Today while driving along the roads near Quaker Lake (Allegany State Park) . . . . I saw a some larger birds feeding on the salt in the road. I slowed the vehicle down and needed to take a closer look at these guys. I realized they were crossbill’s and quickly grabbed my binoculars (which I luckily had in the truck) to discover they were Red Crossbill’s (CHECK) 45 species for 2013. This wasn’t any ordinary check this was a LIFER CHECK!!!
From the Peterson Field Guide.
The Eastern Screech Owl is a species that have two distinct morphs and live within the same population (polymorphism). It is generally known that gray-morphed Screech Owls are more frequently found in the North and the rufous-morphed birds are mostly found in the South. Many publications will discuss this relationship with the rufous-morphed birds not being able to handle the colder winters and I know there are some studies are trying to prove that. I did find an interesting publication by Mosher and Henny (1976) who explains how the rufous-morphed Screech Owls oxygen uptake is greater than the gray-morphed birds when exposed to lower temperatures. I have also heard about the relationship with the different morphs and tree species that are found in the areas !! (more…)
Jen did a wonderful Colors of Winter post, which encouraged me to get out and find some color before the snow started falling! I did not find as much color as Jennifer did but I was happy to get out to find something!!
We are getting very close to the leaves being at peak here in Allegany State Park this weekend. Please enjoy yourself while I take you through the park looking at the fall leaves. (more…)