Why is Little Chick “missing” a leg? That is a question I am often asked when filming Little Chick and an interested person stops by to visit our GHB Piping Plover. Or the comment, “Oh, no, he is one-legged!”
If you see Little Chick resting in the sand and he is standing on one leg, know that he is doing it very purposefully. The short answer is that for the simple reason that you put your hands in your pockets when cold, birds stand on one leg to conserve heat. Birds also stand on one leg to relax muscle fatigue in the retracted leg.
The long answer is that birds’ legs have a blood flow referred to as “rete mirabile” that minimizes heat loss. The arteries that transport warm blood into the legs are next to the veins that return colder blood to the bird’s heart. The arteries act as a heat exchanger and warm the veins. Because the veins also cool the arteries, the bird’s feet are closer to environmental temperature and thus don’t lose as much heat as they would if they were at body temperature. By standing on one leg, a bird reduces the amount of heat lost through unfeathered limbs.
Birds that have short legs, such as Mourning Doves, do not need to stand on one leg because they have fleshy feet and they can snuggle down so that their warm belly presses against their feet.
Our Little Chick is doing beautifully. I checked in on him briefly at day break and again at 9:30 this morning. Foraging, resting, flying (the longest distance yet, from the enclosure to the back of the Creek.) Both last night (thank you Heidi Wakeman) and this morning, I found him in the enclosure. I think our Little Chick is extra super smart to recognize the roped off area as his “safety” zone. We are grateful to the community and to Gloucester’s conservation agent Ken Whittaker for allowing the roping to remain in place.
The light was very low and the photo is a little too softly focused, nonetheless I liked the image of Little Chick taking off.
Bees and butterflies, as we all know, pollinate flowers, but did you know that bats, songbirds, hummingbirds, wasps, beetles, moths, flies, midges, and even nasty mosquitoes also deliver pollen from plant to plant?
The eyes of the male Green-eyed Wasp are larger than the females, all the better to see her, and predators. Green-eyed Wasps are also known as sand wasps because females excavate burrowing nests in sand (as well as soil).
Male Monarch Butterfly flitting about our garden and drinking nectar from the Marsh Milkweed florets. Notice the mass of orange Milkweed Aphids in the background. Lady Beetles are another pollinator super hero because they help milkweed plants by eating aphids.
LEARN MORE HERE
From Danielle coordinator for the Gloucester Sidewalk Bazaar asked me to remind everyone about the parking ban along Main Street between Washington and Duncan for safety reasons.
Parking ban: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, August 3, 4, 5. From 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Remember to have fun.
American Classics presents a cabaret style “Salute to Broadway” concert on Sunday, August 6, 2017, at 7pm at the Antonio Gentile Bandstand, Stage Fort Park, Hough Avenue, Gloucester MA.
American Classics founders Benjamin Sears and Bradford Conner are joined by Cynthia Mork for a cabaret of songs from the Great American Songbook featuring beloved standards and some surprises, too! Critics have called American Classics concerts “pure delight” (Boston Phoenix) and hailed the as “people you want to hear” (Boston Globe).
The concert is free to the public. Parking is free and the venue and rest rooms are wheelchair-accessible. Bring a blanket or chair and perhaps picnic dinner. The rain date is Wednesday, August 9. For further information please visit DavidLBenjamin.com or call 978-281-0543
Visitor from Rexford New York
Also see other post on GMG “Dinghy Rescue”
Anyone know when the Friendship might be ready for re-launch? I miss her at her dock in Salem. She makes the best night photos!
My video highlights of this year’s #bluefinblowout tournament. Lots of fish, lots of laughs, lots of money earned, and…most importantly…lots of money raised for the Alzheimer’s Association. A huge congratulations to the Lyon-Waugh Auto Group including Warren Waugh, Cidalia Schwartz, Kruti Kansara, and the rest of their team, as well as, Drew Hale, and Rob Bouley!
Join the Gloucester Health Department and IMPACT Melanoma at Good Harbor Beach on August 8, 10 AM to 2 PM for a Free Sun Safety Event. IMPACT Melanoma will provide educational materials, give-a-ways, and offer a facial scan to help understand the damaging effects of the sun.
Also, check out the new Sunscreen Dispensers available for public use at Good Harbor Beach and Wingaersheek Beach.
Help spread the word of this important work to reduce the incidence of skin cancer in our community.