28 de agosto de 2021

Drought and deer

I've never seen as many deer (and 1 bear) on the drive we took last night as we saw last night. Couldn't even photograph them all as it was getting too dark by the time we hit the last 100 metres of the drive before the highway, and the final field probably had upwards of 40 mule deer in it.

Obviously the drought has taken its toll on the feed available in the hills and the wildlife is coming to the fields in numbers not seen previously. We've also seen an unprecedented number of fawns while driving this year - maybe one or two per year in all year previous, last night alone we saw a dozen. Again, likely something to do with the drought and the lack of nutritious food and cover it has brought outside of irrigated areas. The hills and fields which are not irrigated by man or nature are browner than I have ever seen in 30 years here.

I don't think the fires account for the deer in the fields as I think these deer have always been around just not in the fields in these numbers, and would not be deer whose territory was impacted by the wildfires which were a bit further away than I think these ones would range. I think it is mainly just the local herd (s) going to the only place where real food and cover is available.

Probably too many deer around for the numbers not to take a hit over the winter and spring with this drought in play. But I also think there are likely way more wild animals than there would be naturally in my area in any case, and the competition between ungulates for grass will be exacerbated over this (the species include white tail deer which were not seen here when I first arrived in the area and are now so abundant they already threatened the mule deer herd, as well as bighorn sheep which were deliberately introduced decades ago).

The bighorn sheep were introduced under the continuing justification that they were part of the landscape previously, although they had died out in the area previous to European arrival. A justification I think is ridiculous as it is still interfering with a balance that nature created.

Anotado en 28 de agosto de 2021 a las 06:44 PM por marshall20 marshall20 | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario

01 de julio de 2021

Birds and the heat wave

Unprcedented in recorded temperature history, the heat wave with temps above 40C for 5 straight days in the Interior of BC is impacting bird behaviour.

Smaller birds are more active in the first hour of daylight and then are not seen for the rest of the day outside of hedge rows. Sparrows and tanagers in particular do not even show up at the feeder or the fountains after 9:30am . European banded doves have been notably absent for the entire heat wave. Crows and magpies are still being seen at the fountain, with robins out once or twice after dawn in daylight hours.

All birds big and small displaying open beak behaviour whenever perched. Birdbath has not been used once - very unusual.

Honeybees and wasps flying to any water source from the fountains to the pool. Dragonfly observed dying upon landing on the ground in the front yard.

Anotado en 01 de julio de 2021 a las 04:05 PM por marshall20 marshall20 | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario