Saturday, February 21, 2009

The revels continue...

Catkins. To The NY Botanical Garden this morning to join Birding Bob.

Henry Moore is still visiting up there. He’s a large fellow, doesn’t move easily. Love some of these big beasts.

But what's this? Under some pines, owl pellets. Think fur ball. Made up of the fur and bones, the undigestible bits, of prey, which are thrown up by owls. The sure sign of a owl's dining room. These, being rather dry, are not fresh.

Come closer. Open for a bigger view. Notice this tiny jaw bone. It's about a centimeter long. That's my gloved thumb on the lower left. What little mammal was this?

And whoa! A saw-whet owl, in another area of the garden, in a spruce. A life bird for me. These cuties are our smallest local owl, about 7 to 8 inches long, very sweet and relatively tame. Mutes (shit) all over the tarmac underneath him, giving away his location. We also saw a great horned owl and a turkey, and chickadees took sunflower seeds from my palm. The saw-whet and turkey are number 69 and 70 in my list of birds of the year.

4 comments:

Maggie May said...

awesome- Spring, Spring!! we have baby birds flitting outside our home

I love your Whitman!

nice to find your page:)

missy said...

I remember picking apart owl pellets in biology class - mostly moles & shrews, although damn if I can remember the difference between a mole and a shrew.

missy said...

D'oh! I mean 'vole', not 'mole'. The animal kingdom is so confusing.

M.Thew said...

Ah, the old mole/vole conundrum. According to this I'm supposed to pull out the teeth, those tiny little teeth, to see the tooth root pattern. This will tell me what wee rodent this once was. Since I missed that in bio, I'd be tempted, but I didn't actually bring the pellets home with me.