An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide – maryholland505@gmail.com

Archive for February 22, 2010

Welcome to a photographic journey through the fields, woods, and marshes of New England

Here I’ll be sharing some of my favorite photographs from my forthcoming book Naturally Curious. I’ll be updating my blog periodically with new images, new stories, and more glimpses of New England in all seasons.

COOPER HAWK SUCCESS

This winter I happened to be in the right place at the right time – a Cooper’s hawk swooped down out of the blue and nailed a pileated woodpecker (in the air) that I had been watching taking a nap on the trunk of a tree just prior to taking flight.  They are roughly the same size, and it was all the hawk could do to carry the woodpecker into the woods, where  he proceeded to kill and consume it.


Welcome to a photographic journey through the fields, woods, and marshes of New England

Here I’ll be sharing some of my favorite photographs from my forthcoming book Naturally Curious. I’ll be updating my blog periodically with new images, new stories, and more glimpses of New England in all seasons.

RED FOXES CLEANING DENS


Most authorities will tell you that red foxes don’t use dens in the winter, but a fox down the road has been using one all winter for shelter. Today I decided to check on the den, to look for tracks, scat or scraps of food nearby, and to my surprise found a large mound of fresh dirt and stones outside the entrance. Even though red foxes are breeding now, and not giving birth until late March or April, females are actively cleaning out several dens within their territory and then selecting one for their litter. Keep an eye peeled on hillsides with sandy soil, often in the woods but near a clearing, with a stream or pond fairly close by.


Welcome to a photographic journey through the fields, woods, and marshes of New England

Here I’ll be sharing some of my favorite photographs from my forthcoming book Naturally Curious. I’ll be updating my blog periodically with new images, new stories, and more glimpses of New England in all seasons.

FISHER FOOD

Unlike their name implies, fishers do not often prey on fish…however, they do eat porcupines, snowshoe hares, grouse, rabbits, squirrels, shrews, carrion (mostly deer and moose) and some vegetation. According to Whitaker and Hamilton (Mammals of the Eastern United States) food required for a fisher is estimated at about one snowshoe hare per week, a squirrel or two per week, or two to 22 mice per day – a porcupine feeds a fisher for about a month. These prey must have been allusive for the fisher I followed, for it spent energy digging up a hibernating American toad under several inches of snow. Probably because of the toxic fluid in the toad’s warts and glands, the fisher chose not to eat it, but left the toad for someone even hungrier than himself.