Tuesday, July 29, 2008

American Kestrels

This summer a pair of American Kestrels nested in a old Elm tree just off our property. Three young ones soon appeared perched on the dead broken off branches of their nesting tree. For several days they stayed close to the nest and bounced around from one branch to another as the adults made numerous trips with nourishment. Pictured above are four members of family, one was flying look out nearby and trying to get me to follow away from the nest area.

I was surprised after I downloaded some photos to the computer to see this young kestrel was being pestered by a bee (not really sure if a bee). I had watched this kestrel not really able to fly yet, maneuver around the tree trunk using some vines for support and making its way to the top, evidently it was trying to get away from the insect!

Now the young kestrels are flying and exploring the area on their own. You never know where you might see them perched, on a bird house, tall tree, telephone lines by the road or any place that gives them an advantage! It is a thrill to watch them hunt our backyard field. They are so keen, I only need to open the house door and step out and you can hear their "klee-klee-klee", "killy, killy, killy" as they all scatter to the trees. I have heard they will take small birds but have (thank goodness) yet to witness such a feat. I have seen the adults perch near the bird houses where tree swallows have nested, the swallows dive bomb them, but the kestrels just sit there bobbing to avoid a hit, unfazed and leave only when they are ready.

Click here to read more about Kestrels and hear their sound!

It certainly has been a treat to watch these magnificent falcons this summer and hope it will be repeated year after year! Enjoy :) Coppertop

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Maine Wildlife Babies

Here in Maine it has been a rainy summer thus far. One can't help but wonder the toll it is taking on the wildlife newborn. The above photo of a wild turkey hen shows she only has one chick in her care. This was the first and only sighting of this hen and chick. Past years we have seen turkeys with anywhere from four to a dozen chicks per hen.

We have six bird house in our field that the tree swallows use each year. Three houses provided shelter for three families. Right now we do have a pair of Bluebirds that have taken up housekeeping in one of the houses. The female is setting on four beautiful blue eggs and hopefully they will all hatch out.

We have been honored with a pair of Kestrels nesting nearby also this year in an old elm tree. The male can be seen hunting the field for insects and such and carrying back to the opening. I have yet been able to get close enough to capture a nice photo of the adult kestrels. Should not be long and the young ones will be leaving the nest as the male is making quite frequent trips back and forth now to the nest with food.

Just yesterday I watched a female goldfinch gather wood slivers off our cedar fence as a male sat nearby. Hmm - female does all the work while male watches! :)

We have been seeing a female white tail deer in our field for quick visits just before dark and hopefully we will soon get a glimpse of her fawn(s). We have seen this in past years where a doe with browse the field for short times, on alert and listening to the woods the whole time. We always assumed a fawn is hid in the woods or nearby and sure enough we are treated with a sighting when Mom feels it is safe for them. Hopefully soon we will see a fawn or two and I will be able to share some photos with you!

Enjoy your 4th of July weekend and be safe :) Coppertop

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Rainbow weather in Maine

It certainly has been rainbow weather in Maine lately with all this rain. Just last week, looking out from our back deck we were able to both ends of a gorgorous, vivid, wide, high arcing rainbow. My photos here do not do it justice, but do show both ends.

Enjoy :) Coppertop

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Beautiful April day in Maine

Gosh! we have been having such great weather in Maine this week. We've been able to sit out and not worry about bugs (yet). Even start up the outdoor fireplace and eat outside - yum yum! So much better tasting food! Last evening, while sitting by the fire, the above Purple Finch visited - this is the first one I have seen this year. Actually it has been quite quiet around our feeders lately, not even a red squirrel. I have seen a couple woodpeckers and a few ground sparrows but that has been it.
Tonight while sitting outside about the same time as last night, the Purple Finch returned (well, don't know if it was the same one or not but would like to think so!) and brought back another. So now we have two male Purple Finches!
It was so beautiful this morning, I went down and sat in my woods shack for awhile. took my camera, binouclars and a cup of coffee. It was so peaceful there, in fact a little too quite! I have been hoping to see some different birds down there as it is an old orchard we have been cleaning out. Now with the trees budding seems as though the birds should be around, but I failed to see any this morning except for three big birds - Jakes! They walked through the orchard right in front of me, the one in above photo was half heartily strutting. I was surprised they didn't hang around longer, but guess they were on a mission as they disappeared into the woods like they knew just where they were headed. Gosh! I didn't even see a red squirrel down there, last fall I could not go down one time without having one try to come into the shack with me!

Enjoy :) Coppertop

Friday, April 11, 2008

His lost, My Treasure

A beautiful Maine Spring day it was today! So refreshing to be able to sit out on the deck this morning with my cup of coffee and watch the sparrows, Robins, gold finches and even a small group of Tree Swallows checking out our bird houses.

I ventured out into the woods this morning, just taking my time and trying to walk where the ground was bare. The snow is still pretty deep in spots and can be pretty hard on one's body, not knowing when you are going to sink knee deep or stay on top of the snow pack. Luckily there were enough bare spots and I got in a nice leisure walk. I was a bit disappointed in not seeing any birds though, except for one lone Robin.

Heading back home, I was walking our property line and happened to come across an antler left behind by a young buck. I recognized the antler shape right away as belonging to a buck we had seen for two winters now with a double throat patch. Not an outstanding antler by any means, but certainly a treasure to me. A pleasant surprise and nice ending to my morning walk.

Enjoy :) Coppertop

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Spring has Sprung FINALLY!

FINALLY ! I do believe Spring has come to Maine. Our fields are pretty bare with only patches of snow, but the woods still have a good amount. Water puddles are popping up everywhere. this Common Snipe paid us a short visit the other day. I had never seen one before and keep looking, hoping it might return. It sure blends in with the background! You can read more about the Common Snipe here.
In the photo above you can see the comparision of size between the Snipe and Robins. The Robins have been back for a week now and are really feasting in the fields.

Robins in the field as well as the deer! We won't be seeing them much longer, they are starting to change their habits and will be retreating to their summer areas soon. Oh, they might pop by every now and then but certainly not on a regular bases like they have this Spring.

Cutey! This little one appears to be hiding behind Mommy. Young deer are just like kids. I watched one play for a good fifteen minutes the other day. It would jump high in the air and take off on a dead run, only to go a few feet, turn and do it again. Back and forth it bounced, disappearing into the woods for a second and right back again. What a character! They all seem to have their own little personality just like humans!

It was such a beautiful day today, all I could think of was a cook-out! Soon for sure!

Enjoy :) Coppertop

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Is this why these deer are called WHITE TAILS? Recent activity in our Maine backyard!

What a joy to see the deer in the daytime!

Spring is getting closer, Our snow covered field is finally starting to show bare spots. I was beginning to think it would never show again! A group of 8 hen turkeys adn 2 jakes have been popping in off and on. The Jakes are practicing their strutting as the hens just seem to ignore them. One lone Tom Turkey with a nice beard comes by also and I imagine he will be starting to follow the hens soon. I look forward to hearing them call gobbling again.

Enjoy :) Coppertop

Friday, March 07, 2008

Chowing down on apples!

I do believe this buck likes apples! This photo was taken this past October with my scouting camera. I just love the pose! Being a night photo, the buck's eye glows from the camera flash.
You can't really tell in this photo but this buck has one big belly and I believe you don't have to ask where he got it from! He hung out under that apple tree regularly, until the apples no longer dropped. Fittingly I have nicknamed him 'Chubs'.

Enjoy :) Coppertop

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Another icy Maine morning!

Maine woke to yet another icy morning today! It is so beautiful with the sun shining on the ice decorated trees.

It is now mid afternoon and the ice has just about all fallen from the trees. The snow is slush in the sunny spots and slippery crust in the shaded spots. This makes for tricky walking for all, human and critter. Smaller critters can scoot across the top of the ice, but the larger ones break through and are at risk of leg cuts. A tumble can cause injury.

The good news - Spring is only 14 more days away! Whatever snow, icy weather we get now is sure not to last long. Take time to enjoy the beauty of each season :) Coppertop

Friday, February 29, 2008

New scouting camera photos

Coyote on the prowl

Chubby Buck without antlers

I snow shoed today in our backyard woods and checked my scouting cameras. In looking at these two photos just one day apart, I was for a second dumb founded - I didn't remember moving the camera to a different location. Taking another look, I realized it was just the snow that made the difference in the photos not the location!

We are in for another snow storm tonight and tomorrow (up to 18 inches). Looks like Mother Nature is holding on to winter and doesn't want to let go!

Enjoy :) Coppertop

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Barred Owl in daytime

This past December one sunny morning, I looked out and this beautiful Barred Owl was perched on the roof of bird feeder station. It kept looking down at the ground and after quite a spell out popped a red squirrel.

This was one brave squirrel because it darted out across the field and the owl took after it.

They made a circle around our oak tree as the squirrel headed for our rock wall. For a moment I thought the owl had run right into the tree trunk, but it turned and was right behind the squirrel as it darted into the wall for cover.

Yes, the squirrel made it to cover and I thought one lucky red squirrel! The owl then landed on our deck post and watched the area for another fifteen minutes or so and then flew over to some trees not far.

I was able to walk right up under this tree and get some more photos of this beautiful bird. I was still in shock of seeing it in the daylight and up so close.

The owl stayed perched on this limb for the rest of the morning. Sometimes it would be looking around and other times appeared to be asleep!

In the early afternoon, I took our German Shorthaired Pointer out for some exercise and the Owl was still perched in the tree. Ruger, our GSP, ran under the tree checking for squirrels as he usually does and the Owl didn't seem to be alarmed by his presence. About an hour later I glanced over to the tree and our beautiful visitor was gone.

Enjoy :) Coppertop

Monday, February 11, 2008

Beautiful, foggy February morning - Maine Backyard

Photo of a recent backyard morning with fog coming up through the trees.
Enjoy :) Coppertop

Friday, February 08, 2008

Wild Turkeys leg deep in snow!

Twelve wild turkeys showed up today. The freshly fallen snow left them leg deep in the snow and walking was not easy for them.
When the turkeys left they decided to take the easy route - to the air!
Here a couple are over the tree tops deciding where to land!
Please excuse this photo, they were quite a ways off - I outlined in red the area where one wild turkey is perched high in the top of that fir. It appears to just be another branch, but believe me there is a turkey sitting on that branch!
Enjoy :) Coppertop

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Red Poll frenzy at backyard feeders

Early this morning, the Red Polls were here in full force. It makes your head swirl trying to keep up with them, but great entertainment! Its a dreary day, lightly snowing and overcast but watching these birds you can't help but smile!

Enjoy your day :) Coppertop

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Icy February Morning

We woke this morning to a cover of fresh snow and ice. About one inch of ice coated the steps and deck.
Only three turkeys! We haven't seen much of the turkeys this year, nothing like the past four years but these three did wander through this morning.
The Red Poll's were in full force from one feeder to another!

Enjoy :) Coppertop

Sunday, January 27, 2008

January Birds

This month we have had a flock of Common Redpolls in our backyard. They seem to love the bird feed called no waste, it is a mixture of nuts and seeds without the hulls. They are quite active little birds not stopping long. They grab some food and off they fly only to return seconds later. It is quite a sight to see fifty plus of these birds all flying around the feeders, landing and flying off again so quickly!

The males have red on their chest and there doesn't seem to be many in this flock. They are really hard to get a picture of and I wasn't able to today but perhaps tomorrow.
Do you have Redpolls in your backyards? Enjoy :) Coppertop