House Wren in Hardwick, July. Starting a second brood.
Fledgling House Wrens, Hardwick, 29 June 2020. Photo by Alan Rawle.
June 28 Petersham Many dung beetles are classified as "rollers" because of their dung-gathering methods. They roll dung into round balls that they maneuver to the desired location to be used as a food source or breeding chambers.
Five Eastern Phoebe nestlings huddle in their nest on 6 June 2020, a few days before fledging. All fledged successfully, and the parent birds then reared a second brood in the same location.
Tree Swallow, 7 June 2020. Tree Swallows raise only one brood in a season.
In mid-June an "orphan" Brown-headed Cowbird fledgling started showing up at a grape-jelly feeder in Rutland. We know that the bird was raised by a different species, but the cowbird wasn't seen being fed by any adult bird. Which species raised this fledgling will remain a mystery. Photo by Ted Purcell.
Courtship feeding in Cedar Waxwings and other species is often observed. It is generally thought that courtship feeding serves more than a ceremonial or pair-bonding function -- that it provides the female with considerable nutritional benefit. [Copyright ® 1988 by Paul R. Ehrlich, David S. Dobkin, and Darryl Wheye.]
This female damselfly, probably Eastern Forktail (Ischnura verticalis) was observed ovipositing alone--most species oviposit in tandem with males--on floating vegetation on 7 June.
Eastern Kingbird with characteristically flimsy-looking nest 31 May 2020
A Painted Turtle laying eggs several hundred feet from her home pond, in June. From start to finish, a female's nest-building and egg-laying work may take up to four hours.
By June 27th Downy Woodpeckers had fledged their young in Hardwick. This adult male is feeding one of his male fledglings suet from the feeder. In no time the young are independently finding their way around the various seed and suet feeders (which are supervised and put out only in daytime at this location to reduce the chances of human-bear encounters).
White-tailed Deer doe and fawn 29 June. Photo taken from a distance by Alan Rawle.
Sandhill Cranes were documented as nesters for the first time in Worcester County in Hardwick in May. Unfortunately, the two chicks seen here didn't survive, likely the victims of one of the myriad predators in the area. Photo 19 May by Alan Rawle.
A paper wasp, probably Polistes fulcatus, methodically scrapes wood fibers from a cedar fence railing for nest-building.
Volunteers recovering damaged and fallen-over old nestboxes at Moore State Park in Paxton discovered very small, sturdy, fibrous nests attached to the inner walls of two of the boxes. Keeping in mind the disrepair of the boxes--bottoms and/or sides broken off--a few birders entered into somewhat of an investigation into the mystery nests. Crucial to the solution were the dimensions as measured by Bill Platenik as well as the attachment to the wooden sides. Conclusion: Brown Creepers, which can sometimes build nests in unusual places, as long as there is a sheltered aspect.
At the end of May, Doug Wipf captured this image of a hungry Red-bellied Woodpecker nestling with the male parent, in Rutland.
American Woodcock chicks 5 May 2020. From the day they hatch, chicks learn to “freeze” when threatened or in response to hearing the hen’s alarm call. In this case, the observer was walking in the woods and didn't notice the well-camouflaged female until she flushed right in the pathway. The chicks remained motionless until the observer moved on and the hen returned to usher them away.
A female Wood Duck with one of what is often two broods during the season.
Great Blue Herons are well into their nesting season by 26 April, when this nest and others were noted at a colony in Hardwick. Photo by Alan Rawle.