Category: Local Wildlife

Midnight Moose

By , August 12, 2017

Just before midnight Wednesday evening, Aly awoke to the sound of browsing in the dooryard. She went downstairs and looked out the window, where she saw an adult moose and calves.

She woke us up. I grabbed our hand-pumped air horn, Michelle picked up a pocket aerosol horn she’d bought after the recent bear visit (see Bear on the Homestead).

I went to the porch and blasted on the horn, causing an immediate startle and scramble. All the animals headed toward the beach and garden, so we went out to try to sweep them off the property.

Our lilac, uneaten, but also uncaged (Photo: Michelle L. Zeiger).

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Babes in the Woods

By , July 11, 2017

The many songbird fledglings around us are leaving their nests, turning our homestead into an avian nursery.

I first noticed a gang of Pacific wrens moving across the beach as if on a commando mission. I don’t recall seeing these birds in larger groups than pairs. These kids were loud and careless, a sure sign that they’re fledglings (see Baby Birds). Soon, they began flitting around under foot, passing slowly within arm’s reach without seeming to notice the potential danger.

Hummingbird activity has increased exponentially as the youngsters try out their moves on each other.

Then there are the attempts at singing. Aly came in the other day, commenting that a varied thrush in the dooryard “lacked the courage of it convictions” as it practiced its specie’s telephone trill. These learned calls sound more like questions than assertions (see Singing Lessons).

The birds provide entertainment, but we’ve become wary as we hike through the forest. Word has it that a moose cow has been sited on the peninsula with a pair of twin calves. That’s double trouble until they move on, if they eventually choose to do so.

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