Country roads can have lots of diverse wildlife - especially early in the morning or evening. One of my favorite roads has been lots of fun for me this week.
This week, two spotted fawns were crossing the road. It took a while, because they were curious about me. I just stood like a statue. They came towards me.
I figured they would finish crossing any minute. Not so.
Research suggests indigo buntings nest in brushy thickets, fields, and woodland and dirt road edges. A male indigo bunting visits the author’s yard annually before moving down the road.
They continued to approach me. I finally held my hand out, palm down, the way I do in greeting new dogs and cats. They kept coming. They actually got up to 2 feet from me. One was reaching its nose out to sniff me, when mama hissed a warning. Spindly legs immediately transported them into the woods across the road.
Next nature sign. Bear scat. No, I didn't see the bear. That's fine with me. However, it was definitely its poop. My neighbor did see the bear. In fact, it slept on his property, and I believe that he took a photo of it. I have lots of red raspberries on my property. Where are the berries? Am I feeding the bear? I haven't seen any signs of one - not flattened plants or scat.
I don't keep feeders out at night, because once I lost all of them when a bear bent down the shepherd's hooks and ate all the birdseed. Maybe the birds are eating the berries. I wish that they would leave me a few.
Rabbits are not my favorite wild species in my yard. However, I have put up two fences around my vegetable garden. One, 7 feet high, surrounds a shorter one to keep deer out. Then, 4 feet of smaller mesh wire starts 2 feet up the outer deer fence, curves out near the ground and ends 2 feet away. Rabbits can't enter to eat my lettuce.
There is a small rabbit that hangs out near the garden. It keeps the greenery trimmed in my driveway. In the morning, it takes me a while to leave the yard for my walk. That little rabbit has learned that it doesn't have to be afraid of me. In fact, it will continue feeding when I'm trying to get out to the road. I move very slowly. Finally, it just slowly heads down a path to the property in front of my house. I can even chat with it now.
Annually, a male indigo bunting checks out my yard and then moves down the road. This year I lucked out by seeing the Mrs. on a line with the male.
Research suggests that they nest in brushy thickets, fields, and woodland and dirt road edges. Really wet swamps, cleared fields and woodlots are avoided. Specifically, their nests have been seen in raspberry bushes, elm tree saplings, silver maple saplings, wild roses and ironwood saplings.
Females build the nests of rootlets, grasses, inner bark of vines and leaf pieces from May to early August.
Brown-headed cowbird parasitism is a major problem. Females have been observed warming huge cowbird eggs and raising only those chicks.
At this time of year, the juveniles are molting some feathers on the body, tail and five or six on the wings. The adults completely lose their bright blue feathers in August or September. By this time, they are leaving our area.
I think I'll go photograph this road for you.