Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Messin with Sasquatch

     Sasquatch is our resident Screech Owl.  While we hear him often at dusk and into the night, we also occasionally call him in up close with a Screech Owl call recording.  Here, he poses while we "mess" with him.  He's wondering:  "Where is that other owl anyway?"  

     I shoot a little video of Sasquatch as a friend uses his own whistling to keep his interest.  Listen closely as Mike's whistling stimulates the soft but audible response from Sasquatch.  The Screech Owl call is commonly used by birders to call in other, smaller birds which come to mob the potential predator similar to kingbirds and blackbirds who like to dive at hawks.  The call brings in many species of small birds but it also attracts Screech Owls--surprise surprise.  And it's so much fun to mess with Sasquatch!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Brilliant Bunting

     Of all the birds found in the Red Hills, and in North America for that matter, none are as colorful as the Painted Bunting. While this species has been seen in many parts of the state this year, it has been a constant summer resident of the Red Hills.  Replete with nearly all the colors of nature's palette, this male's glamorous appearance is sure to attract a mate.  But wait.  There's competition with other males who are just as brilliant.  So it takes some serious singing to "get the girl."  (watch video below)
Seeing Painted Buntings - spectacular;
seeing Painted Buntings in the Red Hills -- priceless!

This Painted Bunting demonstrated wing fluttering hoping to attract a mate
--as if his incredible appearance wasn't enough!

This Painted Bunting male sings its heart out for a mate.

Ok, now its just showing off!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Happy Herpers

The Kansas Herpetological Society sponsored a summer field trip to the Red Hills recently.  Headquartered at Coldwater City Lake, the group collected and observed amphibians and reptiles in about a three county area over last weekend.  It's a funny thing about all these kids (and adults) involved in these activities; they are so enthralled with nature's wonders and being in the outdoors that video games, TV, and Iphones etc. are rarely seen.  I think there's an excellent solution to Nature Deficit Disorder and it starts with kids' fascinations with these animals!  Yay for herps.  Thanks to Travis Taggart and the Kansas Herpetological Society for leading this great event!
A Racer expresses his feelings about being the object of favor.

Adaira shows off her Texas Horned Lizard (Horny Toad).

Paxon shares his Prairie Kingsnake to new friends.