2018 Jan to June - Bird & Animal Sightings


Love reading your updates Jim. Sounds like you live somewhere lovely!

I am always on the lookout for suburban wildlife on my way in to work! Yesterday I saw a bushy-tailed coyote trotting through a prairie dog colony. We are also having a lot of Cackling Geese in the neighborhood right now - smaller cousins of the Canada Goose. They all hang out together in one big semi-related goose party.



This female moose has been a visitor in a small village near me. She would be sitting by their car when they tried to go to work! She was licking the road salt off the tires or roaming the back yards. Eventually she had to be relocated by tranquilizer by the local conservation officers who took her back to the forest area.
@cageycat…thought you would appreciate the third photo!


It was probably the cat that called the conservation department on her. :face_with_raised_eyebrow::wink::rofl:


Well, we do have a lot of water bodies around us. There’s the Hudson River to the east, The Coeymans Creek to the north, the Hannacroix Creek and a small brook to the south (the brook is also running along the western edge of my son’s backyard), as well as the Alcove Reservoir and its feeder (the Basic Creek Reservoir). And the southwest is the Coxsackie Reservoir. Both the Coeymans and the Hannacroix Creeks weave back and forth throughout the town, but the Hannacroix actually begins in Alcove, NY. There are many small brooks that formed from both surface and ground water that seeps out of the ground in some areas (artesian wells), which reminds me of a brother-in-law’s brother property. The family lived on a piece of property at the foot of a hill for many decades. He had an iron pipe hammered horizontally into the base of the hill where water flowed constantly. It was always ice cold even on the hottest summer days, but it only froze once in almost 50 years! I was better than his drilled water well! :smile:
Getting back to where I live, the topography is hilly - the highest hill in the county is in my town. There are many areas that have deep but narrow crevices running for good distances (like @cageycat took her claws to the rock and gouged out several side-by-side crevices in the rock. :smiley_cat:). If you fall into one of these, most likely you’ll be usable to climb out. And of course there’s the Coeymans Escarpment running to the west of the Hudson River and the Helderberg Escarpment in the Helderberg Mountains to my west by northwest. There’s lots of fields - both farmed and wild - for birds and animals to use beside the woods.

And the Canada Geese have been quite vocal every night until nearly 3 AM. Some are still flying in when it’s dark. I think the deer are by-passing my son’s house at night now and are heading straight down to my house. No coyotes down there like there are here, although we do get a stray wander through once in a while. It’s been a while since we’ve had to deal with fishers also. The red fox have shied away while the coyotes are in their mating season. The males are very, very aggressive during this time. Even had a report of one attacking a person in the next county! Ouch!


@cageycat…thought you would appreciate the third photo!

@T_Boechler Who said cats don’t make good watchers. :smiley:

Now, watch it there, or I’ll send them to your unofficial ‘zoo’. hehehe!


It was only a matter of time…

for word to get around about the cough unofficial Jim’s zoo.

Protective neighbors even took to Photoshopping in some “African” trees and bush. If if wasn’t for the originals, we’d all be fooled! Word has it that this young one hid in a cargo hold of a ship and after many months in stormy high seas, it found its way to Jim’s zoo. It first met a herd of deer who led it far back into thick woods where it stayed out of sight for several months— until a photographer snapped this pic of it popping its head above the trees…

We’re jealous!.


Want a good laugh? This morning after I tossed bird seed and cracked corn all around the maple tree in front of my son’s bay window, I watched as a red-headed woodpecker showed up. It made its way down the tree trunk to just above the ground… er, snow. Then it tried stretching to reach some seed or corn. It kept on stretching and stretching until finally… plop! It actually fell off the tree and landed face first into the snow! :rofl: The bird very quickly got up, shook a little snow off its face and head, grabbed whatever it was reaching for and climbed back up the tree. I could just imagine what was going through its mind when it lost its grip and fell into the snow… “I hope no one saw that. That was embarrassing! Even my head turned red!” :smile::roll_eyes:

After I dropped my car off at the service station to have new ball joints installed, my daughter dropped me off at my house so I could tend to Angel - my :smiley_cat:. As we pulled into my driveway - my nephew finally made it down to plow it for me (I told you I wasn’t shoveling :grinning:) - we spotted a lone deer at the end of one of my driveways up by the carriage house. It just stood there watching the car as my daughter and I sat and talked for several minutes. Even when I got out and walked over to the steps and on up to the porch, it stood its ground. It wasn’t until my daughter pulled in a little farther and turned into the other drive - leading to the side of my house (workshop) - that it turned, cut through the hedges and ran across my neighbor’s side yard and out to the dead-end street. From there it headed down the street to the woods. The “group of seven” - as my other neighbor calls them - doesn’t usually show up until between midnight and 3 AM. He said they’ve been showing nightly. Don’t tell anyone but I tossed some extra peanuts, sunflower seeds and cracked corn beneath the big pine tree in my front yard tonight for them. :shushing_face::zipper_mouth_face:
It was an uneventful walk back up to my son’s house. I was hoping to see some deer, a red fox or even a bunny or two, but nothing… nada! Oh well, at least I didn’t meet up with a pack of coyotes. I did meet one of my son’s neighbors at the end of the street as he was walking his dog. We had a nice talk as we walked doen the street together, so it was a good walk back. :smiley:


I was just looking at that moose again. I think it may have been checking the tread to make sure the tires are “legal.” :laughing:

As I arrived back at my son’s house a little after 11 PM, I caught 5 deer raiding the bird feeder and all the seed and peanuts I tossed on the ground this afternoon! I also spotted a red fox at 12:45 AM yesterday (it’s now today! :stuck_out_tongue:) I must be getting tired and I’ve just finished going through my notifications - 42 minutes worth.


17 March: I just had to let everyone know what I saw yesterday. I actually laughed out loud! It was very windy - actually high winds with very strong gusts. As I watched three crows on the rear lawn to a house on the next street over, one of them decided to take off. As soon as it had its feet off the ground, a gust of wind came up and actually flipped the crow over! It “performed” a one and a half roll - feet over head - and then indignantly got back up on its feet and walked back over to the other two. I could have sworn the others were laughing (cawing) at it. I was! :rofl: That was just as funny as watching that red-headed woodpecker the other day stretching out from the tree trunk trying to reach a seed on the ground and falling off - head first - into the snow! :rofl: Who says wildlife aren’t fun to watch? :laughing:


You just reminded of this youtube clip I saw a while ago :laughing:



In the second video it looked like she was calling the stick. :laughing:


Boy those robins are already laying eggs!



And there were 5 honey bees in the breezeway I had to shoo out today! Spring must be here, but the nighttime temps have still been dropping down to the mid-20s and teens (F)/-3 to -9 C. Soon… very soon, and April will be here and maybe we’ll get another 36"/1m of snow. :rofl: Oh, and the house flies are all out sunning themselves today! The stink bugs and another black/red beetle were out 1-1/2 weeks ago. :roll_eyes:


Oh wow, brilliant idea Cagey; that’s just what I’m going to do for the kids treasure hunt :smiley:
I know, I know, they’re teenagers, but they still insist I do it. So I’ll be up late the night before writing out clues and sneaking all over the house hiding treasures :roll_eyes: . . . I’m glad really 'cos I actually enjoy doing it :blush: :smile:


And who knows what you may find lost in the dark corners and under furniture! Just hope dust bunnies don’t bite! :rofl:
And I just used my last heart. Have to wait 15 hours before discourse resets my pacemaker! :roll_eyes:

As for today, the temperature reached 50 F/10C and wildlife was doing their “spring thing!” :smiley: I watched two male crows fighting over one female - well, actually one male tried to interrupt the other and there were three birds rolling around on the grass with wings sticking out from a big black ball. Finally one male chased off the other (a bigger and older(?) one). Then it joined the female as she walked away. The male who lost this “battle” perched in a red maple, straightened and preened his ruffled feathers, then flew off cawing loudly.
Red-headed woodpeckers were all over the place today, both out front and in the back. (Glad I refilled the suet cages!) The Canada Geese were flying at tree top level honking loudly as they passed - several gaggle there were! Most of the birds were busy flying back and forth with nesting material in their beaks, taking a couple of breaks to regain nourishment at Jim’s Fast Food diner #2 (son’s house). Heard a couple of pileated woodpeckers on two sides of the house hammering away like they were having a competition to see who was the loudest and could hammer the longest. :rofl: Cardinals, red-winged blackbirds, robins and a few other birds with very nice voices were singing away most of the day. Nice to hear for a change. :heart_eyes:
Had to shoo five honey bees out of the breezeway this afternoon - as well as a couple of houseflies. Yeah, the bugs will be bugging us soon enough! :roll_eyes:


Oh my children earned their Tenacity badges a looong time ago…even before they learnt how to read :laughing:
I used to draw picture clues back then and believe me I made them earn those treats…still do. For every clue that sent them up stairs, the next sent them back down again. Yeh, the hunts were always indoors, I could never trust the weather nor the wildlife to leave any outdoors overnight :smile: They got some excercise and burnt a few calories before they even found a treat :sweat_smile:
So, there was never a chance of any being left behind for the dust bunnies :innocent:

My sister tried doing it once when she our nieces on a sleepover. She never did quite right and was still coming across surprise months later because she couldn’t remember how many or where she’d hid them all :rofl:


:rofl: Last year my son and DIL “hid” Easter eggs behind trees and in the girls’ playhouses. Guess no one thought to keep the dogs inside! By the time the girls would get over to one side of the yard, the male dog had already “found” a few of the eggs, bit into them (ate a couple) and left a mess for the girls to find! :unamused::roll_eyes::rofl:


OK, I will share something about Easter that I did.

I was a poor mom. I mean, I often made my toddler under 2ys old clothing from fabric no kid should be caught dead in! (Think bright corduroy plaids.) Finances were just bad.

My child was born ON Easter Sunday, so I always wanted Easter and her Bday to be extra special days for her. However, I often could not afford even candy for an Easter basket. The age-old problem of parents wanting to do for their children, but without the means to do much of anything.

What my child remembers most about her childhood and Easter cost me nearly nothing… After she was asleep, the night before Easter, I would hide her basket somewhere in the apartment. Then, I had 2 saucers… one of water… one of flour… I put them on the floor, moving them along as I crawled…

With my thumb holding down my pinkie finger, I’d hold 3 fingers as if a bunny paw. I lightly wet those 3 fingers, then press the fingers into flour, and then make “bunny footprints” from the front door, all through the rooms, until it led to her Easter Basket! I had the Bunny “hop” to her bed (as if checking on her), then back out, and down the hall, etc. When my kid awoke on Easter, her eyes would get so big as she followed the bunny hops…

I made this a tradition from age 1 to about age 9-10. Who knew it’d be the #1 thing she’d remember about Easter… It had caught her imagination so well.

Cheap idea from a once poor mom…


Beautiful story! :heart_eyes:


I love it :heart_eyes:

And I know exactly what you’re talking about as I grew up in a large family with one small wage packet coming each week, so was very much a case of “make do and mend”. So we’ve raised our children similarly; that’s why my son has been saving for money this past year, sold off his xbox and games, is selling his ipad (which were all second hand to begin with I’ve never bought those gadgets new) and along with his birthday monies he’s buying himself a fancy new computer. But it’s been such an educational money management experience for him, budgeting, researching, selling on ebay, postage and packaging, etc, etc, etc. :smile:

And then I have a niece who gets what she wants and her parents work themselves into the ground to provide that. The minute she stepped out into the world of university and life as an “independent” student…who knows everything :roll_eyes: one year in and she’s was in huge debt! :unamused:

So, despite the feelings of guilt at having to No to my children when they want this, that and the other, I’m sooo thankful we have stuck to our guns. And the beauty about it, is that they seem to appreciate the reasons why…specially now that they’ve seen and now understand where all our money does go :slight_smile: