Sunday, August 14, 2016


Looking west over north field from trees midway the lane
While Mike was out cycling the other day, I took the dogs for a walk. I felt a certain uncharacteristic lack of enthusiasm on the part of the dogs. It's not unusual for Nellie to hang back, but Bess is usually up for any activity. Perhaps it was a little too hot. Or maybe they thought we should wait for Mike. At any rate, once we reached the top of Plank’s Pitch, they were willing enough for an early return to the house.
I had the camera with me and enjoyed vistas that included neatly planted fields and puffy white clouds. 

I took this picture from the neighbor's. From this angle, we see the CRP at Plank's, then June's field, and then the north field on the right side of the photo.

Despite the heat, the scent of rodent caught Bess' attention, and Nellie joined the search.
We have a family of seven juvenile American coots living in the pond. We don’t know what happened to the parents, but the youngsters fend for themselves, living on the abundant supply of algae. It’s difficult to get pictures of them through the cattails. It’s very nice to have this activity on the pond. KW


Hallie said...

I worry about the cootie parents. Is it customary for the parents to leave when the babies are old enough to fend? What does the nature book say?

Kathy said...

I found lots of info about the American coot online, some of it rather entertaining. It was difficult, though, to find an answer to your question. The following is from a master's thesis written in 1950 by Gordon W. Gullion.

"By 16 to 20 days the young coots feed themselves to a large extent
and by 30 days are independent, though still often feeding in company
with their parents. By this time brood counts become more reliable,
since the immatures of each brood tend to become a closely knit group."

So, the young ones are well-able to fend for themselves, and it's possible that the parents move on to breed again, but I don't know for sure. The pond provides plenty for them to eat. No need to worry about the parents either. These are scrappy birds.