|Our Feathered Friends - May 2|
|Wednesday, May 2, 2012|
It’s always nice to run into old friends from the Elsie Quarterman Glade Festival, formally known as the Wildflower Pilgramage. This was my 38th year of doing programs on birds and owls. Many of the people who worked on the first one are still active.
My friend Ron Zurawski, who is the State Geologist, has been to all of the geology programs but one, and that was when his wife Angie gave birth to their daughter Melody Zurawski. Melody is going to college in Utah, and I really miss her coming to my Owl Prowl. While having dinner with the Zurawski's, Melody called and asked me if I would give her an Owl hoot for old time’s sake, which I was happy to do.
Wayne "Buddy" Ingram was on the ball, and my cabin was ready for my presence on this fun weekend. I had moved all of my stuff in and filled the refrigerator with my perishables when I discovered that someone else was staying there besides me. With a quick phone call, Buddy told me that that I was supposed to be in cabin number 8. He helped me vacate the premises and then move into the right one.
On Saturday, I ran into Ranger Tyler Blystone as he was showing Katie Goodman, along with Gracie and Nikki Crowell, where the Red-shouldered Hawk had built its nest from last season. The two young girls had a great time at the park with mom as they learned quite a bit from the nature programs.
I did some birding out around my cabin and was very impressed with the results. A bright spot in the midst of the forest was glowing orange where a Baltimore Oriole was picking insects from off the leaves as an evening snack. A pair of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers were looking for a safe place to build their nest of spider web and lichens. The Blue-gray looks like a 4-to-5-inch version of a Mockingbird. Kentucky Warblers were in abundance as were two species of Vireos, the Yellow-throated and the Red-eye Vireo. Spring migration is in full bloom with more headed north each minute. These migrants travel at night and feed during the day with their personal songs announcing their presence. I do about 80 percent of my birding by ear.
Grant Sherrod had an Eastern Screech Owl out where people could get a close-up view of the bird. It had flown into a car windshield and was hurt so bad that it couldn't survive on its own. I will have more on this subject in next week’s Wilson Post.