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Of Owls and Blind Snakes [Mar. 6th, 2010|01:29 am]
learn_ecology

stainedfeathers
Heyla all!

I have a story for you all that I thought I would share because I thought, in my ecology abd bird geekiness, that it was really awesome.

Anyone who knows me knows I love birds and Im in a masters program studying character rigging with a focus on creatures- further my thesis regards bird wings. So when I saw the trailer for Legend of the Guardians I let up a great squee of utter happiness and proceeded to watch it repeatedly. Then finding out it was a book series called Guardians of Ga'hoole I looked it up on Amazon.com. Fortunately amazon has a look inside function so I started reading.

Well the first few pages tell of an owl hatching with its family around. Said family included a nursemaid,a blind snake, that took care of the nest. The blindsnake took great pride in the fact that her kind proudly served owls and kept their nests free of pests that would hurt the children. They also regarded owls as somewhat superior because they hacked up some of their food "waste" in the form of clean pellets and their droppings were cleaner than other birds. Being the geek I was and having never heard of this I went searching for images of owl scat. I'm used to my pet birds droppings (anywhere from semi-solid to watery as well, water, depending on what he'd eaten 30 minutes before) so seeing more solidified droppings from a bird interested me (what, are they more like coon poo or rabbit poo?). Most of that sounded something like writers fancy or a lot of embellisment. I couldn't find info on owl feces, only owl pellets, so that question for now will remain unanswered.

HOWEVER, I DID find out about blind snakes! Turns out blind snakes are rather well known for doing just as the book said. Screech owls will often eat blind snakes, but they will also take them and put them in their nests so that they eat the larve from attracted flies and other pests. This vastly decreases the mortality of the chicks. More info here (Granted, the owls in the book are Barn and I only could find documentation of Screech owls doing this, but still cool! Barn owls might do this too but I couldn't find info for any but Screech.)

I thought I should share because it was awesome and we don't get a whole lot of posts here. ^^

Birds Rock. So Do Snakes.
(Damnit, I want to go hiking now...)
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Spanish Moss and Geckos [Jan. 7th, 2010|01:33 am]
learn_ecology

stainedfeathers
Today was cleaning out the shop day and thus provided two Learn Ecology moments! I'd post pictures, save for I've not bought the receiver for my phone to get the pictures off it.

Spanish MossCollapse )


Gecko eggsCollapse )
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Can you name this bird? [May. 7th, 2009|09:37 pm]
learn_ecology

natural_tabby


I'm trying to figure out what he is.
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Wild flowers [May. 1st, 2009|08:12 pm]
learn_ecology

natural_tabby
I took these pictures today, May 1st, of flowers in a local courtyard (local= western NY, an hour or so south of Buffalo).

I plan to get a field guide soon, but in the meantime, if anyone knows what these are, the information would be much appreciated. Thanks, and enjoy.
see moreCollapse )
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The 80 acres project [Apr. 10th, 2009|07:39 am]
learn_ecology

e_moon60
[Current Mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

We're managing 80 acres for wildlife and prairie restoration.   Last winter I started a website for this project (to unclutter my main site, among other things) and a blog (for current discussions and photos, as my LJ Scrapbook was getting too full.   The website is now to the point where it might be of interest to anyone doing (or thinking about) wildlife management or prairie restoration on smallish acreages.   Among other things, we're trying to find, identify, and (if possible--the critters don't always cooperate) document both presence and reproduction with photographs.  Yesterday we finally got the species lists put up: birds, plants, non-bird wildlife.   There's an FAQ, a map, a discussion of species diversity as a metric of successful restoration, and a references/bookshelf page  there as well.

http://www.80acresonline.org/
http://www.80acresonline.org/blog/

When I find something I can't ID, I photograph it and start looking it up--we have field guides (shelves of them!) but there are really good online resources for insects (including individual taxa like Odes, Leps, etc.) and so on.  Still having problems with lichens, though.  I have the monster book, but there's no easy way to go from "flat, pinkish with black spots" to a page in the book showing all the "flat, pinkish with black spots" lichens. 



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Bird tail ID [Mar. 4th, 2009|07:39 pm]
learn_ecology

stainedfeathers
Something I found at school today and I thought it would make a good addition to learn ecology as well as my own blog. I was walking back to my car on campus and saw a bird explosion- IE a ton of feathers strewn about, denoting a kill site of a cat or raptor or other predator. I apologize for the crappy quality, my camera is -horrid-.

birdy goodness below cutCollapse )

Edited to add a cut as I hadn't realized how long it got.
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(no subject) [Sep. 19th, 2007|11:00 am]
learn_ecology

skullfaced
[Tags|, , , ]
[Current Mood |happyhappy]

Thamnophis proximus orarius - Gulf Coast Ribbon SnakeCollapse )
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(no subject) [Sep. 29th, 2006|09:21 pm]
learn_ecology

skullfaced
[Tags|, , , ]
[Current Mood |happyhappy]

Nerodia rhombifer rhombifer - Diamondback Water SnakeCollapse )
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Romalea guttata [Sep. 10th, 2006|07:03 pm]
learn_ecology

skullfaced
[Tags|, , , , ]
[Current Mood |happyhappy]

Romalea guttata - Eastern Lubber GrasshopperCollapse )
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(no subject) [Aug. 20th, 2006|09:41 pm]
learn_ecology

stainedfeathers
[Tags|, , ]
[Current Mood |awakeawake]

Found a snake today (almost landed on him when I not so brightly jumped on a pile of rocks looking for a snapper turtle Id seen not 10 min ago.) Still not sure what type, but am thinking its a garter. I'm near positive its not a venomous snake tho. Pics!:

http://falconsongsaerie.com/tmp/Snake1.jpg
http://falconsongsaerie.com/tmp/Snake2.jpg
http://falconsongsaerie.com/tmp/Snake3.jpg

Found in College Station, Texas.
Most likely eats small minnows and tadpoles as I found him next to a muddy little pond/waterhole with a buncha tiny fish and tadpoles(and one not so happy little snapping turtle).

Edit: oops I meant to put snake three, not snake 2 on the last one...
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