Tag Archives: Mourning Dove

Cape Ann Wildlife: A Year in Pictures

snowy-owl-gloucester-massachusetts-c2a9kim-smith-2015My husband Tom suggested that I write a year-end post about the wildlife that I had photographed around Cape Ann. Super idea I thought, that will be fun and easy. Not realizing how daunting and many hours later, the following is a collection of some favorite images from this past year, beginning with the male Snowy Owl photographed at Captain Joe’s dock last winter, to December’s Red-tailed Hawk huntress.
red-tailed-hawk-eating-prey-gloucester-massachusetts-21-copyright-kim-smith

Living along the great Atlantic Flyway, we have been graced with a bevy of birds. Perhaps the most exciting arrival of all occurred when early summer brought several pairs of nesting Piping Plovers to Gloucester’s most beloved (and most highly trafficked) of beaches, Good Harbor Beach. Their story is being documented on film.

piping-plovers-chicks-nestlings-babies-kim-smithWork on Mr. Swan’s film will also resume this January—the winters are simply not long enough for all I have planned!swan-outstretched-wings-niles-pond-coyright-kim-smith

While photographing and filming Red-winged Blackbirds this past spring, there was a face-to-face encounter with a hungry coyote, as well as several River Otter sightings.

female-red-winged-blackbird-copyright-kim-smitrhFemale Red-winged Blackbirdeastern-coyote-massachusetts-kim-smith

The summer’s drought brought Muskrats out from the reeds and into full view at a very dry Henry’s Pond, and a short film about a North American Beaver encounter at Langsford Pond. Numerous stories were heard from folks who have lived on Cape Ann far longer than I about the extraordinary number of egrets, both Snowy and Great, dwelling on our shores.
three-muskrat-family-massachusetts-copyright-kim-smithThree Muskrateers
female-monarch-depositing-eggs-1-copyright-kim-smithnewly-emerged-monarch-butterfly-copyright-kim-smith-jpgThere were few Monarch sightings, but the ones seen thankfully deposited eggs in our garden. Thank you to my new friend Christine who shared her Cecropia Silkmoth eggs with me and thank you to the countless readers who have extended an invitation to come by and photograph an exciting creature in their yard.

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Pristine beaches, bodies of fresh water, and great swathes of protected marsh and woodland make for ideal wildlife habitat, and Cape Ann has it all. With global climate change pushing species further away from the Equator, I imagine we’ll be seeing even more creatures along our shores. Butterfly and bee populations are overall in decline, not only because of climate change and the use of pesticides, but also because of loss of habitat. As Massachusetts has become less agrarian and more greatly forested, fields of wildflowers are becoming increasingly rare. And too fields often make the best house lots. Farmers and property owners developing an awareness of the insects’ life cycle and planting and maintaining fields and gardens accordingly will truly help the butterflies and bees.
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Thank you to all our readers for your kind comments of appreciation throughout the year for the beautiful wild creatures with which we share this gorgeous peninsula called Cape Ann.

The images are not arranged in any particular order. If you’d like to read more about a particular animal, type the name of the animal in the search box and the original post should come up.

I wonder what 2017 will bring?

nine-piping-plovers-napping-gloucester-copyright-kim-smith

sandpipers-copyright-kim-smith

LOVE BIRDS!

I’ve been keeping my eye on this pair of Mourning Doves and early this morning I found their nest! They saw me filming and photographing them and flew away. I hope they don’t abandon the nest as it would be wonderful to film the babies (squabs).

Mourning Dove Pair Cape Ann Kim Smith Designs.comThe male approaches the female with bobbing head and puffed chest, inviting her to a nesting site.

Mourning Dove Female Cape Ann Kim Smith Designs.comFemale Mourning Doves build the nest.

Mourning Dove Building nest -2 Cape Ann kim smith designs.comThe male dove carries the nest building material to the female.

Mourning Dove Female Building nest Cape Ann Kim Smith Designs.com A loose collection of twigs, pine cone needles, and grass, the nest is usually sited in a tree.

DSCF2662I hope I can find the nest again! Keeping my fingers crossed the pair will still be there when the rain lets up.

Mourning Dove Cape Ann Kim Smith Designs.comMourning Dove morning song

WELCOME SWEET HARBINGERS OF SPRING

A sure sign spring is on the way with these three singing their way onto the scene! 

While the trees have yet to leaf out, late winter is a terrific time of year to see songbirds. As the air temperature warms, singing their love songs and courting, establishing and defending territories, and nest building endeavors are more easily observed in the leafless trees.

American Robin kimsmithdesigns.comAmerican Robin cocking his head while looking for worms.

Mourning Dove kismithdesigns.comMourning Dove with air-puffed feathers to keep warm.

Red-winged Blackbird Male kimsmithdesigns.comMale Red-winged Blackbird perched on a cattail. Red-winged Blackbirds use the fluff of cattails as nesting material.

Male Red-winged Blackbird Love Song (turn up your volume)

What To Feed Everyday Backyard Birds

During this snowiest of winters, we’ve been refilling the bird feeders several times a day. We usually only purchase safflower seeds because squirrels do not much care for the hard shell seeds. Recently though I thought that with all the snow cover, our little bird friends would benefit from some variety and decided to add black oil sunflower seeds to the mix. What a colossal error! This morning at the feeder a fight broke out over the sunflower seeds, with no less than five squirrels defending their new found cache. The sunflower seeds also drew two fat black rats to the feeders last night. We’re back to strictly safflower seeds!

The following are eight common birds that we see at feeders at this time of year and these eight species are content with the safflower seeds provided.

Male Cardinal ©Kim Smioth 2015Male Cardinal

Song Sparrow ©Kim Smith 2015Song Sparrow

House Sparrow ©kim Smith 2015House Sparrows 

Mourning Dove ©Kim Smith 2015Mourning Dove

Caroloina Wren  bird bath ©Kim Smith 2015Carolina Wren

White-breasted Nuthatch ©Kim Smith 2015White-breasted Nuthatch

Black-capped Chicadee ©Kim Smith 2015Black-capped Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse ©Kim Smith 2015Tufted Titmouse

Safflowers seeds are available in bulk at the Essex Bird Shop.

First Snowstorm of 2014: Snapshots From East Gloucester ~ What a Difference from AM to PM!

Benjamin Duckworth -1 ©Kim Smith 2013From earlier in the day while the storm was still blowing ~

Benjamin Duckworth 2 © Kim Smith 2013Benjamin Duckworth Building an Awesome Fort

Smith's Cove ©Kim Smith 2013Super High Tide

Don’t forget our feathered friends. I filled the bird feeders three times!

Mourning Dove ©Kim Smith 2013Mourning Dove

Black-capped Chickadee ©Kim Smith 2013White-breasted Nuthatch

The sun started to break through mid-afternoon. I headed to Smith’s Cove and then drove (precariously) to Eastern Point to catch the setting sun. Happy Snow Days!

North Shore Art Association ©Kim Smith 2013North Shore Art Association

Our Lady of good Voyage ©Kim Smith 2013Our Lady of Good Voyage

Eastern point Lighthouse ©Kim Smith 2013Eastern Point Lighthouse

Eastern Point Yacht Club  -2©Kim Smith 2013White-breasted Nuthatch ©Kim Smith 2013-©Kim Smith 2013Eastern Point Yacht Club