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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Happy Memorial Day!

The Veterans Cemetery in Atlantic County Park in Mays Landing, New Jersey.  
Click to enlarge. 

Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking, 
Dream of battled fields no more. 
-- Sir Walter Scott

I will be back to blogging about urban wildlife next Sunday. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Tree Swallows

Tree swallows, Tachycineta bicolor, show up at my favorite wildlife refuge (Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge -- click on the name to read about the place) in spring and stay for the summer. They readily move into nest boxes like the one in the photo that are provided for them by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These birds prefer to nest near water, so the coastal refuge is a perfect spot for them. Click to enlarge. 


                                                                                                                                            Tree swallows spend most of their day flying in pursuit of small aerial insects, gliding swiftly through the air and twisting and turning artistically as their blue feathers flash in the sunlight. This haiku written in 1818 by Issa, one of Japan's foremost poets, recognizes the aerial exploits of swallow-kind:

gliding through the cloudburst
so cleverly...
swallows


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Goose Reflections

I was watching a Canada goose family (Branta canadensis) and was impressed by how often they did exactly the same things at the same time and struck identical poses, especially the goslings. Congruent like the two above. 
Or symmetrical like these two. Click to enlarge. 
Apparently they get it from their parents! 
And here's a demonstration of the famous goose step. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day

An Assateague Island wild pony mom with her foal. Click to enlarge. 
Brooklyn mockingbirds. 
Brooklyn house sparrows. 
An American robin nesting in a lamp outside my Brooklyn home! 
A crowded great egret nest in Saint Augustine, Florida. 

Goose and goslings, Absecon, New Jersey.  
One of the mallard families of Central Park in New York City. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Spring Vacation

Just a picture while I'm away in the Jersey pinelands this week.
With luck I will be basking in the sun like a turtle by the time you see this.