East Texas Naturalist Blog

Information and photographs mainly about nature in east Texas. Our authors have widely diverse backgrounds and write on a variety of topics.

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Cloudy Days Bring Bright Birds

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The morning sunrise was beautiful as usual here on the Lake, but in a few minutes clouds moved in and the light completely changed.  The cloud cover gave a soft but pleasant light.  

My feeders were fairly active with the usual "suspects" of "my" Mockingbird and his new bride, Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, Cardinals, a solitary Mourning Dove, a few Red Wing Blackbirds, a few Brown Headed Cowbirds and a male House Sparrow. 

After watching for a few minutes, I settled down to work on the computer on two upcoming projects that must be done soon. One is to finish the new NETFO website which could be up tomorrow and to add some detail to the photography class that Kristi and I will be teaching next weekend at the Cypress Basin Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist.  

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New Friends, New Birds

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Northern Parula

Bob Haynes and Dr. Marnie Rout conducted and led the training sessions this past weekend on Ornithology and Taxonomy for the current Cypress Basin Texas Master Naturalist trainees, and what a great weekend it was!  I unfortunately couldn't attend all of the training, but the handouts are so informative and Saturday's bird walk was exciting and productive.  Bob and Marnie are going to be contributing and sharing their knowledge on the ETN site when they can, so that is wonderful news, and Lee Eisenberg has come on board and we will be so fortunate to be hearing from him, as well.  Photos follow of just two of the birds that we were able to see at the Refuge.  The first is a Black-throated Green Warbler, and the second is of a Northern Parula. 

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Michael Mathews
I was browsing through my feed drinking my coffee when I saw the photo of the Black Throated Green Warbler. My first thought was ... Read More
Sunday, 08 May 2016 08:55
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Eaglet Update - Prelude to Flight

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Relieved to see that Liberty and Freedom had not yet fledged on Friday, May 6, Michael Mathews and I were able to get some shots of a great deal of wing stretching.  The nest is looking on the small side now, and mom was a little further away than usual.  She sat on a dead snag and appeared to be happy to also be able to stretch and preen and have some time to herself.  Hatched during the first week of March, the eaglets are nowing going into the eleventh week. We'll be getting out as often as possible and hope to get some shots as they spread their wings and gain some independence!  

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Michael Mathews
Great article, Kristi. It is so much fun watching them grow up and it seems like it happened so fast. They are HUGE!
Saturday, 07 May 2016 17:23
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Eaglet Update - It's Getting Crowded at the Nest

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At a very quick check on the seventh week, Liberty and Freedom were sitting on the side of the nest. A bedraggled-looking mom was keeping a watchful eye from a nearby tree branch.  At this stage of development, the eaglets may gain a pound in weight every four to five days.  Between 10-12 weeks, these babies will become fledglings as they practice flying, and we've seen them stretching their wings for some time now. They'll remain close to the nest as they hone their skills, and we're planning on getting some shots as they take to the skies, so stay tuned!  

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Nature, Close-up and Personal - A Paddler's View

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We're so often on the Big Cypress River in a boat, but with such nice levels lately we've opted, when we get a chance, to take the kayak out instead.  What a difference it makes!  Just being able to slide up quietly as local inhabitants go about their lives makes a huge difference with photo opportunities.  Here are just a few examples from the past couple of weeks.  

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