Author Topic: The Wildlife Thread  (Read 144419 times)

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Offline John Van Gelder

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #600 on: January 14, 2018, 07:24:09 AM »
Here are some "guys" that hung around for the best part of a week, last summer. 


Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #601 on: January 14, 2018, 09:18:11 AM »
Nice neighbors, John!  :cheers:

I missed some good shots day before yesterday.  I was up the mountain visiting an acquaintance and ran into a herd of 18 whitetails. There I sat with a dead battery in my camera.  :-\
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Offline John Van Gelder

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #602 on: January 14, 2018, 11:58:35 AM »
I frequently miss good shots due to a severe lack of camera... Out on the morning patrol, it was just lovely, most of the snow is gone the high meadows are greening up and the sun was shining, I looked down into the big canyon below my ridge and it was full of clouds..

The elk seem to get on just fine with my horses.

Offline kanukkarhu

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #603 on: January 16, 2018, 04:32:17 PM »
Beautiful animals. Wish we had them around here...
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Offline John Van Gelder

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #604 on: January 16, 2018, 07:01:13 PM »
kanukkarhu

I sure like seeing them, I had a discussion with five cows that were chasing one of my dogs one morning, they are really neat animals.  The cows are in charge of herd security, sneaking up on a big bull is not that difficult if you can get past the cows.  A few year back, before I built my hay barn, I had to make due with out door hay stacks, there was one old cow elk that would come and eat out of the stack, and "heaven" help the dog that though he would run her off.

Life is good in the mountains... ;)

Offline kanukkarhu

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #605 on: January 16, 2018, 08:51:20 PM »
kanukkarhu

I sure like seeing them, I had a discussion with five cows that were chasing one of my dogs one morning, they are really neat animals.  The cows are in charge of herd security, sneaking up on a big bull is not that difficult if you can get past the cows.  A few year back, before I built my hay barn, I had to make due with out door hay stacks, there was one old cow elk that would come and eat out of the stack, and "heaven" help the dog that though he would run her off.

Life is good in the mountains... ;)
Sounds like the life! They're beautiful critters and you're lucky to be neighbours with them, I think.

KK
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Offline John Van Gelder

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #606 on: January 17, 2018, 06:43:31 AM »
I have white tail deer mule deer and elk coming and going in and out of my horse pastures.  The only ones that ever knock my fence down are the mule deer, they are just not graceful.

Last week while out on my morning stroll, I saw a bald eagle working one of the big meadows, I usually do not see them up this far. 

Offline crashdive123

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #607 on: January 17, 2018, 12:39:16 PM »

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #608 on: January 18, 2018, 12:02:29 AM »
I have white tail deer mule deer and elk coming and going in and out of my horse pastures.  The only ones that ever knock my fence down are the mule deer, they are just not graceful....
Mule Deer: "Four-legged carp".  The saying goes, "You are what you eat.", and mule deer taste like pine needles, IMO.  :lol:
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #609 on: January 18, 2018, 12:03:05 AM »
Nice one, Crash!
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Offline John Van Gelder

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #610 on: January 18, 2018, 07:06:09 AM »
On one of my hunting outings in the Northern Territory in Australia, I was working my way along a waterway, lots of very tall grass, just over the top of the grass I could see the top 1/3 off a white egret. The bird was moving, most birds when they walk there is a certain amount of head movement, this fellow was pretty much motionless except for the horizontal motion, I watched for a few minutes, as the bird was headed toward a break in the grass.  The bird was not moving a lot because he was perched on the back of a water buffalo.   

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #611 on: January 18, 2018, 09:08:47 AM »
We had a closeup encounter with a Pileated Woodpecker yesterday.
We have a hanging basket outside the front window that we never took down with the approach of winter. I have been scattering wild bird feed in it to help the sparrows, chickadees and collard doves. Yesterday we caught some movement and found a Pileated Woodpecker munching away, less than two feet from the glass. He didn't hang around long enough for me to get a pic of him, but it was quite a surprise.

Just to illustrate how rough the winter has been for birds around here, we've now had two different species of woodpecker visiting out bird feeders. Something I've never seen in over a decade.

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Online wolfy

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #612 on: January 18, 2018, 09:26:44 AM »
That's GREAT, Ol'P......I've only seen ONE Pileated Woodpecker in my entire lifetime!  We don't have them around here, but on a canoe trip up in the BWCAW, my brother and I saw one destroying an old & rotted, but still standing pine tree.  He reminded me of a jackhammer with wings.....big hunks of bark and wood were flying in all directions. :chopwood:
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Offline John Van Gelder

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #613 on: January 18, 2018, 01:24:37 PM »
I see the big wood peckers on an almost daily basis, which is not a good thing, they are working the trees infested with timber beetles.

Nice to see them, but not for the reason they are so plentiful here..!

Offline Unknown

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #614 on: January 18, 2018, 02:05:34 PM »
We've got big ones and little ones here. Woodpeckers. They are cool. Cartoon Woody, not too far from what they sound like lol.
 I'm not sure I like seeing them pecking on some of my favorite trees though.
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #615 on: June 09, 2018, 06:25:15 PM »
Crows are pretty smart. They can talk, they can count, but they ain't THAT smart.

We had a crow take over our songbird bath.  He thought it was his own private foot soak and garbage pail.
I dug out my Great Horned Owl decoy and stuck it next to the birdbath.  He dive-bombed it until he knocked it over.  I put it back up, he knocked it down again. After figuring it wasn't going to eat him, he landed on its head an used it for a toilet.

The war was on!

My wife would bang on the window, or rattle the porch door to scare him off.  We sent the dog out on patrol.  As soon as everyone left the yard, he was right back again.  Potting him with my pellet rifle was ruled out.  Whirlygigs and bird tape would keep even the good neighbors away.

In a blinding flash of the obvious (BFO), I got a sheet of heavy black construction paper and cut out my best rendition of a life-size crow, head down, wings spread out like a cross.  It looked as close as it could to the dead crow I hung in my garden back in WA to get rid of the crows.
The next time he showed up, he started fussing. Wailing, moaning, flying in circles....and that was the last we have seen of him.
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #616 on: June 09, 2018, 07:28:05 PM »
Remember the word "smithereens"?  That crow needs to visit that place.
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #617 on: June 12, 2018, 01:40:54 PM »
"Through a dirty window...darkly."  (Still working on being smarter than my camera.  :-\)

American Goldfinch

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Offline wsdstan

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #618 on: June 12, 2018, 02:45:31 PM »
Like those birds.  They come through in the Spring and look like easter eggs with wings.

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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #619 on: June 12, 2018, 03:03:47 PM »
We had our 3rd visit ever from a Western Tangier a few days ago.  I'm hoping I can get him on film. THAT is one beautiful bird!
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Online wolfy

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #620 on: June 12, 2018, 04:45:33 PM »
I think you mean 'tanager. ' Tangier is a city in Morocco  :lol: ......but YES, they are a beautiful bird.  We have finch feeders and the Goldfinches are thick at this time of year.....the Western Tanager migrates through here, but sighting them is not an every-year deal in our neck o' the woods. :-\
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #621 on: June 12, 2018, 05:54:24 PM »
I stand corrupted, Wolfy. My proofreader was in the restroom...

We have only seen 3 in 18 years. Doubt he'll come back to pose any time soon.
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Online wolfy

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #622 on: June 12, 2018, 06:03:20 PM »
3 in 18 years.....you sound pretty sure of yourself, so I must assume either you have a photographic memory OR you record sightings of 'never seen before' or 'only one other that I can remember' in your bird books like we do. ;D
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #623 on: June 12, 2018, 08:29:17 PM »
3 in 18 years.....you sound pretty sure of yourself, so I must assume either you have a photographic memory OR you record sightings of 'never seen before' or 'only one other that I can remember' in your bird books like we do. ;D
No, and yes.  Seeing a Western Tanager in our backyard is THAT rare, and I do keep a log of unusual visitors, like the hummingbird that wasn't supposed to range east of the Sierra Mountains.
That's not to say the place isn't crawling with tanagers, just that I haven't seen them.
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #624 on: June 12, 2018, 09:33:03 PM »
They are supposed to be in western South Dakota but I have never seen one.  Probably because in the area I am there are few coniferous trees. 
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #625 on: June 12, 2018, 11:25:49 PM »
They are supposed to be in western South Dakota but I have never seen one.  Probably because in the area I am there are few coniferous trees.
My understanding is they are 'flycatchers' with 80+% of their diet being insects/larvae.  They prefer old growth Douglas Fir, but they'll take anything high, foraging in the treetops most often.  They rarely feed below about 12-15 feet from the ground, although they'll eat berries and come to bird feeders when times are tough.  They've been found in aspen and oak forests.
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Online wolfy

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #626 on: June 13, 2018, 08:21:17 AM »
I figured they liked berries because the second one we saw was in our hackberry tree.  It must have gotten there prior to the annual hord of cedar waxwings that invade in a sizable flock each season...... generally, we'll spot a waxwing 'scout' the day before the main body of them come and strip the abundant fruit off the hackberry in less than a half hour.  They're a handsome bird, too. :thumbsup:
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #627 on: June 13, 2018, 09:02:51 AM »
We have a 20' ash tree in the back yard.  We get the Bohemian Waxwings.  A flock of about 100 birds will strip that tree of berries in under an hour.  I don't know how each bird can hold that much!
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #628 on: June 18, 2018, 12:57:37 AM »
We have an average of 3 different pairs that raise a family each year in this choice real estate.


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Offline Phaedrus

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #629 on: June 18, 2018, 12:58:49 AM »
Great pics!

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #630 on: June 21, 2018, 10:04:16 PM »
The one thing I love about wildlife photography is how much you learn about their behavior.   
While waiting for the 'money shot', I found the female bank swallow would wait at the entrance of the birdhouse for the male to bring her food so she wouldn't have to leave her eggs.  She'd position herself just like a fledgling, waiting to be fed.  If he didn't bring her enough in a timely manner, she'd leave the nest and he would take her place on the nest, waiting patiently for her return.
Animals and humans...what's the diff?  LOL


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Offline Apercula

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #631 on: June 22, 2018, 12:07:38 AM »
I had a first for me wildlife spotting today.

About 5 miles from home I crested a hill and standing at the side of the road was a piebald whitetail deer. I had heard that there have been some in our area in the past, but I had never seen one before, and I see deer every day either in our yard or on my way to work. She was almost all white with hand size brown patches. Since I was driving there was no chance to get a picture.

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: The Wildlife Thread
« Reply #632 on: June 22, 2018, 12:29:14 AM »
I had a first for me wildlife spotting today.

About 5 miles from home I crested a hill and standing at the side of the road was a piebald whitetail deer. I had heard that there have been some in our area in the past, but I had never seen one before, and I see deer every day either in our yard or on my way to work. She was almost all white with hand size brown patches. Since I was driving there was no chance to get a picture.
I grew up on Whidbey Is in Puget Sound in Washington.  The resident deer were Coastal Blacktails.  In a very short time, the population got out of control on the island.  They used to keep a huge record board at the ferry landing where the Game Dept had their check station, since a lot of mainlanders hunted on the island.
Because of the game density, the season on the island (only) was 30 days, either sex.  I remember seeing the records of 4-point bucks (that's 10 pt Eastern Count) weighing in at 60 pounds. Most of the deer on the island were the size of a Great Dane. My first deer was a fork-horn (4 pt Eastern) that my grandfather weighed at 35 pounds, guts and all.  :-\
The point of my story is that we'd go out year around spotting deer just to see how many we could count. The record was 120 deer in 2 1/2 hrs. 
At least 20% of the deer on that island in those days were piebald.  They looked like pinto ponies.  The game department said it was caused by a combination of poor nutrition, and in-breeding.  Whidbey Island is 70 miles long, and 16 miles at it's widest point, but no point is more than 2 miles from the Sound.  A census they took in the 1950s estimated 100,000 deer on the island.  That's when they extended the season and made it either sex. 5 years later they took another census and the count was up to 200,000 deer!  Oops...
So the Game Dept brought 15 mature mule deer bucks in from Eastern Washington and released them. I only heard of one ever being shot, and the guy thought he'd shot an elk!  It field dressed just over 200 lbs.  Within another 5 years, the game census at the ferry dock was showing 3-pt bucks (8 pt Eastern) being weighed in at 130-150 lbs. Those ol' mule deer musta thought they died and went to heaven. :lol:  In 15 years, the deer population was cut by 70%.
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