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October 22, 2014

Silently Sleeping

Watch our Barn Owl parents as they nap quietly together in the nest box. As they relax the center parting of their facial disk, above the beak, opens. 

October 22, 2014

Last Sighting of a Great Blue Heron this Year?

Could we have seen our last sighting of a Great Blue Heron on Sapsucker Woods Pond for the rest of the year? Up until October 19 we were seeing herons on the pond pretty much daily, however we have now not seen a heron for 3 days. Southward migration occurs from northern localities from mid-September to late October. Christmas Bird Count data show large numbers winter in the southeast U.S. Great Blue Herons migrate alone or in groups of 3 to 12, occasionally up to 100, traveling both day and night. 

October 22, 2014

American Black Ducks Napping on the Pond

Sleeping or resting is one of the predominant activities in the fall and winter. In a study on Prince Edward Island during the winter the ducks spent 76.7% of their time resting, 11.9% feeding, 5.1% in comfort movements, 3.5% in locomotion, 1.6% in flying, and 1.2% in other activities. At northern latitudes, wintering birds may conserve energy by spending more time resting when temperatures are low, but site quality is important in determining how ducks respond to increased energy demands. Post-breeding and wintering ducks congregate at night at roosting sites that provide improved microclimate and protection from disturbance and predators. Individuals can conserve energy by modifying posture and by facing sun. 

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