Friday, 8 February 2019

Feb 8 2019

NATURE MONCTON INFORMATION LINE, February 8, 2019 (Friday)

To view the photos mentioned in this edition go to http://nminfoline.blogspot.ca

Please advise editor at nelsonpoirier435@gmail.com if any errors are noted in wording or photo labeling.

For more information on Nature Moncton, check into the website at
www.naturemoncton.com

Edited by: Nelson Poirier nelsonpoirier435@gmail.com
Transcript by: Louise Nichols nicholsl@eastlink.ca
Info Line # 506-384-6397 (384-NEWS)
To respond by e-mail, please address your message to the information line editor nelsonpoirier435@gmail.com.

** Danny Sullivan was in the right place at the right time on Thursday to capture photos of a male BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER [Pic à dos noir] right along the main trail at Mapleton Park between the Gorge Rd. entrance and the first large pond.  Typical of the species, it was ignoring people presence to allow for great observations.  Danny also got a video that we will hopefully be able to get out for tomorrow’s edition.  Black-backed Woodpecker sightings are always special as they are often in deeper woods and would be very unlikely to come to a bird feeder yard.  The yellow patch on the crown is present in the male only.

** Jim Carroll photographed a THICK-BILLED MURRE [Guillemot de Brünnich] that paddled about just a few metres off the beach at the end of a very slippery and icy-at-the-time Black Beach Rd. outside of Saint John.  It is unexpected to see this species so close to shore with reasons that are only known to this bird.  If this species for some reason gets onto land, it cannot lift off in flight as it needs a water runway to get aloft.  There was recently an interview with Pam Novak of the Atlantic Wildlife Institute about a Thick-billed Murre that she’d had come for rehab that had had that misadventure of getting on to land and not able to take flight.  Therefore, it was fairly easily captured.  If they do not appear to be injured, it’s best to get them quickly back into open water, but the one taken to the Atlantic Wildlife Institute was underweight and needed a bit of help.  Jim Carroll pointed out that CBC interview and sends the attached link to it that is very worth a listen to learn more about these seabirds that occasionally get stranded on land.  The Common Loon, Dovekie, Mergansers and others are birds that sometimes find themselves in this same misadventure.  But a fair warning to anyone coming across a grounded Loon – that bill is a very serious weapon!

** Karen and Jamie Burris stopped off to visit the Tucker St. Ducks Unlimited impoundment in Riverview to check for open water.  Looking from the top of the hill at the river, approximately 700 metres away, they spotted 6 immature/sub-adult BALD EAGLES [Pygargue à tête blanche].  One bird on the right of Jamie’s photo is showing a cinnamon colouring on the mantle.  Jamie wondered if the paleness may be related to a more advanced development, or it may also have gotten a bit more involved with mud bathing in the Fundy silt.  Jamie comments it was like watching a bunch of teenagers roughhousing, waiting for the tide to come in.

** It’s been very interesting to note the number of observations of RED-TAILED HAWK [Buse à queue rousse] in and near the city of Moncton.  There would either seem to be several, or a few that perch in very obvious places.  Judy and Sterling Marsh comment that when travelling on the Trans Canada Highway near the Mapleton Rd. exit, they often see a Red-tailed Hawk no matter what the weather.  They see a Red-tailed Hawk on power poles or the odd tree in that area.  Another spot seems to be in trees near the Louis-Levesque Arena at the Université de Moncton, the Dieppe traffic circle, the Riverview Marsh, and no doubt elsewhere.

** I’m adding a second photo of the MOOSE [Orignal] taken by John M. Rossiter in April of 2007 that shows the moose tick infestation.  As mentioned a few editions ago with the reattached photo of that day, these ticks can become very large to grape-sized before they are ready to fall off in spring, and then allow for hair re-growth on the moose.  This tick species, Dermacentor albapictus, is not problematic to humans, being very specific to moose as hosts.

**We had a very interesting exchange at the Miramichi Naturalists Club meeting on Tuesday night on AMERICAN CROWS [Corneille d'Amérique] going after fat June Beetle larvae in the fall, and how they can do a real number on a manicured area with their foraging missions.  Verica  LeBlanc shares a photo of one she caught in the process of tearing up their lawn, but she got a few photos before sending it on its way.  I’m also attaching a photo of some crows that were tearing up ground in a cemetery.  The crows are not in that photo as they took off when I stopped to photograph them.

** This week’s Sky-at-a-Glance is included in this edition, courtesy of sky-guru Curt Nason.

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, 2019 February 9 – February 16
“Cold wind on the harbour and rain on the road, wet promise of winter brings recourse to coal.
There’s fire in the blood and a fog on Bras d’Or; the giant will rise with the Moon.”
(Giant, by Stan Rogers)

On Thursday afternoon this week the constellation Orion, mythological giant son of Poseidon, rises with the waxing gibbous Moon. We won’t see the constellation, of course, until evening twilight dwindles; but when he appears in the southeast be becomes a New York football star.

When the Moon is full or nearly so amateur astronomers can get a little grumpy because the moonlight washes out the faint galaxies, nebulae and comets. That is also when the Moon is less interesting to observe, but this time of year the nearly full Moon can play a role in some imaginative stargazing. On Thursday evening it is above Orion, looking like a football approaching his outstretched right hand. Will he catch it in the end zone and be a hero like Perseus, or miss it and be a goat like Capricornus? Unfortunately, they set before the big moment so we will have to wait for Friday evening to find out.

What if it is cloudy? Do what Stan Rogers recommends in his song: “Light a torch, bring a bottle and build the fire bright. The giant will rise with the Moon.”

This Week in the Solar System    
Saturday’s sunrise in Moncton is at 7:31 am and sunset will occur at 5:35 pm, giving 10 hours, 4 minutes of daylight (7:34 am and 5:42 pm in Saint John). Next Saturday the Sun will rise at 7:20 am and set at 5:46 pm, giving 10 hours, 26 minutes of daylight (7:24 am and 5:52 pm in Saint John).

The Moon swims below Mars on Sunday evening, is at first quarter on Tuesday, and passes through the V-shaped Hyades star cluster near Aldebaran on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Mars passes above Uranus midweek with the pair being closest, just two Moon-widths apart, on Wednesday. Toward the end of the week Mercury sets an hour after the Sun, entering its best evening apparition for the year. Venus is hoping to get a ring from Saturn for Valentine’s Day but she will have to wait until next week when the two planets meet up in the morning sky. Jupiter climbs higher in the sky each morning, claiming dominance until Venus rolls out of bed. In the late evening or very early morning during midweek you might catch comet C/2018 Y1 Iwamoto passing through the Sickle asterism of Leo above Regulus. Binoculars or a telescope and a dark sky are needed.

The Saint John Astronomy Clubs meets on February 9 at 7 pm in the Rockwood Park Interpretation Centre. The William Brydone Jack Astronomy Clubs meets on February 12 at 7 pm in UNB Fredericton Forestry - Earth Sciences building. The annual Moonlight Snowshoe Hike and stargazing event at Sheldon Point barn in Saint John takes place on February 16 at 7 pm.

Questions? Contact Curt Nason at
nasonc@nbnet.nb.ca.


nelsonpoirier435@gmail.com
Nelson Poirier,
Nature Moncton
 
AMERICAN CROW AFTER BEETLE LARVAE. AUG 2017.  VERICA LeBLANC

AMERICAN CROW AFTER BEETLE LARVAE. AUG 2017.  VERICA LeBLANC

AMERICAN CROW EARTH EXCAVATIONS AFTER BEETLE LARVAE.SEPT 21, 2016.NELSON POIRIER

BALD EAGLES FEB 6 2019. JAMIE BURRIS

BALD EAGLES FEB 6 2019. JAMIE BURRIS

BALD EAGLES FEB 6 2019. JAMIE BURRIS

BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER (MALE). FEB 7, 2019. DANNY SULLIVAN

BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER (MALE). FEB 7, 2019. DANNY SULLIVAN

MOOSE (SHOWING MOOSE TICKS). APRIL 16, 2017. JOHN M. ROSSITER

MOOSE (SHOWING MOOSE TICKS). APRIL 16, 2017. JOHN M. ROSSITER

Orion NY Giant

THICK-BILLED MURRE. (NON-BREEDING PLUMAGE) FEB 06, 2019. JIM CARROLL