Purple martins v. red-tailed hawk

A red-tailed hawk very stubbornly sat herself on top of this purple martin house. I watched for a while as the purple martins dive-bombed and called her some pretty nasty names.

Purple martins are amazing aerialists. The poor red-tailed hawk was no match for them despite the difference in size.

© Chris Taylor

They won.  She moved on.

© Chris Taylor

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Great horned owl nest

We have been checking on this nest a few times a week since January. I am very happy to report that it looks like there are two owlets up there. It’s always a bit difficult to tell and it is important not to get too close. I cannot stress enough how crucial it is to be a respectful watcher. Last week, we had an incredibly windy day. When I drove by, the mother was having difficulty staying on the nest and was blown off at one point. Fortunately, the youngsters are old enough to hang on pretty well. I was still really nervous when I went back to check on them several days later. I was afraid the nest would be empty or gone after those winds from hell. I was overjoyed to find the nest intact. There just isn’t much room for mom to stay on the nest right now. 🙂 Click on pictures to enlarge.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

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Grebes

I love grebes! They are just the cutest. I’m used to seeing pied-billed grebes around Lawrence (this one was near the 31st street entrance of the Wakarusa Wetlands), but I was more recently privileged to see a couple of horned grebes at Clinton. What a treat! I wish the picture quality was better on the horned-grebes, but it was a super cloudy day. Click on pictures to enlarge.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

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Coots and gulls

A couple of weeks ago, I was watching a huge number of coots moving about at Clinton Lake. I also noticed quite a few gulls flying about. There was a lot of splashing going on, then I realized they were not all just hanging out together. The gulls were actually dive-bombing the coots and taking their fish away. Click on pictures to enlarge.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

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