Friday, February 11, 2011

Only Mid-Winter....But.....

- First heard the coo of the Mourning Dove outside my window on February 3 this year. The familiar rolling song of the Northern Cardinal, the one that will continue on through the spring and early summer, was heard first on February 1. Why mention it? The old timers used to say (maybe they still do) these are among the first signs that winter is about to "break". Awfully cold last night, so maybe the birds did not read the same books as the old timers.
- The below average temperatures are upon us again in southeast Tennessee, with a bit of snow on the Cumberland Plateau....but changes are just around the corner. Forecast for the next several days is for sunny skies and temperatures reaching the 50s.
- One opossum, two skunks and two raccoons....road kill seen this morning (see previous blog entry).
- The opossum, the only North American member in Marsupialia (the female has a pouch...and gives birth to premature young who stay in the pouch for weeks) of Class Mammalia, is an amazing creature. Not much to look at but their adaptive ways are amazing. May do an entry about this common animal in a later post. Did you realize there is a North American Opossum Society? to bottom.....taken yesterday......
1) A Pileated Woodpecker, enjoying the suet cakes, seems to have detected a disturbance
2) The Common Crow. Perched in a Black Oak in a very cold wind, I wonder what this one was thinking......
3) What a mischievous look! A common sight on many late winter bird feeders.....
4) Two Mourning Doves trying to warm themselves in the sun under one my young Eastern Hemlocks. Note the closed eyes of the one on the right.
5) The Red-Bellied Woodpecker. Like many southeast Tennessee woodpeckers, this species is quite colorful, and visits the suet cakes often. Yesterday I had five woodpecker species on the feeders (Hairy, Downy, Flicker, Red-Bellied, and Pileated).


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