East Texas Naturalist Blog

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What Do I Get For "My" Mockingbird in Lieu of Cigars?

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I have mentioned "my" Mockingbird here before. He used to land on my hand and eat live mealworms from my open palm.

I have also complained about his lack of success in finding a mate. He sang continuously - including all night long, until he finally attracted a little grey feathered cutie.

Today, he has been having a fit - really aggressive with other birds on the feeders (ten feet from his nest). He has been chasing the cat next door. He attacked the squirrels when they came to feed today. And when the little boy up the hill walked by, the Mockingbird popped him in the back of the head twice. As usual, he didn't pay much attention to me when I was out and let me take his picture as usual from about six feet away. But when the little boy up the hill walked by, the Mockingbird popped him in the back of the head twice.

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Eaglet Update - Flying Lessons

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At last check, both Liberty and Freedom were flying well and becoming independent. In fact, we were able to watch Liberty eat a rather sizeable fish that he'd caught on top of a stump. He pulled and picked at it, and during all of the adjusting to stay atop, he dropped a large portion over the side into the water.  He watched it fall and as he looked around, you could just imagine from the expression what he was thinking!  Meanwhile, Freedom was closer to the nest, and both parents were nearby.  We left for a while, and when we circled back by before sunset, Liberty and Freedom were sitting side by side and shoulder to shoulder, close to the nest. What a heartwarming sight! 

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Michael Mathews
Oh, they grow up fast. I think Liberty looks just like his dad, sans the white feathers.
Monday, 30 May 2016 20:53
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Photos From Today's Limp in the Woods

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Still having gout issues but it was just too beautiful today to stay inside.  So, I put the Nikon D800 on the tripod with the Nikon 200-500 lens, stuck the D3300 with the Nikon 105 Micro in the holster on my belt and limped off the the woods.  

If anyone saw me, I know I must have been a sight to behold with the tripod extended and that big lens hanging down as I very slowly limped to the woods.  You really didn't have to look close to see that it was a bit painful, but I didn't care.  Woods . . . 

I got to my little clearing where I have the lake on one side (under the trees), a small creek in front of me and a path going uphill into the deep woods in front of that.  Nice spot.  I usually just lean back against a big oak tree and before long the birds forget that I am there.  

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Eaglet Update - An Empty Nest

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As storm clouds were moving in and the sky was getting dark, we were able to make a quick check of the nest one day last week.  It was disconcerting because for the first time, we were only able to see one eaglet.  We thought we could also hear Liberty, but were not sure. Both parents were perched and watching from a nearby branch.  Freedom was shrieking, alone in the nest, and I believe that we witnessed one of her first flights.  Seemingly uncomfortable, and as if being coaxed, she finally flew to a nearby dead pine tree, mouth open and screeching the whole way.  Mom followed and sat on the other side, as if to offer moral support. Nature in action is such a beautiful thing.  

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Michael Mathews
First, I want to thank you for letting me be a part of the eagle watch. I loved the times I went with you and got photography Lib... Read More
Sunday, 22 May 2016 12:52
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Eaglet Update - Out on a Limb!

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We were able to check on Liberty and Freedom on May 12th; as they are going into their twelfth week, they should be fledging at any time now!  In fact, they were sitting further out on a limb, and in some of the photos seemed to be looking down and at each other as if to say "why don't YOU just go first?"  Mom was sitting close by, as usual, in the top of a dead pine tree.  Two Scissor-tailed Flycatchers were tormenting her unmercifully, as she was clearly invading their territory.  She finally got tired of it and took off, with both of the little flycatchers in tow.  What a sight!  

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