Part of the Bay Area News Group

Archive for April, 2011

Earrthworms: Who knew they could be so much fun?

Noa Maccabee & earthworms. Photo by David Maccabee, MD, Hood River, OR
2worms david maccabee hood river or

Dear readers:
Who knew earthworms could be so much fun?

Noa Maccabee, age 3-1/2, of Hood River, Oregon, knew, that’s who! (Shirley Maccabee’s granddaughter. Shirley lives in Walnut Creek, CA.)

Ah, to be young again … and feel the earthworms squishing softly between your gentle fingers as you rescue them from the rainy street and put them back into the grass! /Gary

Noa Maccabee & earthworms. Photo by David Maccabee, MD, Hood River, OR
1worms david maccabee hood river or

Posted on Friday, April 8th, 2011
Under: Earthworms | No Comments »

Wild turkeys: BEFORE (living with humans) and AFTER


Photo by Jim Richardson, Cherryland, CA
jim richardson cherryland



Photo by Nancy White, Martinez, CA
wild turkey nancy white martinez

Is there a moral here someplace, lurking in the shadows of somebody’s backyard? What do you think? /Gary

Posted on Thursday, April 7th, 2011
Under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Baby mourning doves napping in their nest

Baby doves in nest. Photo by Mary Jo, Martinez, CA
1dove babies mary jo bates

Here is a pic of nesting baby mourning doves in a basket on the fence by my front door.  They hatched over the weekend and even though their eyes aren’t open yet, they are becoming really active.  I was concerned people coming over would scare the parents (I don’t have a back door to use), but as long as I open the door slowly they just stare and don’t move.  Mom/Dad leave the nest for a few minutes late afternoons, so took some pics and wanted to share.  Cute aren’t they.
Mary Jo, Martinez, California

Mary Jo:
Dove parents usually stay pretty calm if you move slowly when you pass by close to their nest. They construct their nests near us humans because our proximity helps to keep scrub jays and other predators away from their nest (and babies!). They may not be the best nest builders in the world, but they appear to be pretty smart, otherwise!

The worst mourning dove nest I EVER saw was one piece of straw on the flat top of a fence post. When mama dove laid her egg there, it rolled off. /Gary

Posted on Wednesday, April 6th, 2011
Under: Babies, Mourning dove | 8 Comments »

Checkout this 2-story, double-decker hummingbird nest

Double-decker hummingbird nest. Photo by Carol Edson, Livermore, CA
1double hum nest carol edson livermore


The last few years an Anna’s hummer I call Iki has nested on our back porch. She has used both vines and our clothes line for her nest location. During the winter, last year’s nest ended up hanging upside down on the line. She returned this spring, perhaps to reuse it, and decided it now needed some modification. When I looked out today, she was adding material to what is now a new nest, built on the bottom of the old one. I guess she really likes this location!
Carol Edson, Livermore, California

WOW! This is the first 2-story, double-decker hummingbird nest I’ve ever seen! Pretty amazing. /Gary

Posted on Tuesday, April 5th, 2011
Under: hummingbirds, nesting | No Comments »

Mother Goose and 4 chicks jump safely from Times’ rooftop nest!

Mother and Father Goose and 4 babies. (Gary Bogue/staff)

WOW! I think I had almost as wild a day Sunday (yesterday) as Mother Goose and her 4 chicks did!

Holes started appearing in some of the eggs on Friday afternoon as the goslings starting pecking away trying to get out. I contacted Ray Saint Germain, our Senior Multimedia Producer, who set up the fantastic video cam that allowed us all to watch Mother Goose sitting on her eggs these last weeks, and alerted him about the holes. We both planned to monitor the nest via his cam over the weekend.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, April 4th, 2011
Under: Canada Goose, Mother Goose | 12 Comments »

Barn owls (not partridges) in a palm (not a pear) tree

Barn owls in palm tree. Photo by Linda Cruz, Clayton, CA
1barn owl linda cruz

I thought you might like this photo for your wildlife shots.  I continue to take photos each day of the owls in our unsightly palm tree.  I love watching the owls take flight just as the sun goes down and the different sounds they make communicating.  It is so awesome.  And I cannot believe how many pellets they drop each day.  It is amazing to see the tiny bones and huge teeth in the pellets.
Linda Cruz, Clayton, California

What beautiful barn owls!
Your “unsightly” palm trees are known by owls and other birds (squirrels and sometimes raccoons) as “Wildlife Condos” because of all the nooks and crannies that make excellent nesting spots. Show me a palm tree and I’ll show you a lot of happy, nesting wild birds!

The “pellets” you’re talking about are the undigested remains of fur and bone that the owls regurgitate after each rodent meal. Owls swallow rats, mice and gophers whole. What they can’t digest (bone, fur) gets coughed up later as a furry pellet that lands on the ground. Scientists often collect and dissect these pellets to expose rodent skeletons so they can study what the owls have been eating. Clever people, these scientists! By the way, the fact that these two owls are coughing up so many pellets every day indicates they may be feeding baby owls up there. /Gary

Posted on Friday, April 1st, 2011
Under: Barn Owl, Owls | No Comments »