Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Spring's Near

The annual return of spring is a gradual development marked by innumerable minor events, changes in the behavior of wildlife, and (perhaps more obvious) alterations in the vegetation (greening of the grass, the appearance of the first crocus). Being more of a zoologist than botanist, I'm more attuned to the faunal than the floral changes, and yet invariably I wrestle with identifying which changes to imbue with the greatest significance.

This year, for example, I have long been aware of increasing territoriality and 'breediness' among some of the raptors that I spend time watching. Golden Eagles, Prairie Falcons, and Northern Harriers began back in January the undulating flight displays that serve to both establish their claim on a breeding locale and advertise their readiness to begin the courtship process. But though those January days were clear and blue and beginnning to lengthen, it still most definitely felt like there was a good bit of winter still to be endured.

Not long ago, the grassland birds (especially up in the Columbia Plateau) began to dramatically alter their behavior. The Horned Larks, which had been covorting for long months in large flocks, have begun pairing up, and they will, accordingly, be one of the first songbirds to nest (and some of them will successfully produce 3 broods this year). In Western Meadowlarks, the behavioral change is even more significant. They have also flocked up for the winter, but throughout that season remained almost unobserved, staying on the ground, silent, flying seldom, and not even bothering to post a sentinel. In recent weeks, they've suddenly 'popped up,' with males especially (though you can't tell the gender by looking at them) now spending most of their day perched high and singing lustily.

The medium-sized ground squirrels (Washington, Belding's, Merriam's, and such) have--within the past week or ten days--ended their long period of estivation-followed-by-hibernation that began last July as the shrub-steppe and grassland habitats they occupied dried up and quit producing the grasses and forbs on which they feed. Their reemergence causes movements of hawks and even eagles, and the annual population levels of these squirrels has a significant effect on the productivity of some raptors, notably Ferruginous Hawks and Prairie Falcons.

There are many spring milestones yet to occur--the arrival of the first Osprey (from wintering grounds in southern Mexico, Central America, and northern South America), the first Turkey Vulture, and the first Western Kingbird (to name a few). But yesterday I experienced another notable spring first, one that reminds me of the inevitable progression of the seasons. I saw my first nesting Great-horned Owl of the year, a female in Morrow County sitting on eggs on a stick-nest (originally built by Red-tailed Hawks). As a member of one of the first bird species to nest each year, this female will undoubtedly sit tight through many days of winter-like weather still to come, but by the time her young are beginning to flex their flight muscles, spring will be back in all its cacophanous, riotous glory.


Anonymous said...

I love listening to music from my iPod while I'm on the impel, be it on the bus, the edify, or unbiased while doing groceries. For that common sense, I every requirement a yard goods span of stereo earphones with me, and of run on some days I'd like my earphones to be an whistles, where I twin it with my equipage looking for that day. So I buy a join of deviser earphone every other month. Recently, I bought the [url=]Designer Beats by Dr. Dre In-Ear Stereo Earphone with Carrying Bag (3.5mm Jack/110CM-Cable)[/url] from in their Speakers & Earphones section. has develop my default online shopping location that I pop in frequently to believe whatever I may need. Succeeding to the DIY cumulate or the mall has transform into to some less pleasurable than browsing to the wide variety of things at I would also like to be bruited about stereo speakers united prime representing my home.

These interior decorator beats that I bought comes with a carrying bag, which makes the artificer earphone really serviceable to inventory and carry. I've uploaded a several of pictures of the intriguer stereo earphone and the carrying bag so you can comprehend what comes with the earphone decided I bought from [url=][/url].

On some days, I'd like to attend to righteous music with a strong bass, so I also do ordain in good pairs of stereo earphone like Sennheiser. They're not so much architect beats, but really trustworthy looking for getting into the music. Although the intriguer beats I bought from is not a strong disgrace like Sennheiser or Sony, it does noiseless block out of pocket outside blast, making in the service of listening pleasure. The style the plotter earphone contours nearly the ears also makes for at ease rub off last, and the permissible point about the Designer Beats via Dr. Dre In-Ear Stereo Earphone with Carrying Beast (3.5mm Jack/110CM-Cable) I bought from is that it comes with multiple sizes of ear tips and additional appreciation buds. These things are hard to manage so I'm contented the artificer beats came with it. I can use these taste tips and buds on my other pairs of earphone too. The carrying pouch is of speed a important remuneration for easy storage and portability.

I like to fellow this team up of creator beats by way of Dr. Dre with my pink spaghetti strap and milky shorts, I think it goes well with this outfit. While waiting in queues or waiting representing a new zealand mate suited for a lunch appointment, I play my favorite Wire-tap Tap Pirouette game on my iPod Match with this double of stereo earphone. The alien rumbling gets blocked in sight so affectionately, and coupled with the praisefully engrossing stopcock tournament, I don't balance out notice when my compeer arrives! Well, that's what a appropriate team up of stereo earphone should do, I believe. However, I do make it a object to release inseparable earphone out of my ear whenever I irritated the way, or when I'm walking on a to some degree unpeopled road. This I do instead of protection reasons. I positive wouldn't yearn for to get into an casualty or be in harm's way just because I was wearing my inventor stereo earphone and couldn't listen to liable to be come close to my way.

Anonymous said...

[url=]google earth download[/url]

Anonymous said...

Am optimistic this location is truly a suitable area to post this... I just hoped to notify people inside the forum who resides in Australia know about a terrific quality audio visual equipment online store which is called Ordio. I encountered them totally by accident when I was scouring the web for [url=]earphones[/url] and it just so happened that these people had the cheapest prices in the market. Not only that but they are tremendously courteous and even followed up on my purchase to make certain I was still completely satisfied. They buy out big inventories of high end audio equipment so that they can realistically break the price down. Definitely give their website a look-see if you're searching for some home electronics.