Thursday, August 19, 2010

goings on

Originally posted over at Seetrail; backdated and edited here.

My non-food Marathon post may have been too soon. Now that the community is overrun with tent caterpillars of some sort, I feel they're missing out on the limelight that the mites got. With last weekend's rain, there are also a few more mosquitoes around, too. Only one snake has been seen in town so far - another Kansas Glossy crossing the road.

Site tidbit: on Sunday (the 15th) we had quite a fascinating visitor at the site, more will be posted about the Mojave Rattlesnake later.

But, on to a falcon update! The falcons are doing well, H7, the female from Group 3 is doing a splendid job of catching her own grasshoppers - she seems to have caught on while watching OK, our only black/red male from the first two groups. OK will sally from a shrub and nab a dragonfly midair, eat it, and grab another... and that will continue for quite a few snacks!

It has been nearly a week since C2, our red/black female - the last female from Group 2 - showed up just to show off that she wasn't hungry. She had skipped 2 days prior to last Friday, and showed up wiping her beak and didn't eat that morning, just in the evening. She must have been pretty full. That said, she has not been seen since. We're pretty confident that she's down the highway scaring the pants off of the little American Kestrels who have just started to show up this month. Ah, migration!

Big news for K8 - when C2 returned, K8 had been MIA for two days. So K8 skipped a total of 7 feedings (3.5 days) before showing up again and has been regular since Sunday. She is looking great, ragged tail and all.

Our most recent Wednesday morning was the first time we did not see a single falcon for the duration of the morning. None even observed in the distance. Everyone who showed up in the evening ate very well, but only five showed up for that. This (Thursday) morning was a bit of a surprise, since we generally put out two quail and have one left over - five birds showed up and only a few stray clumps and "spaghetti" of quail were left. [Ewww.]

So here's the remaining cluster:
H7 (female, group 3)
93 (group 3 - aka 'Peachy Britches')
58 (now with his own 'scissor-tailed appearance)
95 (aka 'Leggins' on a good day)
K8 (the female known as 'Kate')
C2 (female, gone for a week now)

Oddly, 16 is a bird who is just plain normal. OK has a slightly pale rump, and is notable for being the black/red male who isn't 'Peachy Britches' ...he's otherwise pretty average, but 16? There's nothing particularly notable about him. He has a regular, striped tail, unlike our solid-tailed 95 and C2, or the ragged tailed K8 and 58. Perhaps H7 is then the next closest bird to 'normal' that we have since she has no distinguishing features beyond being not-K8.

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