Northern Flicker Feeding

northern flicker baby

We spent the day at my mom’s yesterday and much of that time outside near a tree with a Northern Flicker nest.  Every twenty minutes or so the mama bird would arrive for a feeding to a chorus of squawks.  Each time just one bird was fed.  They must have been taking turns although you couldn’t tell them apart.  One time we did see a second bird pop up, likely trying to jump the cue, and was prompted pecked back down by the first.

Here’s my video of one such feeding.  Unfortunately the human squawking disturbed the audio so I added a little Sound of Music.  Enjoy!

Pine Warbler

warber

I saw a Pine Warbler yesterday on our way out of the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Trail.  They eat pine seeds.  Here is a not so great picture.  I tried to get a better one.  He kept making peep sounds and I waited and waited but wasn’t able to spot him again plus I had to catch up to my kids.

See more photos from our Cape Cod National Seashore adventure on Instagram or Facebook.

Yucca

I Spy Yuccas

yucca

Yucca is a fitting name I’ve always thought. Yuccas have never been my favorite plant with their spiked leaves and awkward stalk with milky, droopy, waxy flowers. You know who loves the Yucca though? The Yucca Moth. In fact it is mutual. This moth deliberately transfers pollen from one plant to another and lays an egg in the flower at the same time. The moth larva then eat the seeds (but not all so new plants can grow). What a nice condo complex for these moth babies! Both plant and moth clearly benefit from this symbiotic relationship.

Yucca leaves have a low ignition temperature when dried so you can use them to start a friction fire.

We have been seeing them in bloom all over lately along with lots of Daylilies.

What flowers are you seeing lately?  Please share!

Circus Ants

Guys, I am writing this with sweaty palms and a pit in my stomach.

circus ants

Have you seen video of Nik Wallenda crossing the Grand Canyon on a tight rope?  I also had this feeling when I read The Man Who Walked Between the Towers.

Attempting a stunt like that is one of my worst nightmares.  I am pretty sure I am not alone but for these circus ants, ain’t no big deal.

I spy highwire ants!  They cross Grand Canyon size expanses as part of a typical day.  They seem to defy gravity.  Actually ants are such great climbers thanks to their six legs each with a hooked claw at the end.

Red on Red

cardinal on stop sign

I Spy: A Cardinal on a Stop Sign

Red on red or stop on stop is my latest I SPY.  This fun one really caught my eye but also got me thinking.  I wonder if birds have their own safety system in the sky.  Do they have air traffic controllers?  Who has the right of way?  I don’t think they collide very often.  I wonder how they manage that.  Maybe we should ask.

Excuse me, Mr. Cardinal…

P.S. Thanks Safety Sign for the stop sign graphic!