Category Archives: Nature

Vireo Nest, Empty

I’ve checked back on the White-eyed Vireo nest from my June 15th post a few times, and about a week later got a similar image, without the rain.

White-eyed Vireo on Nest
White-eyed Vireo on Nest, June 18

Two weeks later, the nest was empty. Could chicks have hatched and fledged in that short time? All About Birds says their nestling period is 9 – 11 days, so yes it is possible.

Vireo Nest, Now Empty
Vireo Nest, Now Empty

Once I was sure there were no birds in the nest I got closer for a side view. Although a bit shabby looking at the bottom, what an engineering marvel this nest was.

Vireo Nest, Now Empty
Vireo Nest, Now Empty, July 3

Also from All About Birds:

Males and females build a pendulous nest suspended from a Y-shaped fork. They collect insect silk and spiderweb and attach it to the fork until it makes a lacy shell. They then stick leaves, bark, plant fibers, rootlets, and bits of paper to the spiderweb shell. They also stick lichens, moss, or leaves to the outside for additional camouflage. The female lines the nest with rootlets, fine grass, or hair. It takes the pair around 3–5 days to complete the nest.

Nature’s Camoflage

Spotting wildlife is often about subtle contrasts and shapes. The subject’s movement sometimes helps. This Sapsucker flew onto the tree then froze in place.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Looking for the unexpected can help.

Tree Frog
Tree Frog

Some creatures hardly move, like the Tree Frog, and others, like this warbler, are in perpetual motion so it’s helpful to anticipate their next direction.

Black-and-white Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler

Man, Raptor, Dolphin Using the River

There was a lot of activity to be seen on a late afternoon boat ride into the Harbor River from Russ Point on Hunting Island, SC even as the day came to an end.

From the beach near the dock a fisherman was casting into the river.

Fly Fisherman
Fly Fisherman

A Bald Eagle watched over the river and surrounding marsh from a dead tree.

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle

A pod of Dolphins was all around us as we set out, probably fishing for the last meal of the day.

Dolphin Tale
Dolphin Tale

Off in the distance it was raining.

Sun Rain Clouds
Sun Rain Clouds

The Harbor River is at the southern end of the Ashepoo-Combahee-Edisto (ACE) Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve.

The Reserve’s 99,308 acres of pine and hardwood upland, oyster reef, forested wetland, barrier islands, cypress swamp, and tidal marsh combine to make this one of the largest undeveloped estuaries on the East Coast and home to many endangered species.

Chickadee All In

A few days after seeing a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker investigate a tree cavity I saw a Chickadee do it.

Chickadee
Chickadee

It wasn’t as nice a day with a grey sky for a background, but the bird’s behavior was interesting.

Chickadee
Chickadee

The Chickadee went back and forth between this tree, which is dead, and an overhanging branch across the path. I’m not sure if he was looking for food or a potential nest site.

Chickadee
Chickadee

After the Chickadee flew off I went around the tree to see the cavity. I’ll be watching this spot when I pass by as spring progresses.

Tree Cavity
Tree Cavity

 

White Ibis in a Nesting Tree

If they follow last year’s pattern this tree will soon be occupied by nesting Great Blue Heron and Great Egret couples. Until then White Ibis have taken over the tree for sunning.

White Ibis resting in Tree
White Ibis resting in Tree

Doing the one-legged doze the Ibis stood right here for a couple of hours at least.

White Ibis resting in Tree
White Ibis resting in Tree

There is not a bit of material left from last year’s nests. Any Great Blues or Great Egrets that stake this out to start a family will be starting nest building from zero.

White Ibis resting in Tree
White Ibis resting in Tree

Taken as fall is coming to an end, 12/18/2018.