Friday, February 14, 2014

The Javelinas are back!

Haven't written for a long while mostly because there has been little animal life to report on, despite the warm sunny days and cool clear nights. But a week or so ago the coyotes began their nightly forays into our area. One night we had a lone one very close. I heard him or her calling--a few dog-like barks followed up with an eerie howl that went from low to impossibly high. In the far distance I heard the call answered. And the same night a pack came very close to the house.

Last night at around ten, I heard what sounded like dogs lapping water out of my water-lily bowl outside my bathroom window. When I went to investigate I saw six javelina of varying sizes crowded around drinking. The moon was very bright giving me a clear view of them as they ambled across the driveway to nibble birdseeds left on the ground under the feeder. After that they all went to  investigate the compost pile. This morning the papaya skins and other vegetables are gone.

I had despaired of seeing them again since it's been months since they've been around. Creatures are waking up, or should I say on the move? There were no tiny babies with this group but some seemed small enough to be last year's babies. Oh what I would give to have a family come by with the tiny ones!

On a sad note, I found a dead hummingbird yesterday. It was a broad-billed male, I think. I worried that somehow I'd caused its death with chlorinated hummingbird water but realized this was not so. For one thing I don't smell any chlorine in our water and I'm very sensitive to it and would know...also feeder had been up for a few days. I took both feeders down and re-filled just in case. If left up too long the water can produce a sort of mold that will kill the tiny birds. I tried to call Audubon but they had gone home for the day.

I read on line that hummingbirds are all about two hours away from death! This because their metabolisms need replenishment constantly. Its amazing how they migrate. This one may have been on the move and simply couldn't keep going. I've noticed some frantic activity around the feeders the past few days. Also Gila Woodpecker has been drinking them dry!

I've noticed wildflowers coming up in the desert behind us. Spring is definitely on the way!

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