Sunday, August 12, 2007

Hawk ID answer, miscellany Sunday

Yesterday we discovered this moth on the front door, and I think it had just laid an egg...there was a small yellow thing near it's backside.

I can't tell if it is a False Crocus Geometer or a Chickweed Geometer.
The only reason I sound like I know what I'm talking about is because I looked it up in my new:

A gift for myself

I hear that this is THE field guide for insects, and that Kenn even inserts some humor.
And really, how cool is Kenn Kaufman? The man has his own Wikipedia entry. I wanna meet him. Hey, Kenn? Come see us in Cape May!

Wish they were rain clouds

Sigh...even though we really need these to be rain clouds, they aren't. But pretty anyway.

Snookie grows

Snookie is growing and eating and pooping.
(For a funny take on monarch ranching, see Jess' post here. That woman makes me shoot milk out of my nose on a regular basis.)

We have yet another wee animal in the house.
Isabelle discovered them first as they left this morning, then after I hauled my cookies out of bed later, I saw them too:

Tiger Lily the tadpole

Tadpoles in the fountain. Since I never found any tree frog eggs anywhere (which is crazy, since it sounded like they were knockin' boots EVERY night) I guess these are bullfrog tads.
Isabelle almost turned herself inside out as one was brought into the house and placed in her previously disastrous Frog Habitat: disastrous because the tadpoles stayed tadpoles for 8 months and when I thought they might need some sunlight, it got so hot that it killed them.
We only brought in one, just in case we goof it up again.
Isabelle named the tadpole Tiger Lily.
Now, onto yesterday's hawk ID quiz:
Donald the Birder (who I just realized is in Cincinnati) got it right...a juvenile red-shouldered hawk. Donald, if you want a freshly minted Cape May Birder Blogger Conference T-shirt, email me your address and what size at
Juvenile hawks are very tricky, and even if you know what you are talking about, you may have to pour over a field guide first before being sure. Lynne was pretty close with a guess of Broad-winged. And yes, Lynne. You still get to come to Cape May. And you get a T-shirt because you are Flock member. In fact, everyone in the Flock needs to send me their T-shirt sizes so I can distribute the shirts.
And don't forget that you and I came up with the idea of going to Cape May in the first place. Remember when I was planning on coming up to Minnesota in February and Laura wouldn't come, so we said, "If Mohamed can't come to the mountain..."?

Education Corner time:
Red-shouldered hawks are divided into 5 subspecies. Our subspecies in the north and east are the largest.
Juveniles in the east streaked brown and white on underside, brown above, tail with dark and light brown bands, and their wing crescents are tawny. They are very similar to juvenile broad-winged hawks, but can be distinguished by their longer tail, wing crescents and accipiter-like flight patterns.
Interesting tidbit: Four of the subspecies exist on the eastern side of the continent and contact with each other, but the West coast form is separated from the other four by about 1000 miles! and the Florida form is the palest, with gray heads and very faint barring on the chest.
Want to get really confused? Check out the possibly-only documentation of a red-shouldered X red-tailed hawk hybrid. I take this seriously because David Sibley weighed in on the issue.

I need to do more raptor ID posts. They're fun, aren't they?


mon@rch said...

That Monarch is getting big for sure! Kenn Kaufman is an amazing guy and fun guy! If you ever do meet him, ask him to tell you the chickadee poem he did!

Mary said...

OK, I need that guide. I'm hopping over to visit Amazon today.

I enjoy your raptor quizzes! Even though I flunked this one, I'll really try next time.

Lynne said...

You're going to love that book. For some giggles check out page 116 and read up on the genus Triatoma. FYI- The US now routinely screens our blood supply for Chagas disease because donors here who are from Central and South America can be asymptomatic carriers of the parasite.

I'm glad I'm not black-balled from Cape May. I'm hoping to get some intensive tutoring from you Susan!

dguzman said...

Love Snookie's name--he's so cute!

Sweet--t-shirts! I'll alternate between that one and my new "Finch better have my money!" tee (with a little pic of a finch in a purple fedora with a $20 in its beak) from Hot Topic.

Q said...

Thank you!
I have been wanting a good field guide for bugs!
Like Mary I am heading over to Amazon. One click shopping works great for me!

NatureWoman said...

Wow, the monarch is getting huge - that's so cool Susan! You always have cool stuff going on at your home!
Hmmm, being an honorary flock member, does that mean I can do t-shirt, too? If so (women's) medium is my size! Please let me know how much, okay!