Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

Adam Whitaker and I put up a PURPLE MARTIN HOUSE earlier today at Matt & April's house on Weems Creek. There were reports this week on MDOSPREY that a few male PURPLE MARTINS had returned to their home, located just one river South of us in Edgewater, MD. These early birds are known as 'scouts' and it is believed that they get here early to secure the nests and set up shop. Whatever the reason, it is an undeniable sign of spring. What is scary about this PURPLE MARTINS is that they've been getting here earlier and earlier every year. Stephen, who originally posted the report, has kept track of the dates of the Martin's return to his colony. Read it and weep. Or at the very least, consider the possibility that global warming is real.

1999 April 16
2000 April 8
2001 April 3
2002 March 30
2003 April 4
2004 March 26
2005 March 28
2006 March 30
2007 March 24
2008 MARCH 19!!!

Adam helped me put up a similar house on Weems Creek last year (pictured above). As of yet, we've not had any guests. Rest assured I won't be resting this year. No, instead I will be getting up early (4 AM) to play a 'lure CD' of the PURPLE MARTIN dawn song on a boom box every morning! Oh joy... I can't wait to set the alarm.Later, Oiseau the wonder dog and I went for an afternoon hike in St. Margarets with Josh and his dog Fran. It was... wet and muddy. Fran and Oiseau played, growled, swam and tugged on a large stick. No fights broke out, but there was plenty of mud-slinging.In the end, Fran got the stick. Oiseau... he just got to run off that excess winter energy (now that it is officially SPRING).Oiseau needed to learn how to properly respect his elders. Fran was an excellent teacher! On the way home, we spotted a raccoon sleeping in the hallow of an old, dead tree. Even the old, dead trees are important (and quite useful for napping and nesting) in the forest.We were searching for the GREAT HORNED OWL nest that is in the pine trees nearby. On a recent hike, I photographed one of the owls. It's that time of year and I was really hoping to see some fuzzy little owl chicks. GREAT HORNED OWLS are the top of the food chain around here, so these owl chicks are only fuzzy and cute for a short while. Soon the chicks will lose the cuteness factor and gain the skills and savvy to become highly-successful nocturnal hunting experts.

Happy Easter Everyone,

Dan, Emery, Declan, Kee Kee & Oiseau!


Bennet said...

You have been tagged by a fellow blogger. For details see my March 22 post at: .

shelleyo said...

I found your blog when googling "bald eagle, Weems Creek, Annapolis". I saw what I thought was a bald eagle in the tree to the right of Rowe Blvd heading in toward downtown. It was a quick look, but to me looked like the real deal. Have you seen this bird in the area?

Warren & Lisa Strobel said...

Dan - Great pictures and great post. BirdCouple plans to blog on this issue of advancing arrival dates (and advancing bloom dates, too) in the near future. There was a front page article about it this weekend in the Richmond newspaper - we were down there with Adam at a soccer tournament.

Happy Easter to all!

Nervous Birds said...

re: bald eagles: YES. There are a pair on the Severn. Even today (Sunday) I saw three in Annapolis.

re: early arrivals and early bloomers... Its rather frightening. I am looking forward to the next BirdCouple blog!

re: being tagged... As soon as my Mac gets fixed, I will find out exactly what that means!!

I'm typing this on my iPhone. Its hard work.

Happy Easter to all!

Larry said...

I haven't much luck finding owls in the past.-I'll have to try a bit harder.-Nice pictures

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