Wildside

What Is In My Bluebird House?? titchenell.4 Thu, 07/28/2016 - 10:33
Despite the name 'bluebird house', eastern bluebirds are not the only species that call those little wooden boxes home. Bluebird houses (hereafter called bluebird nest boxes) are also used by tree swallows, chickadees, house wrens, and house sparrows. All of the aforementioned species are cavity nesters, meaning they build their nests in cavities, whether naturally occurring (in trees) or man-made (in nest boxes).
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Marne Titchenell

The Table is Set and the Birds are Feasting!

While spending some time earlier this week at Sharon Woods Metro Park, one of the Columbus and Franklin County's Metro Parks, I had the opportunity to capture some shots of a downy woodpecker flittering about in an small alder tree. I was playing around with a new camera and was 'zoomed' in rather far when as I took the pictures. It wasn't until I returned to the office that I realized the downy woodpecker was doing much more than 'flittering about". It was actually feasting on woolly alder aphids!

 

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Marne Titchenell

Got Bats in the Belfry? Here's What to Do!

March through September is the active time for bats in Ohio.  Ohio’s 11 species spend their summer hours like every other species in Ohio – feeding and reproducing.  There is no question Ohioans benefit from the feeding of bats – a single bat can consume over 1000 mosquito-sized insects in one night. 

The reproduction side of things however, can sometimes cause an issue…especially if the result is a colony of bats in the home.  Two Ohio bat species will commonly share living space with humans; the little brown bat and the big brown bat.  The females of both of these species form...

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Marne Titchenell

Turkey Tales

My wife and I live in the country in Wayne County in northeast Ohio, and enjoy the sights and sounds of wild-life.  Coyotes provide their weird series of moans, whistles, yips, and howls – truly cool.  Equally cool we have a turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) hen and two poults that waltz through our yard periodically this summer. This is much to our delight, except for areas of the lawn (such as it is with our dry period this summer) that they ruffle up, presumably in their omnivorous belief that “We Have The Meat” (insects and millipedes) and vegetables (acorns, roots, almost...

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Jim Chatfield
Squirrels Debarking Trees boggs.47 Thu, 06/30/2016 - 11:18

Earlier this week, Dr. Mike Klahr (Extension Agent, Horticulture, Boone County Cooperative Extension) shared photographs sent to him by a homeowner of bark stripping damage caused by squirrels on a honeylocust in a landscape in Boone County, KY.  Thanks to Mike, he and I were able to visit the site yesterday so I could take photos to illustrate this report.  We found that all of the debarking damage seemed to be focused on a single tree; we could not find damage on other trees on the property as well as on trees in neighboring properties including on a large oak that had a squirrel leaf-...

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Joe Boggs

Goose No Fly Zone During Molting

At the end of June and into the first few weeks of July, something happens to Ohio's goose population. Homeowners that have been harassing (or scaring) geese off their property may notice that now, the geese just aren't flying away. There is a reason your property has become a no-fly zone - the adults are molting their flight feathers. This process takes a few weeks during which, the adults are unable to fly. Couple that with a clutch of young goslings that are not able to spread their wings yet, and you have several sitting ducks (or in this case, geese!). Unfortunately, damage (and the...

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Marne Titchenell

Sssssssnakes in the Garden

 

SSSSSSSSSNAKES IN THE GARDEN. It is not uncommon this time of year to encounter a slithery visitor in gardens, landscapes, and backyards. There are several species of snakes happy to live their lives in backyards, but one of the most common is the eastern gartern snake. Named for the 3 light stripes that run along the length of its black, brown, gray, or olive body, the garter snake is sometimes nicknamed the 'garden' snake because that is where unsuspecting gardeners often encounter them. The stripes running vertically along the length of the snake's body resemble the once...

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Marne Titchenell

I'm NOT an Orphan, Just Ask Mom!

As the 'twitterpated' season ends and young wildlife are being born, it's important to realize that young are often left alone by their parents for their own safety. We naturally want to protect and care for a seemingly abandoned baby animal, but many wildlife infants are born much more advanced than human infants. This means wildlife babies are capable of being left alone.  Eastern cottontail rabbit kits mature very quickly, leaving the nest after 3 weeks as small versions of their parents.  A small baby rabbit with erect ears and open eyes does not need assistance.  Neither does a young...

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Marne Titchenell
Be Wary of Canada Geese! titchenell.4 Mon, 04/25/2016 - 12:34

Canada geese have paired up by this time of year and many females are already sitting on nests with eggs. Be cautious around the geese and give them space. Right now, the goose pair's main objective is to protect that nest. The male spends much of his time guarding the female, whether she is eating, resting, or sitting on the nest. Several times in the past few weeks, I have encountered a goose pair and each time they have behaved defensively. Once I backed away and gave them some space, there was no problem. If a goose approaches you, starts bobbing its head, hissing, or flapping its...

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Marne Titchenell
Spring Bird Watching is Fantastic titchenell.4 Mon, 04/25/2016 - 11:39

With the recent pleasant spring weather, I hope many of you have had some time to get outside with your binoculars for a few hours of quality birding! Migrant songbirds have been making their way back to Ohio from warmer, tropical regions for the past several weeks now. Turkey vultures are soaring, Canada geese are nesting and many songbirds can be heard calling as their nesting season gears up. Eastern phoebes, red-winged blackbirds, yellow-rumped warblers, brown thrashers, blue gray gnatcatchers, wood thrush, hooded warblers, and common yellowthroats are just a few of the migrants that...

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Marne Titchenell