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Old Jun 17, 2004, 12:41 AM   #1
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I heard this little critter calling for a few minutes but couldn't see it and had no idea what it was, then it came around a corner of deadfall. It seemed to be frantic. Upon downloading, I had a look at it's eyes and my impressions were confirmed, dynamically.



I took my camera off tripod and tried to follow this little critter, which was quite difficult since I had to push through some pretty heavy underbrush in order to get ahead of it and to try to position myself properlysun-wise, as it cried out on the water, over and over and over again, the same cry.



Then it started wandering out into deeper water and I began to get worried because a huge black crow wanders about in this area and I'm sure that this little guy would look like a tender morsel indeed to that black so and so.



It wandered farther out into where it could be seen from above by a passing buzzard. I was personally getting a bit frantic for two reasons. I wanted a good photo of this little bundle of cuteness and I was terrified about what might happen before my eyes.



It went further away and disappeared from my sight.I then got philosophical with myself in order to attempt to disperse the horror of what might happen. "It's all part of nature and the natural happenings" and that sort of stuff. Didn't help much but I couldn't do anything else so went back to attempting to photograph other subjects.



After about 20 minutes I heard it's call again, returning to where it had come from so it passed the exact location I'd first seen it. I was quite happy that it was still alive but a bit bugged about why mom or dad didn'tseem to care a hoot about this little bundle. As well, it seemed to not be so concerned about me andhad no problem swimming into thearea where I was. Of course, I kept clicking (without flash). It was almost as if it was saying to me where is my mama, I'm afraid. It was really difficult.



Then it began to swim back to where it had come from initially. My only hope is that it was swimming back to mom. The great news is this... I never saw it swallowed by that crow. It was the cutest and most terrifying thing I've seen in years. This wildlife thing is entertaining to say the least.



And how was your day?


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Old Jun 17, 2004, 2:59 AM   #2
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glad he was OK, the second last shot is really good, and very cute.
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Old Jun 17, 2004, 8:09 AM   #3
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Yes, there is something about that 2nd to last shot which grabs me too. I think its the look/expression. And the cute fuzzyness.

I hope it got back, you're right about the crow considering it breakfast. I believe they would go after it.

Eric
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Old Jun 17, 2004, 11:43 AM   #4
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Nice series of shot. My favorite is the third one down. The water looks amazing in that one.

Agree it is tough sometimes to watch nature at work.


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Old Jun 17, 2004, 12:46 PM   #5
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I concur with some other members~

Water drops on the feathers, composition, exposure allexcellent on that second to last shot, Norm
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Old Jun 17, 2004, 1:34 PM   #6
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oh man....you get to witness all the "fun stuff" don't you? i'm glad it got back..

nice series..they aren't as sharp as your other ones...unfortunately....(well...the last two) otherwise they'd be gorgeous shots...i like the waterdrops in the "fuzz" too

Vito

(a little late on this one )
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Old Jun 17, 2004, 7:03 PM   #7
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A very very nice series Norm, lovely shots indeed. Like the others, the 2nd to last one is also my favorite. Strange that with all the calls the parents never been seen ?

btw about my Yellow Warbler family, bad news my friend... I went there yesterday, waited to see the parents in and out... nothing... Started to wonder, approached the nest, no sign... looked closer... empty :sad:

Yet another nest devastated. I believe its still that snake or another one, the nest was built in a network of herbs and branches, very well built. And visually there's no sign of anything. I would think that any mammals predators would have broken things around the get there. It was very very tight and there's no trace of destruction of anything at all.

I'm bummed by this. Lost 10 chicks in a week :sad:I've seen and heard more Warblers very active around, so there's more families. But now I think I'll wait a little until the chicks are about to be able to fly. From my books on birds, the chicks are fed from 9 to 12 days after they hatched, then are able to fly. The parents takes care of them after that for another 14 days. From my estimation, it's been about9 days since most of them hatched in the area. I presume they all hatched more or less on June 8-9th.

Last note, from my book they say they all make nest the same way I've seen it which is in the fork of branches ofbush trees, but the height of the nest varies from 2 feet up to 10 feet. I wonder if these 2 couples made the nest simply too low. Also this was quite close to a low level creek/march near by. I'm simply wondering if I simply found nest that were too easy to be devastated by snakes.

Cheers
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Old Jun 17, 2004, 7:21 PM   #8
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It's very sad to hear about the nesting failure of the Yellow Warbler pair, Eric. When you follow a set of individuals closely, as you have been, it is disheartening when nature takes its course in a destructive way.

Mortality among birds, especially during nesting season, tends to be high. It needn't have been a snake that did this either, as other possibilities such as weasels could easily have been responsible. It could even have been another bird, particularly the accipiters (Cooper's Hawk) or falcons (kestrel).

Keep at it. What you are doing helps to raise awareness of these animals which will help benefit them in the future.
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Old Jun 17, 2004, 8:12 PM   #9
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Thanks for the support Geoff, really appreciate it. I tend to believe Hawks are not looking for these, from my personal experience, this kind of nest is so heavily burried that hawks are chassing more things moving in the open. Again, I might be wrong.

Cheers
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Old Jun 17, 2004, 9:33 PM   #10
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You're welcome, Eric.

Circumstances can be very strange in the animal world. It's possible that a hawk or falcon picked off one of the parents when they were out foraging or watering. Then, without one or both parents at the nest, the hatchlings become easy prey for ground predators like snakes or weasels. Pure conjecture, of course.
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