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Wow, what a winter so far. I love the snow we've seen this past week, but kind of ready for the cold to leave for a while. :) It sure hasn't hurt the wildlife sightings. So far this winter we've seen countelss deer, as many as 40 Eagles at one time, 23 Trumpeter Swans, a Mute Swan, 30-40 Canada Geese, a whole bunch of ducks of many varieties, brilliantly red Cardinals, Blue Jays, Tufted Titmouse, White-Throated Sparrows, Mourning Doves, a Starling, and countless Wild turkeys with even a very interesting fight between two gobblers. We also saw the return of the Coyotes on Lost Field along with a few Eagles there as well. In fact, we had an adult Golden Eagle return there as well.
The increase in activity in Lost Field is largely due to being able to fix some of the trail across the creek. It has been washed out so bad over the last couple of months that the caretakers could not make it to that cam. Yeah, we have had some rain this past year. :) We were finally able to get it smoothed out a bit so the caretakers could visit it occasionally to add some meat.
Winter also bring the shed antlers of the Whitetail bucks. Surprisingly, Stickers, the 29 point monster buck, has already dropped his antlers. It was a surprise because usually the larger bucks drop a little later. We then learned why Stickers dropped his yesterday when we saw he was injured. It appears he has a gouge in hip. This probably came from a close encounter with another large buck. We will monitor things, but he appears to be headed in the right direction as we witnessed him eating quite a bit last night. If it is a real bad injury, deer will typically hide away and not eat much. Last year, we hung a lot of the antlers on the end of the feeder after most of them had dropped. Drop us a note and let us know if you would like us to repeat that this year.
Sunshine (and a little heat) would be nice for a spell. Typical for this time of year; the daylight hours are shorter so there is less time for the large solar panels to charge the batteries. Although we designed the systems to go 4 to 5 days without sun, winter time always pushes things to the limits. At times, we just don't get enough sunshine to keep things going on some cams. Some cams are more susceptible to this problem than others due to their location and position. If the weather is not too extreme, engineers will deliver fresh batteries to the towers. When conditions are like they have been, we do not send them out and just wait for everyone to do the sunshine dance. :)
That’s all for now. Again, thank you so much for helping us celebrate our 1st anniversary. We hope you continue to enjoy your experience. All of the staff here wishes all of you a blessed 2010!
Keep up with the latest USeeWildlife activity:
Facebook – You can be a fan or friend of USeeWildlife on Facebook at www.facebook.com/useewildlife
Twitter – You can follow significant sightings posted immediately by our cam operators at www.twitter.com/useewildlife
YouTube – You can also catch our highlight clips that we post to our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/useewildlife
I'm so excited to join Useewildlife at the beginning of its second year, and I only wish I had discovered the site on Dec. 30, 2008.
There are so many unique antlers on these deer so I would love to see them on display ~ so I vote YES, hang them.
Thanks for this wonderful site, I love taking a stroll through the entire preserve several times/day.