Yardbirds

It’s always fun to spend a little time out in the yard watching everyone coming and going. The amount of activity in such a small area is just amazing. Click on pictures to enlarge.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

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More bluebirds!

While the bluebirds are a year-round treat in these parts, they’re not always so easy to find in the winter. It’s nice to see them returning to their usual spots near nest boxes and other regular nesting areas. This barbed wire fence is a particular favorite. Click on pictures to enlarge.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

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Love is in the air

The doves were having quite the good time in the yard yesterday. Everywhere I looked, they were coupling up, cooing, and chasing each other around the yard. Romance galore. All they needed was Cole Porter. Click on pictures to enlarge.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

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She’s back!

Our neighborhood wild turkey strolled by this morning before heading off into a wooded area. I’m always happy to see her going in that direction because it looks a lot safer back there than some of the other spots I have seen her. Unfortunately, an article in the local paper gave away that she’s been hanging out in this area, which makes me worry for her safety (if you’ve read the comments on an article like that, you know what I mean). Here’s hoping she stays safe and finds her family or group to hang out with. Click on pictures to enlarge.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

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American mink: What a flirt!

I had my first encounter with an American mink at the Wakarusa wetlands yesterday. I am in love! I’ve seen them a few times from a distance, but this time I was privileged to have two very inquisitive minks come up and check me out.  The first one spent a lot of time watching me. She came up a few feet, then stopped, then went back a few feet, then she would do it again. This went on for a little while and each time she got a little closer. I was a little nervous, but I didn’t have any sense that she felt threatened and I didn’t  really. We were  just curious about each other. After a little flirting, off she went. Near the same spot, I met another one who watched me from the cover of grass for quite a while before coming up very close, then running off. She dove into the water, but then couldn’t  resist swimming by where I was standing for one more look. So cute, so charming! One thing that put a little bit of a damper on the morning was just how wonderful the experience was and then thinking about the possibility of the SLT. Would you destroy her home to shave five minutes off your commute? Click on pictures to enlarge.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

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Eagles watching geese

It was so exciting to see wave after wave of snow geese out at the lake yesterday. There were thousands. What I didn’t notice, until I zoomed in on the pictures at home, was the lineup of bald eagles watching. Zoom in and look at the bottom of the picture. Amazing. Click on picture to enlarge.

© Chris Taylor

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Nest check

We finally made it out to check on what we call “the big nest.” We hadn’t been since their triplets fledged last summer. This nest belongs to the most productive pair of eagles in Kansas. The male has been at this home since 1989. That first year, something happened to his mate and, amazingly, he raised triplets by himself, which is a big deal even for two. Some think his lack of expertise that first year was why he could do it. He didn’t know he couldn’t. One of the things I love about watching eagles is how wonderful they are at co-parenting. They share the incubating, the brooding, and the feeding. It was worth almost getting stuck a few times to see how they are doing this year.  I look forward to posting pictures of the fuzzy gray heads when they appear. Click on pictures to enlarge.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

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Snow Geese!

Everyone seems to be enjoying the thousands of geese coming over right now. Not only are they a welcome sign of spring, but they are beautiful. Their stopover is most welcome. Click on pictures to enlarge.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

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