Nature

Bird Weather

For all you birders out there, you can now easily keep track of the species that are hanging around your backyard. Cornell University pioneered the BirdNet app for mobile phones which automatically recognizes birds by their call and can upload the result to the Birdweather web site. The same system has been developed as the …

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Snake surprise

A four foot black rat snake gave me quite a surprise the other day when I reached for a saw above my workbench. Snakes in our garage are not that unusual as they come after mice who see shelter and look for food in dark spaces. I only noticed this one when he struck my …

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Backyard Tanager

This male scarlet tanager was busy yesterday looking for snacks. His mate was nearby but much harder to spot with her mottled yellowish coloring. The Dogstar BirdnetPi detector did not pick up his song but its very distinctive. Check out BirdWeather if you want to see what species have been reported by Dogstar Observatory or …

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Turkey love

Its that time of year! This guy was trying out some new lines on the ladies but they were ignoring him. Must be his cologne!

Sand Hill Cranes

We visited my sister in Chattanooga last week and caught the annual Tennessee Sand Hill Crane Festival. Huge birds. The flock along the river was busy fishing and defending territories. They mate for life and interestingly, are not an endangered species – hunting in season is permitted. More info here.

Infrared eyes

The guy showed up on one of our security cameras last week. Night vision security cameras have infrared LEDs that illuminate scenes at night. The deer’s eyes reflect the light back to the camera making them seem to glow in the dark.