Flood effects

Posted April 8th, 2011 by kcorliss. Comments (2).

The Red River will purportedly reach the 3rd highest crest on record sometime on Sunday or Monday. Land along the river is being swallowed up by the cold muddy waters of this whimsical stream. When that happens, it tends to dislocate whatever critters occupy the thin ribbon of riparian woods.

One local birder made note of the situation from his Moorhead backyard, which abuts the swelling Red. Dennis W. specifically addressed the invasion of voles onto higher ground:

“One look at the damage to our lawn, trees and shrubs suggests that the voles did quite well by this winter. But the flood has become the moment of reckoning, and it is not going so well for the voles. As they are flushed from their homes, the voles have captured the attention of a variety of predators. Species that were observed actually pouncing on or picking up voles this week included red-tailed hawk, Cooper’s hawk, great horned owl, mink, herring gull and crow.”

While my own residence is a long way from the river, it seems I can still stand witness to some relocation.

Over the years I’ve counted well over 100 species from the confines of my property. But I was pretty stunned this morning to see wild turkeys roosting in my neighbor’s boulevard tree. I have to think this quite common local species is finding life in the woods somewhat problematic at the moment, what with the high water and all. There is virtually no other compelling reason for turkeys to exit woody areas.

2 Responses to “Flood effects”

  1. Daryl Ritchison

    Do you have some bird magnet or what? That is awesome you had turkeys in your trees today. I live just a few blocks off the river and all I get are House Sparrows. :-(

  2. Andrea

    I remember the first time I saw turkeys in trees . . . if it hadn’t been before breakfast, I might have thought I had too much to drink!

    We have several large flocks (or perhaps one really mobile flock?) in my suburban upstate NY area. I see them all the time in my neighbors’ yards near the Erie Canal, and in a huge field (perhaps 400 acres if the scale on GoogleMaps is accurate) near the interstate. What’s funny is that while I spend maybe 150 hours tramping through the woods in May and again in September (bird banding), I’ve never seen one there. All I ever see are turkey-sized holes in our mist nets.