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November 26, 2014

Mystery Mammal is the Magnificent Mink

The fast moving mammals seen scampering across the ice on November 22 were in fact American Mink (Mustela vison). Mink have a long, thin body and neck, short legs, and a 6-8 inch tail. Male mink are generally larger than females and may exceed two feet in length. Click 'More...' for further information. 

November 25, 2014

Real Life Angry Bird

Aggression rates throughout the year between Evening Grosbeaks are low; few attacks are reciprocated. As we have previously mentioned during winter, males are dominant over females. This is possibly reinforced by plumage cues, especially characteristics of the head and possibly wings. Threat displays include the Crown Fluff (erection of the feathers on crown of head, often as prelude to another aggressive behavior), Vocal Displacement (displacement following single note call), Open-bill Threat (one bird orients toward another and opens bill, displacing second bird without contact), Repeated Bill Threat (series of Open-bill Threats, sometimes followed by physical contact). This particular individual in the clip appears to display all of these interactions along with a body posture that has actually been associated with courtship and nest building in scientific literature; wings are held close to the body and lowered while the tail is cocked upwards. 

November 25, 2014

Barn Owl Visits Nest Box

Someone popped in to say 'hello!' on the #texasbarnowls cam last night. It is possible that the visitor may have been one of the juveniles from this year's brood. Let us know what you think. This is the first time we have seen a Barn Owl in the box for almost 3 weeks. Will the mystery owl visit again? 

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