Tag Archives: white-footed mouse

Birds and BioBlitz

First of all, BioBlitz was a huge success! Thanks to the over 75 people who came out to learn about our Glen Echo Ravine. And a big THANK YOU to Mike Graziano for organizing this event. His boundless enthusiasm got us all going, my husband included, who acted like a kid in a candy store with all the insects he found! I am waiting on the tally sheet from Mike and more photos from others who attended; once I get that, I will post more. We found so many things in the ravine that we weren’t expecting – and they were all good.

Here’s a little preview of what to expect:

This is an adult white-footed mouse that was caught and released.

BW warbler

Black and White Warbler

The best part about the BioBlitz was that I got to go on my first bird walk. Pete got me a great pair of binoculars as a present, and I finally got to use them. I must admit, it takes a bit of practice to sight in a bird with those things! I finally got the hang of it after missing the first bird. I saw a Black and White warbler as well as a downy woodpecker. Oh, and some bird with yellow on his (or her) head that I don’t recall the name. Some birder I’m going to make! The warbler was something else as I’ve never seen a bird anything like it. I have a thing for birds that hop.

All of the birders were so helpful in pointing the little critters out to me as well as giving me tips on how to find the birds and then pull them up with my binoculars. (They are so small! So fast! And they blend in with everything! And they don’t sit still!) I plan on trying to head out again with the Glen Echo Bird Club this weekend.

Having the right pair of binoculars really made a difference (once I got the hang of using them).  Mine are Eagle Optics Denali 8 x 42. The first number is the magnification while the second number is the diameter of the big lens, which indicates brightness. Doing a little research led me to believe that a 7-10 magnification and a lens size between 35 and 50 is pretty good. You also need to take into consideration the weight, fit, close-focus distance and field of view. Having used binoculars that were less than perfect, I can really say that buying the best you can afford is sound advice.

house-finchOn a final note about birds, I put out the hanging ferns on my front porch, all ready for Mama and Papa Finch to build a nest in. Papa Finch has been singing up a storm outside our bedroom window. I know that most likely, I will once again have my heart broken when some of the little guys don’t make it. And I am certain there will be at least one trip to the wildlife center off of Sawmill, baby bird in hand. Yes, it’s how things go in the animal kingdom, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

Until next time.