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 III2020-06-22 11:17:332020-06-23 11:23:59The white pine needle damage you’re seeing is caused by a fungal pathogen complex, and its severity is linked to weather conditions from a year ago. Perhaps the dry June will lessen the severity of next year’s outbreak.
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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.
Our dog flushed a grouse off a nest containing just three eggs this morning. Grouse normally incubate 9 to 14 eggs but when, after shooing off the dog, I reached into the brush pile to straighten out the situation, the eggs were warm, suggesting that this female was calling it quits at three.
Now that the wasps have filled all the ground holes in all the electrical outlets in the garage, they’ve begun using the fancy solitary bee and wasp apartment house that was made of reeds especially for them. The female lays an egg, tucks in provisions for the larva, and fills the hole with fine mud, without my noticing. I’ll try to catch her in action from now on.
Thick bushes are a good place to house the short-tailed fledglings that are still being fed. Not sure why short tails make birds look so cute, but they do.
A friend and I were trying to decide which birds were the most aggressive at the birdfeeder and we concluded that they all were pretty feisty, from the mourning doves right down to the hummingbirds.
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.
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.