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Thursday, July 02, 2009

Too Wet

Turkey Vulture

We were driving back from town this morning and saw about 5 Turkey Vultures sitting on some dead trees by the side of the highway (photo above was taken in FL). They were very wet and look bedraggled. There is just tooooo much rain here. Got us thinking about how hard the long, cold, rainy spell (like most of a month) is on birds here. Turkey Vultures eat carrion and soar on thermals as an energy effficient way of finding their food. Well, no sun, no thermals, no food finding for them.

Many flying insects like butterflies, dragonflies, etc. need sun to warm them before they can fly. They are food for many insect eating birds. So the swallows and phoebes and others are affected when the flying insects are scarce. Even insects that crawl are slowed down by the rain, thus not moving and not as visible to the birds that hunt by spotting movement. Saw a young, just post fledgling stage, Chipping Sparrow hopping about in the bare ground of the veggie garden this morning. Maybe any insects would be more visible there.

Saw a Broadwinged Hawk a few days ago with, what looked like a small bird in its talons. Broadwings usually eat reptiles and amphibians, creatures that often move about more when its sunny. Maybe the Broadwing is having a hard time finding them.
No food, no birds, no fun.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Here is NY we have had record breaking rain last month, let's hope we finally see some sunny days!
I never thought of the consequences of all this rain on the birds, very interesting post.

I'm a beginner birder and would like to purchase binoculars for my husband and myself. Could you offer any recommendations for less than 200$ a pair? I would appreciate any tips. Mary