Saturday, May 23, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The BABY CARDINALS fledged today!! (Day 10, right on schedule!)

O Frabjous Day!  Callooh Callay!  The baby Northern Cardinals have fledged away!

Northern cardinals breed between March and September. They usually raise two broods a year, one beginning around March and the second in late May to July. The second nest is often parasitized by brown-headed cowbirds. Nests are built by the female in dense tangles of vines or twigs in shrubs and small trees. The female lays 1 to 5 (usually 3) white to greenish eggs that average about one inch in length and one-half inch in diameter. Incubation begins when the last egg is laid, and is performed solely by the female. The male brings food to the incubating female. The eggs hatch after 11 to 13 days of incubation. The female broods the chicks for the first 2 days. Both parents feed the chicks a diet of insects. Both parents also remove fecal sacs from the nest. The chicks begin leaving the nest 7 to 13 (usually 9 to 10) days after hatching. The parents continue to feed the chicks for 25 to 56 days after they fledge from the nest. After leaving or being driven out of their parents' territory, young birds often join flocks of other juveniles. They may begin breeding the next spring. (Halkin and Linville, 1999)


Sunday, May 17, 2009

These must be the Witchducks...

Vimeo, the video uploader/converter used at Tumblr is being a PITA. Suddenly I have to wait forever to have my video converted--or, I could use their *paid* version and avoid such problems. Fortunately, Demetrius was able to send me a converted version of the video I took with my phone. Hopefully this works.

Just a quick reminder to anyone not knowing the history here. When I first arrived here in Virginia Beach, I was amused to see a street sign for a Witchduck Road. Weeks later, I decide I need to look for a new church, and find one which has a Wednesday evening bible study on Jonah. That sounds interesting to me, so I look up the church address so I can Mapquest it, and, guess what, it turns out it's on North Witchduck Road. I was going to go for the bible study anyway, but I was of course tickled at the coincidence.

Since I spent last weekend at home in Columbus, today was the first time I was actually able to attend a Sunday service at the church. After church, wanting to kill some time because I invariably come back to my hotel room either before or during the time when housekeeping is making the rounds, I decide to do a bit of exploring. I looked at the blinking blue dot on Google Maps (on my phone) that indicated my position, and saw that further north on the road there was a Witchduck Bay.

Well, goodness, I've got to get a picture of Witchduck Bay. Even if it is raining.

I drive a few blocks and see a "No Outlet" sign, so I turn around. And just then I see a "duck crossing" sign. So, I pull over to take a picture of that. (Hey, I gotta have souvenirs when this is all over with!)

And then, the very moment I have pulled over to the side of the road, I see Mama Duck hurrying across the street with her little ones. Now *that's* timing!