Mar 162011
 

Want to know more about the watchable wildlife around you? Want to know the spots that people in your area are visiting to find their mammals, birds, invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians and more?

The (no more than weekly) WildObs Wildlife Update e-mail brings you encounters from the WildObs wildlife database centered around you.

Sign-up for WildObs to get wildlife updates delivered to you, and customized by you:

  • Nearest public/syndicated wildlife sightings around you
  • Closest wildlife sightings from species in your favorites or wish-list
  • Any wildlife sightings from your friends in your network
  • Featured encounters
  • New places and species

Use your WildObs updates to connect with the wildlife around you, and find your nature.

Here is an example:

A screen shot of a WildObs Wildlife Updates e-mail

Learn about the wildlife around you

Sign up for WildObs to connect with the nature around you.

Feb 232011
 

If you love getting out and about in the USA you probably already know the amazing people at US-Parks.com, and know that they provide you with online information on national parks & monuments, scenic byways, getaways, and even hiking trails. They are passionate about the great outdoors, and have developed an amazing site to help you plan your outdoor adventures.

US-Parks.com Website

Visit the US-Parks.com website...

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park by US-Parks.com

So, we are very pleased to announce that…

WildObs and US-Parks.com have partnered to add wildlife encounters to their outdoor information.

So now, along with all the information you need on Yellowstone National Park from park information to lodging and more, you can now get your information on plants and wildlife of Yellowstone brought to you by the WildObs community.

US-Parks are adding WildObs encounters to their already impressive wildlife & park pages, allowing people to get a feel for what species have been seen recently, and what they could be lucky enough to encounter.

If you are looking for American Bison, or perhaps want to see the tufted ears of the Abert’s Squirrel, you can find out about either of them on the US-Parks Mammals pages. Go check out the US-Parks.com site, you’ll be amazed at all you can find.

For the WildObs community, our crowd-sourced wildlife database gets better with each new viewer, and subsequent new contributor. An encounter with a new species at a local wildlife place could become the inspiration for that next trip, that new ‘lifer’ (new species on life-list) or wonderful photography subject. The more who share their nature, the more we can all find our nature.

Please share your nature.

May 112010
 

Wow, what a wonderful (long) weekend of wildlife!

Wildlife Drive

Not one but two Shrike, it must be Skrike Time

Friday we went for a drive, ostensibly looking for Golden Eagle. On the way out of the canyon we saw our herd of “canyon greeters” (the Coal Creek Canyon Elk herd) but also a less usual visitor, a shrike. We didn’t get close enough for an id, but it was a welcome visit. A few miles, a pair of coyote later, and we were stopped at the lookout point for eagle. To our surprise another shrike (likely a Loggerhead Shrike) came and posed on a fence post right next to us.

We saw more Elk, the obligatory Mule Deer herd (browsing the valley), and a Turkey Vulture recycling a Red Fox before we came upon the Golden Eagle sitting high on a power pylon. Today the bird was resting, preening; attempting the important work of maintaining the flight equipment.

Migrants Return

On Saturday both our local singers returned, almost as if they arrived back together. The house wren — our most energetic singer — was back from migration, and already singing from atop one of ‘his’ two bird boxes (allowing his lady choice of abode.) The green-tailed towhee — loud and glorious — was happy to pick a bush to sing from. Two of our most anticipated birds, back the same day … a wonderful event!

Barr Lake State Park

Sunday — a mother’s day treat — a trip to Barr Lake State Park. We arrived in time to catch the last available spots on the Eagle Express a naturalist guided open air ride to the eagles. We should have made reservations, but this day we were just very lucky. When you go to Barr Lake, book the ‘train’ … it is great for the young and old, and still fun for those in between.

On the ride out we saw a bull snake swimming across the canal, various orioles, and scads of crazed western kingbirds. Too cold (this year) for the carp to be splashing their mating rituals (and that is quite a sight), but the bald eagle were nesting, as were the swainson’s hawks. Perhaps the best aspect of the ride was the northern harrier that put on an amazing show by gliding feet above the reeds. A mule deer gave backdrop to the aerial display off by wandering gently past the harrier.

Barr Lake was alive with life, but perhaps the best part of the day were the many bull snakes.

Bull Snake Show

We came upon a pair of snakes right as the male was making his advances. He’d been patient and taken his time (or so we were told by other observers) but now was pressing his advantage. She recoiled, and puffed up her head (see her pushing out her cheeks) but instead of giving up he chose to strike. He hit his target precisely and grabbed her behind the neck, and now secure from her fangs he attempted his moves. We are not sure if he scored in the ensuing tussle but the two of them writhed and splashed in the waters of Barr Lake for almost a minute before separating & going in opposite directions.

He's making his advances

She doesn't seem interested. Note the puffed up head.

Not sure the outcome (in terms of mating) but he pushed his point. They tussled for a while (part of it underwater) then separated.

Feb 112010
 

Use WildObs Lookout to find your nature:

  • Find nearby encounter from the WildObs community (including for your favorite and wish-list species.)
  • Find nearby wildlife places (National Parks, State Parks, and more.)
  • Browse encounters from the WildObs community.

The latest WildObs Lookout is in the App Store:

WildObs Lookout menu: find, community, config

Find your nature with WildObs Lookout

Find Nearby Encounters:

WildObs Lookout: Nearby Encounters

Find nearby nature with WildObs Lookout

View an Encounter:

WildObs Lookout: view the encounter

Find your nature with WildObs Lookout

Show the Species:

WildObs Lookout: Species

Find your nature with WildObs Lookout

Map the Encounter:

WildObs Lookout: Map the encounter

Find your nature with WildObs Lookout

Dec 082009
 

WildObs Mobile 1.1 for Android now supports Android 1.5 to Android 2.0 and beyond.

Here is a brief overview of WildObs Mobile including how to use WildObs Mobile for Android to:

  • Browse community wildlife encounters (featured, most popular and recent.)
  • Perform a species look-up by name or partial name, viewing photographs and other encounters.

Find out more about WildObs Mobile for Android or (if you are on an Android device) go to the market:

Available on the Android Market
Nov 252009
 

Want access to your wildlife encounters when you are out an about? Want to know what you saw the last time you visited this park, beach, or location? Want to know what others have been seeing that isn’t on your life-list? If so, then WildObs Naturalist (the latest member of the WildObs family of wildlife applications) is for you.

WildObs Naturalist ... find your nature

WildObs Naturalist ... find your nature

View your recent, local and popular encounters (or encounters by tag):

WildObs Naturalist: Your encounters

WildObs Naturalist: Your encounters

Review your wildlife life-list:

Check your species life list

Check your species life-list

See what others have seen close to where you are that is not on your life-list, then find out where to find those species locally:

WildObs Naturalist - Local species not on your Life-list

WildObs Naturalist - Local species not on your Lifelist

Apr 302009
 
Hummer on a Stick

Hummer on a Stick

Reduce hummer stress: place feeders around your property out of sight of each other.

Hummingbird males (at least our broad-tailed hummingbird males) like sticks.

They like a vantage point to oversee their territory, to dominate all in sight. They terrorize any males that come into range (even if merely flying by) and hound any poor females stopping on a feeder to grab a rest and a bite (ok slurp.) These sticks are what they need in order to be mini masters of their domain.

So, don’t create a vantage stick? Don’t support this little megalomaniac? Maybe, but they’ll be little the same little bleeder anyway, just from a nearby branch or a bush.

If you put up the stick and attract them to it, at least you get some say in the matter. You can locate it such that he cannot see another feeder hidden around the corner of the house allowing those nesting females a break.

Literally within minutes of me putting this stick up we had a settler. He gave himself a good stretch and made himself at home.

Stretch

Stretch

See more hummer encounters on WildObs: Wildlife from you, for you and around you.

Apr 172009
 

Lake George is a wonderful little lake: built as an ice producer for the miner at Cripple Creek, newly refurbished after muskrat undermined it’s dam, currently undergoing random dredging attempts, below 11 mile canyon and next to the South Platte River (when it is but a stream.) It is also next to the cabin we go to.

Lake George (albeit now full)

Lake George (albeit now full)

This weekend it saw frost/rain/snow but also sun/blue skies. Each walk around it was a different and invigorating experience. Spring is building on the lake.

There were more water fowl (mainly coot & ducks) than it normally sees; a vast array of species. Luckily I had a sister-in-law wildlife biologist (central flyway) to help me identify the species ‘cos I was lost amongst the masses. Gadwell, Pintail, Cinnamon Teal, Canvas back, Merganser, Bufflehead the list goes on. It was great to see them out enjoying the lake and feasting on it’s weed before they moved north. A mass of life.

On the cold mornings (after a spring snow) there was a thin layer of ice on the lake, and frost on the ground & cat tails. Red-winged blackbirds were settling in, with males singing to the world. A Belted Kingfisher stalked along the Platte, it’s call clear and distinct. On the muddy banks (even down at the water’s edge) mountain & western bluebirds took advantage of the damp ground to find food. Nice to see all these guys back for the season.

A couple of muskrats showed themselves to us in the river. Swimming away oblivious to the fact that they’d been the primary cause for a $1M & multi-year dam repair job (they’d just  been doing their thing & burrowing.) These guys remind me of the (somewhat cuter) water voles of the UK, just bigger/more gangly. Encounters with them make me smile.

The Tarryall Mountains red, and further enhanced with sunrise light, surrounded a low patch of cloud (technically fog I guess) from the remaining evaporating snow. The view from lakeside over the water and to this sight in the west was breath taking. Slowly the fog moved up and dissipated.

Turkey vultures (firsts for the season) demonstrated their amazing gliding skills, effortlessly skimming high and then low (almost brushing the ground) as they search for carrion. Ugly with the red faces yet beautiful in flight. Again, a welcome return for the season.

No bald eagle this weekend, but before we left we had one quick search for “a large white bird” my wife noticed flying over/down to the lake. Our inquisitiveness was rewarded by the gift of (separately) a white American Pelican and an Osprey both fishing the lake (although the Pelican took the more sedate approach.)

Spring is growing fast & strong at Lake George, CO.