Sunday, November 28

Cowbird (Molothrus ater) information Blackbird family – expicient

The Cowbird is also called: Brown-headed Oriole, Cow-Pen Bird, Cow Blackbird, Cow Bunting, Brown-headed Cowbird.

 

Length Cowbird: 7 to 8 inches. About one-fifth smaller than the robin.

Male Cowbird: Iridescent black, with head, neck, and breast glistening brown. Bill dark brown, feet brownish.

Female Cowbird: Dull grayish-brown above, a shade lighter below, and streaked with paler shades of brown.

Range Cowbird: United States, from coast to coast. North into British America, south into Mexico.

Migrations Cowbird: March, November. Common summer resident.

More Cowbird information

 

The cowbird takes its name from its habit of walking about among the cattle in the pasture, picking up the small insects which the cattle disturb in their grazing. The bird may often be seen within a foot or two of the nose of a cow or heifer, walking briskly about like a miniature hen, intently watching for its insect prey.

 

Its marital and domestic character is thoroughly bad. Polygamous and utterly irresponsible for its offspring, this bird forms a striking contrast to other feathered neighbors, and indeed is almost an anomaly in the animal kingdom. In the breeding season an unnatural mother may be seen skulking about in the trees and shrubbery, seeking for nests in which to place a surreptitious egg, never imposing it upon a bird of its size, but selecting in a cowardly way a small nest, as that of the vireos or warblers or chipping sparrows, and there leaving the hatching and care of its young to the tender mercies of some already burdened little mother.

 

It has been seen to remove an egg from the nest of the red-eyed vireo in order to place one of its own in its place. Not finding a convenient nest, it will even drop its eggs on the ground, trusting them to merciless fate, or, still worse, devouring them. The eggs are nearly an inch long, white speckled with brown or gray.

 

Cowbirds are gregarious. The ungrateful young birds, as soon as they are able to go roaming, leave their foster-parents and join the flock of their own kind. In keeping with its unclean habits and unholy life and character, the cowbird’s ordinary note is a gurgling, rasping whistle, followed by a few sharp notes.

Desert fox picture and information (Vulpes macrotis) – expicient

A small fox, akin to the kit fox or swift of the western plains, frequents the arid cactusgrown desert region of the Southwest. It is found from the southern parts of New Mexico, Arizona, and California south into the adjacent parts of Mexico.

The desert fox is a beautiful species, slender in form, and extraordinarily quick and graceful in its movements, but so generally nocturnal in habits as to be rarely seen by the desert traveler.

On the rare occasions when one is encountered abroad by day, if it thinks itself unobserved by the traveler it usually flattens itself on the ground beside any small object which breaks the surface, and thus obscured will permit a horseman to ride within a few rods without moving.

If the traveler indicates by any action that he has seen it, the fox darts away at extraordinary speed, running with a smooth, floating motion which seems as effortless as that of a drifting thistledown before a breeze.

The desert fox digs a burrow, with several entrances, in a small mound, or at times on an open flat, and there rears four or five young each year. Its main food consists of kangaroo rats, pocket mice, small ground-squirrels, and a variety of other small desert mammals. In early morning fox tracks, about the size of those of a house-cat, may be seen along sandy arroyos and similar places where these small carnivores have wandered in search of prey.

Like the kit, the desert fox has little of the sophisticated mental ability of the red fox and falls an easy prey to the trapper. It is nowhere numerous and occupies such a thinly inhabited region that there is little danger of its numbers greatly decreasing in the near future.

 

Glacier bear picture and information (Ursus emmonsi) – expicient

 

The food of this bear consists largely of mice, ground squirrels, and marmots, which it digs from their burrows on the high mountain slopes. Its food is varied by salmon during the spawning season and by various herbs and berries during the summer.

 

The winters in the home of the glacier bear are less severe than across the range in the interior, but are so long and stormy that the bear must spend more than six months each year in hibernation.

 

Owing to the remote and little-frequented region occupied by this bear, little is known of its life history. For this reason it is important that a11 sportsmen visiting its country bring back careful and detailed records of their observations. Up to the present time so few white men have killed glacier bears that a skin of one taken by fair stalking is a highly prized trophy. As the glacier bear country becomes more accessible, more stringent protection will be needed to prevent the extermination of these unique animals.