went anyway just to take a look-see.

Black-Necked Stilts, Himantopus mexicanus, and Long-Billed Dowitchers, Limnodromus scolopaceus

By then it was about 83º outside — too hot for me — but on the road I can stay in my air conditioned car and shoot photos out through the windows.  I only saw a few cranes at a distance, and they were flying elsewhere, but I was surprised to find some Red-Necked Phalaropes (Phalaropus lobatus) in their non-breeding clothes.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos from the day.

The phalaropes are small little busy-bodies, and are migrating now, so I was happy to catch sight of them. They were so interested in what they were doing that when I got out of the car for a few minutes to get a closer look, they didn’t startle or fly off. They just kept doing their swimming circles, and came pretty close (within 15 feet I’d guess).

Cornell says: “…Migrates between Nearctic breeding grounds and wintering areas in tropical oceans, primarily off west coast of Peru and Chile… Presence on numerous large and small inland bodies of water suggests that fall overland migrants are largely traveling in short hops. Fall migration period longer than spring; first fall migrants appear in midsummer, last fall migrants linger into Nov…”

I also saw a few Northern Shovelers, Black-Necked Stilts, Canada Geese, some Greater Yellowlegs, Long-Billed Dowitchers, and a few others, but not a lot. The corn fields along the road haven’t been harvested/mowed down yet, and only one field was flooded when I was there. In a few more weeks, we should be able to see more birds. We’re still super-early in the migration season. #CABiodiversityDay.

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Species List:

  1. American Coot, Fulica americana
  2. American Kestrel, Falco sparverius
  3. Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna
  4. Arroyo Willow, Salix lasiolepis
  5. Assassin Bug, Leafhopper Assassin Bug, Zelus renardii
  6. Bagrada Bug, Bagrada hilaris
  7. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans [nest]
  8. Black-Necked Stilt, Himantopus mexicanus
  9. Blue Elderberry, Sambucus nigra cerulea
  10. Boxelder, Box Elder Tree, Acer negundo
  11. Brewer’s Blackbird, Euphagus cyanocephalus
  12. Broadleaved Pepperweed, Lepidium latifolium
  13. Cabbage White butterfly, Pieris rapae
  14. California Sycamore, Western Sycamore, Platanus racemose
  15. California Vole, California Meadow Mouse, Microtus californicus eximus
  16. California Wild Rose, Rosa californica
  17. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  18. Club Gall Wasp, Atrusca clavuloides
  19. Convoluted Gall Wasp, Andricus confertus
  20. Corn, Maize, Zea mays
  21. Damselfly, Familiar Bluet, Enallagma civile
  22. Flat-Topped Honeydew Gall Wasp, Disholcaspis eldoradensis
  23. Formica Ant, Lasius americanus
  24. Great Egret, Ardea alba         
  25. Greater Yellowlegs, Tringa melanoleuca
  26. Green Darner Dragonfly, Anax junius
  27. Green Lacewing, Chrysopa coloradensis
  28. Killdeer, Charadrius vociferous
  29. Leafhopper, Alconeura sp.
  30. Leafminer, Family: Agromyzidae [on sunflower leaves ,maybe Liriomyza sativae]
  31. Leafy Bract Gall Wasp, Diplolepis californica [hard rosette gall on rose bush]
  32. Least Sandpiper, Calidris minutilla
  33. Long-Billed Dowitcher, Limnodromus scolopaceus
  34. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  35. Narrowleaf Milkweed, Mexican Whorled Milkweed, Asclepias fascicularis
  36. Northern Harrier, Marsh Hawk, Circus hudsonius
  37. Northern Shoveler, Anas clypeata
  38. Oak Apple, California Gall Wasp, Andricus quercuscalifornicus
  39. Orbweaver Spider, Subfamily: Araneinae
  40. Paper Wasp, Black Paper Wasp, European Paper Wasp, Polistes dominula
  41. Paper Wasp, Golden Paper Wasp, Polistes aurifer
  42. Pistache, Pistacia sp.
  43. Raccoon, Common Raccoon, Procyon lotor [scat, latrine area]
  44. Red Cone Gall Wasp, Andricus kingi
  45. Red-Necked Phalarope, Phalaropus lobatus
  46. Red-Tailed Hawk, Western Red-Tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis calurus
  47. Red-Winged Blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus
  48. Round-Gall Wasp, Fuzzy Gall, Burnettweldia washingtonensis [round, fuzzy, on twigs]
  49. Sandhill Crane, Grus canadensis
  50. Savannah Sparrow, Passerculus sandwichensis
  51. Spiny Leaf Gall Wasp, Diplolepis polita [on rose leaves]
  52. Sunflower, Common Sunflower, Helianthus annuus
  53. Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
  54. Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  55. Variegated Meadowhawk Dragonfly, Sympetrum corruptum
  56. Water Smartweed, Persicaria amphibia [pink]
  57. Western Meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta
  58. Western Spotted Orbweaver Spider, Neoscona oaxacensis
  59. White-Faced Ibis, Plegadis chihi
  60. Willow Bead Gall Mite, Aculus tetanothrix
  61. Woollybear Gall Wasp, Atrusca trimaculosa
  62. Yellow Wig Gall Wasp, Andricus fullawayi 

Doves at the House, 09-07-21

We have a pair of Eurasian Collared Doves (Streptopelia decaocto) building a late-season nest in the palm tree in the backyard. The male was bringing the female twigs for the construction. #CABiodiversityDay

According to Cornell: “…Building usually done by female with male gathering material. Male gives excitement calls while bringing female nest material; on arrival pair give nest calls and billing occurs… Male may push nesting materials directly under female. Build nest during daylight hours; usually takes 1–3 days…Incubation by both parents, with female sitting on nest through night and male relieving female in early morning for about 8 hours. Incubating bird usually summons mate for relief; male gives advertising call, female gives nest call…In warmer regions, Eurasian Collared-Doves can nest year-round, which may help explain their success as colonizers…”

“…Eurasian Collared-Doves made their way to North America via the Bahamas, where several birds escaped from a pet shop during a mid-1970s burglary; the shop owner then released the rest of the flock of approximately 50 doves. Others were set free on the island of Guadeloupe when a volcano threatened eruption. From these two sites the birds likely spread to Florida, and now occur over most of North America…Eurasian Collared-Doves are one of very few species that can drink “head down,” submerging their bills and sucking water as though drinking through a straw. Most birds must scoop water and tip the head back to let it run down into the throat…”

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Species List:

  • Eurasian Collared Dove, Streptopelia decaocto
  • Queen Palm, Syagrus romanzoffiana