—American Author, Douglas Fairbairn (1926-1977)
Though we live in the country we can certainly appreciate city life. Cooper’s Hawk are adapting so well to the urban environment that scientists estimate there may be more of these hawks in towns and cities than in the woods. So the next time you need some city info, don’t bother with Google….. ask a Cooper’s Hawk instead.
Here At the Edge of the Wood we wonder how our feathered friends are doing this rough winter. What do they need to stay alive? It’s estimated that one chickadee needs 65,000 joules of food energy to survive a winter night. One black oil sunflower seed provides 1000 joules. So stock up your feeders with these high energy snacks. The cardinals will be grateful, too.
In the words of Douglas Adams “If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.” At the Edge of the Wood we know one when we see one but with over 140 species worldwide exhibiting a huge variety of plumage and characteristics, it’s hard for us to put our finger on a duck. Pop over here to begin to explore our duck friends. But make it soon before they fly off in spring!
No, not really. Though the Carolina Wren is native to the southeastern United States, it has been slowly expanding northward since the mid-1900s. This has been made possible by the ever warmer winters. Still, they have a tough time up north so if you see them around a little extra seed scattered on the ground would be a great help.
We At The Edge of The Wood think they look chic but others associate the crow’s black feathers with death. Crows are actually very social, caring creatures and among the smartest animals on the planet. We may never know why crows evolved their dark plumage. Fashion has always been a mystery to us.
Next year, the International Space Station will be fitted with a dedicated wildlife receiver to monitor the epic journeys of tiny birds and insects. The data will be used to warn us of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. It will also track animal-borne diseases like West Nile Virus. The ever shrinking size of transmitters is allowing scientists to put a device on the smallest of critters. Soon these new transmitters will weigh about 2 grams. Here we see two Blue Jays sharing information while a Northern Flicker eavesdrops. Soon we will be able to eavesdrop too.
Our advice? Don’t get your meaty fingers between a squirrel and a tempting nut. All reports of squirrel bites in the United States have been variations on this scenario. So if you want to share, please do, but leave that morsel on the park bench next to you and please, no fingernails painted like peanuts.