Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday feathers and another battle looming?

It seems like it’s been a while since I’ve posted very many bird photos, so yesterday afternoon I spent some time hunting down my avian friends around the campsite.


Depending on where you live, the appearance of the American robin has different meanings.  This truth was pointed out to me today by Doug, the volunteer coordinator.  If you live in the north, the robin is the harbinger of spring.  If you live in the south, it means it’s winter!  Well, we’ve been inundated with robins here in coastal Mississippi, and despite the warmer temperatures it is winter.

66 MS Sandhill Crane NWR 20128

A walk with Emma on the Dees Trail found us surrounded by brown-headed nuthatches.  They seem to call continuously as they work the pine trees, and their voice sounds like a squeaky toy to me. 

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Great bunches of yellow-rumped warblers have also been moving through the forest.  There are still plenty of insects for them to glean.


A late afternoon visitor to the trees around my rig was a red-bellied woodpecker.  Woodpeckers have special strong muscles surrounding their skulls so they don’t knock themselves silly whacking away at the trees.

This morning we had two different student groups coming to the refuge.  I wasn’t needed to help with the college group, but a little later 38 home schooled students and parents descended on us.  Home school groups are interesting to work with for a couple of reasons.  First of all, they are always a variety of ages.  That makes it a bit of a challenge for presentations with such a wide range of abilities.  Secondly, most have never attended a public school so they don’t have much experience with group dynamics.  It has been my experience that getting them to interact with the speaker or other students can be very difficult.

For a little excitement, the fire alarm went off during the middle of the movie on the refuge.  It turned out that there was a small smoky fire in the biology lab, and we had to vacate the building.  Since these kids had never attended regular school, they had no idea how to quietly proceed out of the building.  As I said, it’s interesting to work with home schooled kids.

66 MS Sandhill Crane NWR 20127

After I got back to the rig, I glanced out the window.  Oh oh, it looks like I’m going to have to do battle once again with those bushy tailed rodents.  Nyah-Nyah

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy