Friday, August 30, 2013

Bulbucus ibis and a Glimpse of Deer

He-Who-Mows wanted to mow bushes (actually black cherry trees) in the far pasture. I insisted on going along to make sure he mowed as few as possible of Silk Grass, White Joe Pye Weed and False Foxglove. We drove around in the Mule and I pointed out important spots to leave.

Eupatorium with butterflies


It finally came down to this: "Mow ONLY those big bushes with the big leaves. LEAVE White things, Silvery things and Bright Green things. You are mowing bushes, not a lawn." I sat there until he finished. 

While I sat there, two does came out from his general direction and ran to what I call 'the 3-acre wood.' I got a pic of them, the next view was just  the woods they melted into.  The lead deer is diagonally down to the left of the light pole near the center of the picture. I think I've persuaded him not to mow any more for fear of hitting a little fawn hidden in the grass. I want meadows, but it's not really time to mow. Too much habitat at stake.

 I got pics of cattle egrets following the tractor to catch insects disturbed by the mower.


 Notice the zig-zag path down the opposite hill, leaving clumps of Bluestem while taking out bushes.
  Those birds found the wide cut a treat.


Bulbucus ibis are herons, commonly called Cattle Egrets. During mating season they have tan markings. Right now they are snowy white. They  have up to a 3 foot wing span. I know they're glad to see water in the pond again.

I was curious as to what kind of diet they eat. I found a little book called The Wilson Bulletin published in 1912 in which the author wrote:
Food of fifty meals of young White Ibis: 352 cut-worms, 308 grasshoppers, 602 crayfish, 42 small moccasins. 
Egrets are most welcome to whatever they find around the pond!


7 comments:

  1. I love the birds! And I am really impressed by he-who-mows...tractor....he has the greatest toys!

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  2. My "He who mows" also likes to do a scorched earth approach to mowing. Whenever I hear the tractor or chainsaw start up, I stop whatever I'm doing and go supervise. Beautiful pictures of the opportunistic cattle egrets.

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  3. I wish I could rent some egrets to take care of my grasshoppers! Thanks for the great pictures.

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  4. Wonderful photos! Your husband reminds me of mine. I often have to tell him what to cut. He has learned by experience that it is best to ask me first!

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  5. Your property is so.o.o beautiful, NellJean. I would love to walk through your meadow. I feel my stress reducing just looking at your pics. P. x

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  6. These birds always make me smile. They always seem to be waiting in line for a free meal! I like how you're cutting down the bushes so it can remain a meadow.

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  7. These birds always make me smile. They always seem to be waiting in line for a free meal! I like how you're cutting down the bushes so it can remain a meadow.

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I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.



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