The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Sports Columns

May 29, 2014

Wildlilfe making home visits this season

I do a pretty good job of looking for wildlife. Like most folks, who love the outdoors, I have developed the “Hunter’s eye.” Seldom though, does wildlife come knocking on my door.

While sitting in my easy chair, I was disturbed by something thumping on the patio door. Curious, to see what the disturbance was, I approached the glass door. Two Baltimore cardinals were flying against the pane. Even after seeing me, they continued.

I opened the door and went outside. These bright orange birds with black heads and bold white markings on black wings, flew into my nearby maple and looked back. I talked to them in my best bird whisperer voice. As soon as I went back inside, the pair of Baltimores were back to attacking the window. The next time, I went outside, the pair flew away.

After doing some research, I found that these lovely birds usually stay and nest high in trees. My Google search claims these birds adapt to backyard feeders, but not to mine.

A couple of days later, I pulled onto my driveway and hit the brakes. A mother killdeer and her newly hatched fledglings were scurrying across the asphalt. Killdeer have long legs and seem to like open grass areas. I see more killdeers on school yards than any place else. East Elementary on U.S. 36 is a prime example.

What I have not been seeing much of are young rabbits. Last fall there were a lot of bunnies, but the enduring winter’s heavy snows made cottontails easy prey for predators.

I have not seen a rabbit in my yard for a long time, but when I mowed the fencerow a young one darted out and into the neighbor’s grass. Cats and dogs roam the yard next door, yet a mother rabbit has been able to keep at least one from being eaten.

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