SATURDAY: We met Brian Foster yesterday, a very personable and knowledgeable guy who loves all things outdoors. He is a DEC and Watershed licensed guide, and he does all sorts of outdoor adventures. Check out his website at https://www.reelcatskills.com/ and follow him on Facebook and Instagram. If you are interested in a guided adventure, contact Brian!
He came to have a look at The Solitude as prospective lodgings for his clients. Joe and I had a nice chat with him, and he told us about the 2017 NYCDEP bald eagle census for NYC reservoirs. Houston: The eagles have landed on The Cannonsville! With a count of 43 eagles, no other reservoir even comes close. From the DEP’s FB page:
New York City’s reservoir system is home to some of the largest bald eagle populations anywhere in the state. Our biologists perform an annual mid-winter survey to examine how many eagles are at each of the City’s reservoirs. This year we found 116 bald eagles on the water supply – the most of any year since the surveys began in 2011.
These are some other quick facts about bald eagles and the water supply.
<> DEP currently monitors 22 active nesting territories on nine reservoirs, but bald eagles can be seen on all 19 reservoirs that comprise the water supply system.
<> White pines are especially good for nesting since they have radial branching. The branches come out of the trunk at the same level like a wagon wheel, allowing sticks to be placed level for the base of eagle nests.
<> DEP protects bald eagle nesting territories through project planning, buffer zones, and by restricting certain activities during the nesting season.
See the census chart on the DEP Facebook page here:
And speaking of birds, I saw red-winged blackbirds on Wednesday, and Joe saw robins on Thursday. YIKES! It was close to zero this morning, so I hope they aren’t freezing their tail feathers off. As usual, all my birds are still hollering for sunflower seeds each morning. We take the suet and seed feeders in every night. (Too much experience with Yogi and Boo-Boo to leave them out overnight, even in the dead of winter. EVENING: “Oh the bears won’t come around yet.” MORNING: “Hey where are the feeders????”)
As soon as I make my way out the back door and up the bank to the tree where the feeders hang, the most vocal of them start. The woodpeckers with their loud rattle calls, almost like clappers hitting bells, the chickadee’s chick-a-dee-dee-dee and fee-bee song, the blue jay’s harsh jeeah and queedle-queedle, and of course the crow’s caw-caw and kahr. And then the squirrels! Their barking and chattering could be a part of the percussion section in any band around.
OK! OK! I say, and as I am trying to hang the seed feeder, the chickadees are landing on it and stealing seed before I can get the hook closed. I dump seed on the ground and head up to the wood line to put seed on the ground for the crows, who do not like to come close to the house, and then out to the front yard to feed the cardinal pair and the doves plus the red squirrels, who love to ground-feed, as long as the jays don’t shove them all away. In the evening, I dump more seed on the ground under the empty hooks, and throw seed down in front for the bunnies that come at dusk.
I’ll keep feeding them until I know that food is plentiful, sometimes into May. There are no farm animals to feed, but there are always farm chores.
Till next time.