NATURE MONCTON INFORMATION LINE, November 15, 2018 (Thursday)
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Edited by: Nelson Poirier email@example.com
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Info Line # 506-384-6397 (384-NEWS)
**Doreen Rossiter leaves a nice report from her Alma feeder yard. After not seeing the male RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER [Pic à ventre roux] for two days, Doreen spotted a chase between a male and female Red-bellied Woodpecker going on. Then they boldly perched on the front deck railing. Doreen comments that the feathers on the male’s red head looked just like silk in the sunlight … very striking.
She had two PINE GROSBEAKS [Durbec des sapins] visit on Wednesday. One was in female plumage and the other was showing a reddish blush on the rump area and head. Females and immature males can be very difficult to distinguish between as the males do not take on the reddish plumage until their second year of life. The second bird was apparently a male taking on adult plumage.
Doreen’s first FOX SPARROW [Bruant fauve] of the year arrived on Wednesday which she comments is late for her first arrival records for this species in fall. WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS [Bruant à gorge blanche] and SONG SPARROWS [Bruant chanteur] are still present with lots of DARK-EYED JUNCOS [Junco ardoisé] and AMERICAN GOLDFINCH [Chardonneret jaune] but PURPLE FINCH [Roselin pourpré] and PINE SISKINS [Tarin des pins] are noticeably fewer in number.
Irene Doucet reports on a friend, Holly Easse, who was finding wasps even up to November coming into her home. This is unusual to find wasps flying this late so some sleuthing found this to be of our several Vespula species of the wasp group known as yellow jackets. The Vespula can be hard to identify to species but BugGuide feels the documentary photo Holly got of one is Vespula maculifrons, the Eastern Yellow Jacket, that is one of the more common east of the Great Plains. This Vespula builds subterranean nests at ground level usually. Only a mated queen will survive the winter and start a new colony next spring.
This specimen in the photo is a male that tend to fly late in the season looking for virgin Queens to mate with.
EASTERN YELLOW JACKET WASP (VESPULA MACULIFRONS) NOV 2018. HOLLY ESSE