https://vermontalmanac.org/wp-content/uploads/VTALMANAC_LOGO_STACK_TAG-300x150.png 0 0 Dave Mance III https://vermontalmanac.org/wp-content/uploads/VTALMANAC_LOGO_STACK_TAG-300x150.png Dave Mance III2021-01-10 13:15:492021-01-25 13:17:18Both male and female downy and hairy woodpeckers are supposed to begin their territorial drumming around this time, now that the days are getting longer. But some have been heard practicing over the past couple of weeks.
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Snowy owls have recently been seen in Vermont. We’ve all heard that they leave their arctic home when food there is scarce but another reason for these erratic irruptions might instead be that they occur following an unusually successful breeding season – successful because of an abundance of prey.
Raven chicks on a ledge on a cliff face near here are fluffy. The insides of their begging mouths are bright red.
Nice warm weather has gotten carpenter ant queens up and about. Lots of winged females looking to start a new colony in any rotting wood that’s lying around.
Hummingbirds can distinguish many more colors than humans. Not just ultraviolet, but ultraviolet+green, ultraviolet+red, and ultraviolet+yellow. Researchers spent three summers deploying sugar of various hues to discover this. We are “color-blind compared to birds” according to one of the scientists. And, according to me, it’s good to clean out the hummingbird feeder before it gets moldy.
All the other spring ephemerals are flowering. Among the loveliest are Dutchman’s breeches, trout lily, toothwort. I could go on, they all are lovely.
This weekend’s cool, May-like weather has been a blessing for those of us who are desperately trying to catch up on our wood.
The hummingbird clearwing moth and the snowberry clearwing moth both look and act like little hummingbirds. Uncommon enough to be an exciting find, but common enough to be seen most years. I can’t tell the two species apart (both in the genus Hemaris) but that’s ok with me for now.