What’s for dinner?

Posted July 21st, 2009 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

There’s a reason I find so many carcasses of birds associated with water on the roof of our work place. The Fargo peregrine falcons, I believe, readily hunt the waste water lagoons. And why not? Even in the middle of a slow summer day there is plenty at the smorsgasbord to choose from. I happen [...]

A better view

Posted July 21st, 2009 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

After looking at the less-than-desirable photo I had posted of the dickcissel I decided a better one was needed. Sunday I got just that–not great but better. Yes, it was in the same place I had heard it days before near the Fargo landfill.

Ever seen this before?

Posted July 21st, 2009 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

I haven’t. In the mostly urban area in and around Fargo there is really little habitat for shorebirds, at least for nesting. What’s here is so close to development that very few birds can tolerate the disturbance. There are killdeer of course. They are everywhere. Then there’s spotted sandpipers. It’s less numerous than killdeer but seen [...]

236 and counting…

Posted July 21st, 2009 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

A lone Clark’s grebe on a Cass County wetland made it 236 for the year. The lone adult was observed with a single chick in tow. Close cousins of the more common western grebe (they were until recently, considered races of a single species), Clark’s grebes are rare in Cass with the majority of North [...]

Coot confusion

Posted July 21st, 2009 by kcorliss. Comments (2).

The American coot is one of those strange waterfowl representatives that seems to defy categorizing. No, it isn’t a duck. It’s taxonomically placed in the Rail family although, for the most part, it acts more like a duck than a rail. It is, in fact, the only rail with lobed feet, a trait which allows [...]

Rising lake: welcome to some but not others

Posted July 17th, 2009 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

After several years of below average rainfall and, more accurately, low northern Rockies snowpack, Lake Sakakawea is on the rise this year. Good for fishing, good for residents, good for water users, good for downriver barge operations, bad for piping plovers and least terns. (a crappy photo I took some years ago of a piping plover [...]

And reappears again: Dodo

Posted July 17th, 2009 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

A short piece showed up today in my inbox and once again addressed the famously extinct species, dodo. A site called Afriquejet.com is reporting on a joint scientific team made up of Dutch, British and Mauritian specialists who have been apparently combing that unique island for this and that. One unique discovery was the remains of [...]

Another construction project

Posted July 16th, 2009 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

I would guess virtually everyone has seen the apartment complexes set up on tall poles in order to attract nesting purple martins. But honestly this is the first time I’ve seen a structure designed purely to entice the lowly chimney swift. Chimney swifts are those little black "cigars with wings" that are commonly seen whirling [...]

USFWS: Red River splits a large divide

Posted July 16th, 2009 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

The story doesn’t say how the "thousands of extensive surveys" were administered so there is enough wiggle room for questions, but according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the rate of Americans who are actively involved in bird watching remains a fairly steady 21 percent. More germaine for locals are the numbers out of [...]

Returnees showing up

Posted July 13th, 2009 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

It truly is amazing just how quickly some nesting species get to their business then start heading back south. It’s only mid-July and thoughts of school starting again are still a long way off. Heck, the Red River Valley Fair is still going on along with Fargo’s street fair this week. (Baird’s sandpiper) But two events [...]