Pictoral ‘Ode’ to “the Giving Tree”

Site 1

On site 1 there was a large dead pitch pine on a point that seemed to recruit birds, especially raptors,herons and egrets, although last year flickers at least attempted to nest in the trunk.  I affectionately referred to it as “the giving tree.” Well here in northeast Massachusetts we are in the mist of another storm, but the last storm blew the decaying tree completely over so it will no longer attract birds…All good things….So here are some photos I have gotten of the variety of birds over the years that have perched on the tree. Merlins especially used the tree, so added a few more pics of them.  It was an amazing tree!

great blue heron

red-tailed hawk
P1020031 (1)
great egret
P1040669 (1)
imm. black-crowned night heron
peregrine falcon
american kestrel
next 3. merlin
coopers hawk
Imm. bald eagle
P1150498 (1)


Flicker in the Box

Site 1

Yesterday, a yellow-shafted flicker decided to take a look-see in the box, I am guessing the owl was not around as flickers are known prey of screech owls. Flickers will also roost overnight in hollows this time of year. Seems like a precarious proposition for a flicker. Anyway the female owl was back today to reclaim ‘her’ box.


10/12/12 6:30 am

Flickers Close to Fledging

Site 1.

It had been a few days since I saw activity around the flicker nest, granted it was just glances every so often, but I was beginning to think the nest had been a failure. Not so, as at least 2 young have been hanging around the entrance recently and should be leaving soon. Hopefully, they will stay around to get an accurate count.

Flickers and Foxes

Site 1

Its been quiet for the most part, since the family of screech owls left, but some activity recently. There is a pair of yellow-shafted flickers diligently building themselves a nest cavity in a maple (norway?) trunk. The tree is quite close to the roost box and roost cedar used by the male red phased screech owl. (cedar is way to the left in the picture, and the nest trunk way to the right)

Interestingly, flickers not only build cavities that screech owls can later use, but they also clean out cavities (owl boxes) that have been filled with squirrel nest/leaves etc… Last spring I remember watching leaves fly out of the opening of one of the normal style owl boxes I had up, quickly followed by the head of a flicker, then it continued cleaning out the box. It only used it as a roost. But could provide a valuable service to screech owls as well.

and on a side note, just a morning picture of a dozing fox that was here as well