Today is Thursday, August 17, 2017

Past or Future ?

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My Brown Thrasher

I am hoping that the weather will cooperate with me this past weekend. It seems that I will be having to write this in the future tense. Our state park system allows us to do online reservations for the various campgrounds. My plans are to still be at Fall Creek Falls State Park when my deadline draws near. One might say that I will be on special assignment. At least that is what talk show host Coleman Walker says when he takes a few days off.

I mentioned last week that my resident Brown Thrasher has been spotted in my back yard feeding underneath my bird feeders. I finally got lucky and after I opened my kitchen window and he took off again. I waited a few more minutes and he returned so I could get him to pose for a few pictures. He found a kernal of corn on the ground and was jumping up and coming down hard with his beak trying to break the corn into manageable bite sizes.

The Brown Thrasher, ( Toxostoma rufum), is a member of the family, Mimidae, which includes our new world Mockingbirds and Catbirds. Our resident Thrasher is what is called an "Omnivore" which means that he will eat insects, fruits and nuts. It is also given the name Thrasher for his habit of swinging it's bill in leaf matter to look for food.

Other birds showing up to eat at my special lunch counter is a pair of Eurasian Collared Doves. They are whiter looking than our Mourning doves and are about one and a half times larger. These birds were introduced into the Bahamas in 1970 and since have spread all the way north to the Great Lakes and Nova Scotia.

For the past several weeks, I have watched the male doing his best to impress the female by flying straight up into the air and then gliding back down in a circle. Finally the female must have been impressed and now sits on two white eggs in a stick ness. The female sits on the eggs at night and then the male takes over incubation during the day time. The eggs hatch anywhere from 14 to 18 days and the young birds fledge 15 to 19 days later.

Has anybody noticed the beaver dam on Town Creek next to the Jimmy Floyd Center? Anthony Gray and I walked down underneath the bridge on North Castle Heights Avenue to get a closer look. The water behind the dam looks to be about 18 inches deep.

It looks like I am going to be a little less winded this week, but hope to get back on track with next weeks article. I left out last Friday for a camping trip up to Fall Creek Falls and hope something down there will fire up my imagination for next weeks story. The weather is supposed to be muggy with temperatures in the 90's, but with the elevation factored in, I'm hoping for the 80's.

I would love to hear from you as to what's lurking about in your neighborhood and at your feeders. You can write me at, 606 Fairview Ave., Lebanon, TN, 37087, or e-mail me at, rpope15@bellsouth.net

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