Baby animals of the Adirondacks: bluebirds, fawns and nesting loons –

Since the time of my last column, I’ve had two and one quarter inch of rain, which caused many of my flowers to bloom and others to grow. The sweet peas climb the trellis about two inches a day. I guess the pellet fertilizer I gave them is working. The roses are covered with buds, and it looks like the plants all come from the original plant, which is now over twenty years old.

My three trumpets vine honeysuckle vines are covered in bloom, which hummers love. I fenced off my forest queen today (June 12) as the doe that dropped her fawn in the driveway yesterday, nibbled near this plant in daylight this morning.

I also put a fence around my cup (not because the deer eat it), but when it becomess to be six feet tall, the plant’s stems won’t hold her up, so the fence dungeons he upright as he blooms. Bees love this plant and when it goes to seed, warblers and goldfinches feed on the insects and seeds of Flowers. Two fall seasons ago I caught six different species of warblers to feedin the factory in two days.

My yellow lady’s slippers are about to disappear, but they’rehcould produce lots of seeds this year. I watched a wild patch of yolks, which is a different species in the Moose River area the other day. Looks like those flowers have frosted over and won’t set seed this year. There are ten plants there, and there were five that had flowers This year.

As I mentioned last week, pink slippers seem to be everywhere I walk. I heard the Seer Lady’s Slippers were in Remsen Bog, but the city dug the ditches and left materials on many plants that grow near the road. They also put in a new culvert one foot lower than the old one, which will drain water from the bog and drastically change this habitat. The new local landowner who owns the bog contacted the city, but got no response about the new drainage.

Doe and fawn in the alley. Photo by Gary Lee.

Birds struggle to feed their young in wet weather, especially insect eaters like Bblue birdsFlycatchers, Tree, and barn swallows. In one of my bluebird nest boxes, I banded six babies. That’s a lot of mouths to feed; I hope they all get there. Yesterday I observed the two adults carrying food and taking out faecal sacs to keep the nest clean. Towards the end of nesting, Tree Swallows give up emptying the faecal sacs. Their young meet them at the hole in search of food, and the adults never enter the box. There are three pairs of bluebirds nesting nearby and six boxes of tree swallows that I have found so far.

I need to set up boxes at Lac Rondaxe because the mosquitoes were enough to carry my binoculars the other day when I was watching the loons. The loons had been nesting on a bog mat, and hopefully it stayed above water with that dump of rain. Those who nest on my platforms do not have this problem. Their problem is people can see them out in the open and don’t give them enough space. Some are good guards, I call them, and some will come down from the nest even if you just pass within sight, so give them some space.

As I mentioned last week, several loons have arrived at the nest early and some have already hatched. Ellie George, one of our Loon Observers, found a pair with four day old chicks one day this week in the Eastern Adirondacks. I had five different pairs on nests one day this week, but only one of them sat early (that I know of.) A pair had lost their first nest and had already re-nested with an egg in that nest.

I found an egg in the water near their first nest which appeared to have been touched by predatory mammals. I retrieved this egg, which can be checked during the winter for pollutants introduced by the female. One reason why women contain less pollutants than males… Both shed pollutants through their feathers, but the female puts pollutants in the shells and eggs, what the male does not do.

In my travels I have seen a few deer and fawns crossing the road, and also hens Jurkeys with little toddler babies. Some are so small they could barely get through the weeds to keep up with mom. Didn’t see any grouse with young, but I’m sure they are there along some trails. If you walk your dogs, you should keep them on a leash as they might catch the chicks or mothers doing their broken wing act to keep them away from the young.

About Maria Hunter

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