Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 27
Some people must have done a snow dance, as the snow is sure coming down and it looks like it will be for a few more days, according to the weather report. They are making snow at White Face and Gore Mountains and hope to be open by Thanksgiving. If it keeps up like this, maybe sooner.
I’ve had lots of questions about the bird deaths and the fewer numbers of birds that are in the area and around the world. In the US and Canada, there has been a 30% decline in all birds since 1970. This study was from a team of scientists from 7 institutions in the analysis of population trends for 529 bird species. 2.9 billion birds gone in just the last 50 years. Ken Rosenberg, a Cornell Lab of Ornithology Conservation Scientist, says the loss of billions of birds is alarming.
Major reasons include:
- Outdoor cats kill more birds than any other non-native threat.
- Window hits are the second leading cause of bird deaths; tall, lit up buildings are a big killer during the migrations in spring and fall.
- Loss of habitat has really cut into the grassland birds, as farmers are harvesting crops faster than these birds can raise a family.
- The use of 1 billion pounds of pesticides in the US each year takes its toll.
Protect our planet from plastics, as 91% of plastics are not recycled, and they take 400 years to degrade.
Bird watchers are one of the science’s most vital sources of data on how the ecological world is faring. Project Feeder Watch just started this weekend and it’s not to late to become a feeder watcher which is all done on line now, just go to feederwatch.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I did receive the necropsy of the 2 dead loon chicks from Sixth Lake and it couldn’t be determined if they were killed by a boat or by a rough loon on the lake. My guess is by a boat, as that pair has had success in raising chicks on the lake for the last several years, even with other loons fishing there.
Speaking of loons, there are still several chicks still hanging out on many area lakes. Maybe this snow will wake them up as to what’s coming, and they will start their first journey to the ocean. Ellie George just photographed the chicks on Paradox Lake today, with some snow on their backs. Earlier this week, she caught them eating crayfish and frogs in the inlet.
From reports that I’ve been getting, the bucks are getting into the rut big time. My friend, Craig, has come hunting in this area for the last forty years and stopped in Saturday with a ten-point he got that morning near Inlet. Last year, he missed getting a buck because the big snowstorm made him leave early, but he hasn’t missed getting a buck too many years. He said this buck was following a doe, and a smaller buck was not far behind when he shot.
Another hunter stopped while I was cutting firewood and told me he had a nice buck run across the road in the Plains. It was chasing a doe and he found all kinds of buck rubs on trees and scrapes on the ground in that area, so he planned on going back there today. Today would have been a good day to pick up a good track and follow it in the snowstorm. The snow knocks down your scent and makes it easier to sneak up on a good buck, especially if they are chasing a doe and seem to forget about being hunted.
While I was checking traps last week, I came upon some blood in the trail I was walking on and it went right by my set, which held nothing. I continued following the blood trail and came upon the hunter who had been following it. The deer crossed a stream and went right down several old beaver flies. I left the hunter, but put a note on his car. He called me the next day and said he didn’t find the deer after following it another mile or more. He said this buck was sparring with a smaller eight-point, with two does not far away when he shot. Some bucks do get away but I’m sure this one died, and the coyotes and ravens will feast on this one.
My brother sent me a picture of a big 19-point buck taken in the Schroon Lake Area, and this one didn’t get away. I also heard of a big eight-point buck, weighing 205 pounds dressed, taken in the Old Forge area. Be sure of your target and what is beyond.
Still collecting wildflower seeds, but that’s another story. See ya.
Loon chick eating crayfish, Paradox Lake, 11/6/19
19-Point Buck near Schroon Lake