Monday, April 14, 2008

Not Happy

Why is that owls always look unhappy sitting on the nest. Maybe it's not the nest, come to think of it, they just always look rather dour.

This one is sitting on a former Swainson's Hawk nest north of Glasgow. One of my other usual spot to find a Swainson's Hawk nest in the spring is also not available this year. It was a rather small Willow tree at a reservoir in the south part of Valley County. I drove past the spot the other day when I was coming home from a grouse count and something was missing. The whole tree was gone. I couldn't remember it being that old of a tree that it might have just fallen down so it was a bit of a puzzle until I got near where the tree used to be to find a well chewed stump.

It was a beaver that did it. The funny part was the tree wasn't that big and it was only one of two trees on the reservoir and the other, now gone as well, was even smaller. I don't know how the beaver managed to survive getting to this reservoir either as it is at least four miles to the nearest tree and there is no year round water flowing from the reservoir - it only traps water from snow and rain events and after that is over the downstream portion of the drainage dries out. The remains of both trees were very well chewed and there was not a speck of bark left on the stumps that remained. I suspect that the beaver did not make it through the winter on that meager diet.

1 comment:

Clare said...

I'd probably look unhappy also if I was sitting on a bunch of cold sticks