Backyard Wintertime Nature in New Jersey.
We had our first significant winter storm leaving about 8 inches of wet, heavy snow. We have experienced several cold spells, lots of rain but little snow until now. This was the first time I had to shovel a path to the road. I was expecting an Amazon delivery later in the day. A lot of birds showed up at the bird feeder. This was the first time that Red-winged Blackbirds visited. The females look a lot different than the males — but turned out to be more aggressive than the regular visitors. Later in the afternoon, the sky was filled with soaring Turkey Vultures.
Individual images in the slide shows can be viewed here.
Turkey Vultures Soaring at Dawn. As soon as the sun rises, the committee (group of vultures in trees) that spent the night in the neighborhood (conifer trees and some roofs) take off to hunt for food. Recently, the number of vultures in the neighborhood has increased to several dozen. The kettle (group of vultures soaring together) start looking for thermals to carry them on their daily hunt for carrion (mainly road-killed deer).
Great Blue Heron appearing to walk on water as it comes in for a landing along Blackpoint Wildlife Drive. I’ve also included slide shows with some of the other birds present that day: Anhinga, Black Vulture, Double-breasted Cormorant, Great Egret, Hawk, Osprey (with a fish), Tricolored Heron, and Turkey Vulture. Note that some of the Vulture images are graphic.
Individual images in the slideshows can be viewed here.
Before leaving for Carlsbad, I stopped back at Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge to watch the Sandhill Cranes leave to feed for the day. I was told that one of the places they go to feed is local peanut farms that had been recently plowed. Ever wonder how the salmonella got in the peanut butter a few years ago???