November 05, 2022

Dragonfly/Damselfly Tips

This is a collection of tips that may help in identification in the future...

Citrine Forktail
Distinct yellowish shoulder stripe and lack of blue-green wash on lower side of thorax suggest to me that this is a female Citrine instead of Furtive. (tip provided by @m_shields ) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/140990947

Furtive Forktail
The narrowness of the middorsal thoracic stripe and the extent of orange on S9-10 indicate Furtive, although there is less orange on S3 than typical. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/126125985

Note the bicolored stigma... https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/140699333

The orange females are immatures. This one is a mature female - no orange; instead, thorax is green on the side and dark brown on top, abdomen is blackish along entire top. (tips provided by @m_shields ) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/140699333

Needham's Skimmer
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/130940972
Actually, this is a female. Note the lack of secondary genitalia on the underside of S2-3 and the straight cerci. (tip provided by @m_shields )

Posted on November 05, 2022 15:57 by amybirder amybirder | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 14, 2022

Green Heron

In 2018, I spent the summer observing two Green Heron nests on our property in Sealevel, NC.
To document what I'd seen, I put some of my photographs and my comments in a YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlYcvQ0LxOU&t=2s

Of the two nests, the first and earliest one was the most successful. Five Green Herons lived to disperse, although the immature birds kept coming back to the nest site or surrounding area in the evenings to roost.

The second nest was later in the season and out of four eggs, one didn't hatch. One of the chicks died during a tropical storm that swept through the area, leaving two Green Herons to survive. Those two fledged successfully and dispersed late in the season (late August).

I was never able to determine if the two nests belonged to one pair of adults who successfully raised one brood early and later attempted another brood or if it was one pair and then a second pair that arrived or simply nested later. I never saw more than two adults in the area at the same time, leaving me unsure.

Most species accounts indicate that Green Herons only have one nest per season and make no attempt to have a second nest, but from what I observed, I still wonder. It seems strange that I only ever saw the two adults in the area--I would have expected to see at least one more and possibly two if there were actually two pairs nesting in our small area.

I found the juvenile behavior particularly interesting. The siblings seemed to want to stay together as follows.

First Nest: 5 siblings. Two were smaller and very shy and left to forage on their own much earlier than the other three. The bigger three stayed together at the nest site even after the adults stopped coming. They foraged in the boat basin for quite a long time after they were able to fly. One by one, they did fly off during the day to forage, but often returned together in the evening to roost.

Second Nest: Only 2 survived to fledge. Those two really stayed together and they stayed at the boat basin for quite a long time--at least a month--after they appeared able to fly. In late August they began to fly to nearby areas to forage but continued to remain together. Like the first nest siblings, they often returned in the evening to roost.

In both cases, the siblings seemed to want to stay in contact with each other and would forage together and return to the nest site to roost together in the evening. They continued this behavior until migration in October.

I searched for more information on Green Heron nesting and juvenile behavior but there is a paucity of information available on actual behavior. What I observed between the siblings was very interesting. The group of three siblings often roosted during the day on a bare, dead tree before they began flying to other areas to forage. They would jockey for position on the snag, trying to be the one perched on the highest limb. I wish I could have banded them to know if the same bird always "won" the top perch or if it was first one and then the other depending upon who got there first.

With the two later siblings, it was interesting to watch them together because they would often take up positions so that one would face one way while the other faced another way as if they were "watching each other's back." They stayed closer to each other than the first bunch did and seemed to prefer roosting lower down on the Virginia Creepers and other vines twisted together closer to the water.

The nest site was in a sweet bay bush that was overhanging an old, disused boat basin on our property. Virginia Creeper vines were twined all through the bush and there were other bushes as well as an oak tree growing around the basin, providing a great deal of cover.

In more recent years, there were some Green Herons hanging around the boat basin this last summer (2022) but we never saw any juvenile or immature herons emerge from the vegetation so the adults may not have made a nest attempt but were just foraging in the area.

No other nesting attempts appear to have been made in that particular area more recently.

Posted on October 14, 2022 17:07 by amybirder amybirder | 2 comments | Leave a comment

October 13, 2022

Comments - searching

You can find and search your comments here: https://www.inaturalist.org/comments?mine=true

This doesn’t include comments added in an ID though, which is addressed here:
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/include-identification-comments-in-total-of-comments-comment-search-etc/1563

As far as I know, there isn't any way to get to these functions unless you just "know" the URLs. Frankly, that stinks if it is true. I don't remember squat--I rely on menus or buttons to navigate. I went through most of the menus/links that I could find (and I may have missed some and I'm on a tablet at the moment which also affects what I see on the screen) but I'm darned if I can find anything that does what the top link does.

And there SHOULD be a menu item or link or button for that!
Anyway, I hope this journal post will help me remember that link.

Posted on October 13, 2022 22:24 by amybirder amybirder | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Downy Lobelia

Assistance provided by @mjpapay
For observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/135795891

The key trait is usually the morphology of the calyx lobes.

In green calyx that immediately subtends the colored part of the flower, if the elongate calyx lobes are

smooth, bald, and toothless = Lobelia amoena (usually stream side)
pubescent similar to stem, the pubescence increased to short hairs = Lobelia puberula
not pubescent but with long bristly ciliate hairs = Lobelia syphilitica (underside of floral tube usually distinctly striped white)
bald, but margin with sparse but distinct chunky teeth = Lobelia georgiana

Posted on October 13, 2022 17:20 by amybirder amybirder | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Cantharellus - Golden-colored Mushrooms

From post https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/133401890
Assisted by @pynklynx

I think you have a species of Cantharellus, the color of the gills does not match Craterellus. You might not remember what they felt like but the texture looks off for Craterellus. Craterellus is much more "rubbery" compared to Cantharellus and won't shred like string cheese...it's hard to guess from photos but to my eye the texture looks right for Cantharellus.

Posted on October 13, 2022 17:16 by amybirder amybirder | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Myzinum carolinianum - Wasp

Myzinum carolinianum
a member of Thynnid Flower Wasps Family Thynnidae

Helpful tip from @bob296
The yellow scapes and black antennae are the key

See observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/137988004

Posted on October 13, 2022 17:13 by amybirder amybirder | 1 comment | Leave a comment

Ladies' Tresses

Explanation by @arethusa

S. ovalis is a small plant with tiny flowers. More significantly, the lateral sepals are generally more separated from the petals and the labella are white or sometimes centrally yellow. S. odorata is actually the largest Spiranthes species in the United States and Canada, has lateral sepals which diverge little from the petals, and has labella which are centrally yellow or yellowish-green. The central yellow-green coloration isn't usually very strong, but it is visible in your photos if you look closely.

Posted on October 13, 2022 17:11 by amybirder amybirder | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 09, 2022

Lots of Furtive Forktails in the Swamp

I wanted to note that I made a bunch of observations today of Furtive Forktails in the swamp. They were in the sedges and grasses along the second run. Every time I moved, several of them would fly and then softly land in a new area.

Normally I would not make so many observations of the same species on the same day, but they were so abundant that I wanted to make note of that by adding a few observations. There were both male and females around.

In addition, there were quite a few Fragile Forktails and as always, the Blue Dashers and Eastern Pondhawks.

Posted on October 09, 2022 00:49 by amybirder amybirder | 0 comments | Leave a comment

September 25, 2022

Fall Warbler Migration at Cedar Island, NC

In 2019, I observed a mixed flock of migrating warblers on the trail through the Cedar Island Wildlife Refuge.

There had been a cold front that moved through on Oct 13
Oct 14 through 18 there were large numbers of warblers on the refuge (see eBird lists for those days).

Conditions for observing warblers on the Cedar Island refuge appear to be that it is mid-October and a cold front has pushed the birds south to the refuge. I went to the refuge in more recent years but didn't have the same conditions and didn't observe the same diversity in warblers. Will keep trying.

Posted on September 25, 2022 21:07 by amybirder amybirder | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Bird age codes

Age (Year Class) Codes
NUMERIC CODE - ALPHA CODE - ALPHA TRANSLATION - DESCRIPTION
0 - U - Unknown - A bird that cannot be placed in any classes below . Except in cases where data were not recorded or have been lost during the nesting season, ONLY BIRDS BANDED AFTER THE BREEDING SEASON AND BEFORE JANUARY 1 CAN BE CORRECTLY CODED U.

1 AHY After Hatching Year A bird known to have hatched before the calendar year of banding; year of hatch otherwise unknown. Example: Banded 1997 - Hatched before January 1, 1997. Birds that would have been coded U on December 31 graduate to class AHY on January 1.

2 HY Hatching Year A bird capable of sustained flight and known to have hatched during the calendar year in which it was banded. Example: Banded 1997 - Hatched 1997.

3 J Juvenile OBSOLETE, old code used for nestling or recent fledgling, probably mostly translatable to age L but can not be certain. Code still exists in database with old records.

4 L Local A nestling or young bird incapable of sustained flight. After a young bird achieves sustained flight it becomes age HY until December 31

5 SY Second Year A bird known to have hatched in the calendar year preceding the year of banding and in its second calendar year of life. Example: Banded 1997 - Hatched 1996.

6 ASY After Second Year A bird known to have hatched earlier than the calendar year preceeding the year of banding; year of hatch otherwise unknown. Example: Banded 1997 - Hatched 1995 or earlier.

7 TY Third Year A bird known to have hatched in the calendar year two years prior to the year of banding, now in its third calendar year of life. Example: Banded 1997 - Hatched 1995.

8 ATY After Third Year A bird known to have hatched prior to two years prior to the year of banding, now in at least its fourth calendar year of life. Example: Banded 1997 - Hatched 1994 or earlier.

Posted on September 25, 2022 21:00 by amybirder amybirder | 0 comments | Leave a comment

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