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 III2020-06-27 12:49:202020-06-29 12:50:03Hummingbirds 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.
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Ah, ticks. Tick repellent, pants stuffed into socks, tick checks, tick phobia. But staying indoors is not an option at this time of year.
Some of us need to relearn the thrush songs anew every year: the sort of ee-o-lay of the wood thrush, followed by a buzz; the longish first note of the hermit thrush followed by a jumble; the downward slide (think V) of the veery.
Insect frass all over your picnic table this year? You’re not alone. Matt Ayers, an ecologist at Dartmouth is happy to see them. He writes that caterpillar abundance fluctuates by 20-fold, depending on the year. It’s all good, not an outbreak, and many different species of caterpillar are providing food for birds this year.
The hard-won snowless ground got a sprinkled coat of snow overnight. The juncos are easy to see now, but still too many to count.
Some like it cold, including winter crane flies. Well, not too cold, but if it’s above freezing male winter crane flies form loose, bouncy swarms. Females fly up from the ground to choose a mate and then they lay eggs on the forest floor. Craneflies are easy to see against the surface of the snow or when they perch on windowpanes.