Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bob Whites, Raised By a Barber

Dave wears multiple hats. He is a barber but he also raises Northern Bobwhites (Colinus virginianus).   The birds' name comes from the male's whistling call which sounds like "Bob White". 

              Here is the incubator.
Here he is adding more eggs to the hatching tray. He invited me to return the next day to see the additional chicks that he expected to hatch.

He removes eggs which show no signs of hatching...
and helps a chick who is having difficulty.
He has a 70 to 80% success rate in hatching the chicks which is about the same as the hens would have in the wild. However, because his chicks are protected as they mature, he has a better maturation rate. He sells the chicks to people who have areas which they want to repopulate with bobwhites.

These adult specimen stuffed and placed in proper habitat by a taxidermist were given to Brukner Nature Center. The first is the male, the second is the female.

This is the only quail a person is likely to see in Ohio. They were at their peak in the 1930s when
Ohio had the best habitat, open meadows, fencerows, and pastures.  Originally, Ohio was mostly tree-covered which was not good habitat and now our farms have fewer open meadows, fencerows and pastures.
A further complicating factor is our weather. We are at the northern edge of the bobwhites' natural range. Years of cold weather and deep snow decimate the birds.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Happy Birthday, Kyle

From this collection of photos, people would think that you never smile.

you do.
I hope you have lots to smile about today. Happy birthday.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Drawing a Giraffe, A Step-by-step Method

This is the 12 inch  model the children used as a guide. I probably bought this at a zoo gift shop. First we talked about the basic shapes we saw...circles, ovals, rectangles, triangles. We also decided whether to use the paper vertically or horizontally. We drew an imaginary giraffe on our paper with our finger to get an idea of how big we wanted to make our giraffe. And then we started drawing. Remember you can click on the pictures to get a bigger image.
Here is a diagram of the shapes we used. Notice that most of the triangle shapes are only approximately triangles. The points are blunt or chopped off. I thought it might be more useful to anyone doing their own drawing to see the order in which we drew so below are the steps in the order in which we did them. The students used a crayon or marker in a color that would blend well into the finished drawing. Most chose yellow or orange.

To see the results of this step-by-step method, see the August 15, entry. All 17 children's drawings are in it. You will notice that some of them came up with ingenious ways of adjusting their drawings when they did not like the lines they had drawn in crayon or marker.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Butterfly Survey Walk at Brukner

On Saturday, August 18, Tom and I joined the group at Brukner Nature Center doing a Butterfly Survey. Ruth, our leader, said she doesn't plan to send in the results of the weekly surveys which begin in April and continue until the end of October because we are just learning the ins and outs of doing this survey.

The Ohio Lepidopterists have been monitoring Ohio Butterflies for quite a few years. I first heard of the survey when I was doing the July Butterfly Counts at Aullwood Nature Center. The counts are another project of the Ohio Lepidopterists.

This was my first hands-on experience. Tom was usually somewhere behind the rest of the group because he took the time to take photographs of what we were seeing...if the butterfly was still there when he got to it.

I learned that the surveyors record nectar sources, caterpillars and the plants on which they are found, the flowers currently blooming as well as the weather conditions.  The same route is followed each week and we are to look within fifteen feet of that route.  I understand why Ruth decided we should spend the first survey year learning how to do it properly.

Here are the photos that Tom took.
Painted Lady. (Vanessa cardui)
Painted Lady with its wings open.
Painted Lady with its wings closed.
Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)
Clouded Sulphur (Colias philodice) We also found some other insects.
A Net-winged Beetle (family Lycidae)
Probably a Chinese Mantis (Tenodera aridifolia sinensis)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Children's Drawing...Giraffes

This is part one of the blog I promised some children I would put up on Tuesday. I have had overnight guests so my schedule is off. Later this week I will post a step by step description of how we did these giraffes. (and one deer)