This Week at Sandy Pines
July 21st, 2018
Mourning Dove, window strike.
Mourning doves have long, pointed wings that are almost falcon-like in appearance. Their pointed tails are longer than any other doves. These design features enable these birds to fly fast.
Mourning doves have been clocked at 55 mph!
Mourning Doves can be found in almost any kind of open or semi-open habitats. Most common in edge habitats having both trees and open ground.
Doves forage mostly on the ground but will sometimes perch on plants to take seeds. They frequent bird feeders, often eating on the ground under elevated feeders. Eats quickly to fill their crop with seeds, then digests them while resting.
Diet consists of seeds including cultivated grains, grasses, ragweeds, and many other plants.
Nest is very flimsy platform of twigs. The male collects and brings material and the female builds the nest.
Clutch size is usually 1-3 eggs. Incubation is done by both parents. The eggs take about 14 days to hatch. In southern areas a pair may raise up to 5-6 broods in a year.
Both parents work together to feed their new babies “crop milk” or “pigeon milk” for the first few days of their life. Crop milk is rich in protein and fat, is secreted by the adults’ crop lining, and regurgitated to the little ones. By the fourth day of life the diet starts to consist of seeds, and by two weeks of age the youngsters are nearly fledged.The parents continue to feed the young for the next 1-2 weeks after they have fledged the nest.
Mallard with a foot and leg injury.
American Robin, orphaned.
Mourning Dove fledgling, orphaned.
Rock Dove squab, nuisance removal.
Eastern Grey Squirrel, orphaned.
Groundhog with a head injury.
Eastern Towhee, unknown trauma.
Eastern Towhees are usually seen rummaging in the leaf litter or creeping through thick shrubs. Towhees tend to hop wherever they go; often moving deliberately and giving themselves plenty of time to spot food items. They scratch at leaves with a characteristic two-footed backward hop, then dart after anything they’ve uncovered in the leaf litter and forest floor.
The Towhees diet consists of insects, seeds, and berries. Including beetles, caterpillars, moths, true bugs, ants, and many others, also spiders, snails, and millipedes, many seeds, acorns, berries, and small fruits.
Eastern Towhees usually nest on the ground, the nest is a cup sunk into the fallen leaves up to the level of the rim. In some cases they build their nests in shrubs or grape, honeysuckle tangles, up to about 4 feet off the ground.
The nest is built by the female. It’s design is an open cup of grass, twigs, weeds, rootlets and strips of bark then lined with finer materials; animal hair is often included.
Both parents feed the nestlings. The young leave the nest about 10-12 days after hatching and may remain with the parents for some time afterwards.
Two broods per year are usually raised.
Mourning Dove nestling, attacked by a cat.
Great Horned Owl, hit by vehicle.
Big Brown Bat unable to fly.
Cedar Waxwing, orphaned.
Eastern Cottontail, orphaned.
Common Grackle nestling, attacked by a cat.
Rock Dove squab, nuisance removal.
Yellow Bellied Sapsucker, window strike.
Blue Jay nestling, fell from nest.
Mallard ducklings, orphaned.
Northern Cardinal juvenile, window strike.
Eastern Cottontails, orphaned.
Big Brown Bat, attacked by a cat.
Released or Ready to be Released
Eastern Grey Squirrels
A couple Painted Turtles were released this week after being in care from injuries sustained from being hit by vehicles.
Ring Billed Gull
The first group of 13 Ring Billed Gulls were released Thursday! They had a blast flying with the colony they were released into. Our volunteer Liz was kind enough to take them and send us a video. The video can be viewed on our Facebook page.
We still need eggs, lots of eggs! We are currently going through 2-4 dozen eggs a day, and we have many different types of animals eating them. Our foxes, baby crows, raven, raccoons, and opossums love eggs.
And that’s it for another week at Sandy Pines. Be safe out there!
Linda and Julia