Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rain equals....

We've had over 7 inches of rain this year.  That breaks last year's total already.
Last calender year's drought was the worst ever recorded in the state.

This year we have had RAIN!

These are things that often, and quite amazingly, did not happen last year.
Said another way; the following is what is finally happening again:

1. Birds pairing up.

Summer Tanagers (Piranga rubra) left: female, right: male

Many birds last year just flat out did not nest.  Success of the respective species last year was for the breeding age birds to work to live another year.  A tough task, as not all did.  Many emaciated birds wound up at TAMU's collection from out here.  Adult birds just wandered and foraged for themselves.  Not worth the risk of trying to nest.  Not enough forage.

But this year, at least the first round, seems to be different.

2. Birds are nesting.

Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus) on nest.  Female.

The above photograph was taken today (well, all photos are from today) with respect and distance.  I only first noticed the nest when she flushed from it, due to me.

I backed up far away.  Well far enough that she came back.  It was from that distance I watched.  The blurriness of the subject perhaps a result of the distance.  Native wildlife is always the most important aspect of any encounter.  Photography and all else falls back a .... distant .... second.

By the way, water and insect life are nearby this Vermilion Flycatcher nest.  Watching her time on, I'm fairly certain she is incubating eggs.


3. Birds are nesting... with success.  Surely not all birds, and there are other reasons for nest failure.  But birds are nesting.  Nesting with success.  At least the first clutch.

Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans)  fledglings.


Keep it coming.

Last year was rough on every-being.

**QUICK CAVEAT**  :  The Marathon-basin, and this property S. of Marathon, has received rainfall this year.  This certainly does not apply to the entire tri-county Big Bend Region or the trans-Pecos as a whole.  Marathon still needs more, and most locations need it drastically.   Friends in s. Brewster Co., in the Davis Mountains, and beyond; we are certainly in this drought condition together!

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