Great article by Billy Baker front page Boston Globe July 20, 2019 here
Great article by Billy Baker front page Boston Globe July 20, 2019 here
CAPE ANN WILDLIFE NEEDS OUR HELP LOCATING RAVEN FAMILY NEAR POST OFFICE
Jodi writes, “Hi Kim, hoping you can write something up about the Ravens who nested in town by the post office. I got the fledgling yesterday and he is emaciated but I’m hoping his stay will be short. What I need to know is where his parents are spending their their time so I can reunite him with them hopefully next week. Erinn Whitamore from Sharon Audubon said Ravens tend to stick to their territory and have a daily routine they pretty much stick to. Posts about him are on the Cape Ann Wildlife if you have time to look thru it. I need the public’s help on this one, I don’t have the time to search for them myself.”
Readers, if you have seen a Raven family near the post office downtown, please write in the comment section below and we will get in touch with Jodi. Thank you so much for any help given!
Not sure if you have a Raven or a Crow nest? Check out this helpful post from Audubon
Erin Hutchings from Cape Ann Wildlife writes that their newest orphan is a baby Screech Owlet. He was found at the base of a tree, bloodied and banged up, most likely after falling out of a nesting cavity. She cleaned up his injuries and he is on pain medication. With all the TLC he is recieving, their is hope for recovery 🙂 Thank you Erin and Jodi for all you do for Cape Ann’s orphaned and injured wildlife.
If you would like to help Cape Ann Wildlife with much needed supplies, here is a link to their Amazon wishlist. Thank you!
Notice the scales in the photos, the owlet has already gained weight!
Our friend Erin from Cape Ann Wildlife recently sent the following note, “Kim can you tell your friend Laurie I said thank you for the heating pad!! She didn’t leave a last name. I sent her a thank you through amazon but please give her my thanks if you can!”
I’m not sure which Laurie sent the heating pad either, so here’s a shout out to mystery Laurie and please write if it’s you. Thank you, we would love to know 🙂
If you would like to Help Cape Ann Wildlife with much needed supplies, here is a link to their new wish list on Amazon. Donating is as easy as a click of the button and you will really be helping Erin and Jodi, who are providing a tremendous service to our immediate community, and beyond. If you are looking for a a super easy and wonderfully thoughtful Mother’s Day gift, I imagine there are tons of Moms who would love to have a donation made in their name!
Animal wildlife rehabilitator Erin Hutchins recently shared a link to her Amazon fundraiser to help gather supplies for Cape Ann Wildlife rehabilitation center. She is so deeply touched at how generously folks have given to her fundraiser that she is actually tearing up when she sees the items on her doorstep. Erin is sending GMG readers a HUGE THANK YOU!!! and wants everyone to know how these supplies are going to be of such tremendous help.
In case you missed the link here it is again: Cape Ann Wildlife Amazon Wishlist
Message from Erin – Big thank you to Jodi Swenson!!! Just look at all the goodies she got me from my “Wildlife List” on Amazon!! As you know, we do not get paid to rehab wildlife, we rely solely on donations or it comes out of our own pocket. Now that I’m State and Federally permitted to rehab wildlife I’m going to have even more patients this year! Donations to Cape Ann Wildlife or my “Wildlife List” on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/3SGHHZJ5OBGN0… are greatly appreciated!!
On a gray day the tide revealed a dead adult seal about 6 feet long and weighing hundreds of pounds on the Gloucester side of Long Beach near Cape Ann Motor Inn. (I have not seen a dead adult seal on this beach in 12 years.) Unlike dead seal pups torn open and attracting gulls, there are no visible markings on its exposed sides and the body remains undisturbed. There is one faint thin red line in the sand.
Erin and Jodi at Cape Ann Wildlife are treating this sweetest juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk for rat poison. The young hawk is yet another patient in their long list of wild creatures that have been poisoned this year by rodenticide. The prognosis is not looking good for this little guy.
All photos of the sickly juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk courtesy Cape Ann Wildlife
The adult Red-shouldered Hawk is a medium sized hawk. They are mostly forest dwellers. I’ve only see one once and it was stunning in flight.
Great article about the new children’s book, Let’s Go: Animal Tracks in the Snow! by Diane Polley illustrated by Marion Hall, an award winning entry in the Cape Ann Reads contest.
Deborah French, Director of Essex’s TOHP Burnham Library says Diane Polley “is an excellent example of a hidden children’s writer that was brought together with Marion Hall, the illustrator, through the Cape Ann Reads initiative to create a wonderful picture book. I’m sure she has more to come for us all to enjoy.”
BOOK LAUNCH CELEBRATION: Saturday, Sept 8 11:30-1:30, Cape Ann Cinema & Stage, 21 Main Street, Gloucester. “This is a free family drop-in event with children’s activities. Meet Diane Polley of Essex, the author and Marion Hall of Manchester, the illustrator, who will be signing copies of their book.”
Visually stunning and original, Let’s Go Animal Tracks in the Snow, is a gentle and clever story and non-fiction picture book that engenders shared experiences. Vivid wintery scenes are intimate and expansive, and beautiful watercolors match and extend the text. Expressions of color notes pop from the pages like finding fresh tracks in new snow. This children’s book is an irresistible inside outside story: snuggle up for a good read and wondrous exploration.
It has been a long time since I’ve brought a tiny boat through the Cut from the Annisquam side (alert and praying I wouldn’t slam into the walls or another boat as the waters rush and pull). How were ducks faring? They were amusing and difficult to count for a few stolen moments on this glorious summer day. They’d dive to eat what I’m not sure, and pop up, sometimes a bit too far back. Once they were under so long I found myself crossing to the other side of the bridge to see if they were dragged back or catching a ride. Not a chance.
I found the completed winter storm repairs at the Cut equally beautiful and distracting.
Nice job Gloucester Department of Public Works (DPW)!
VID (38 seconds) ducklings negotiate current at the Cut (wait for the cluster to pop up)
March 2017 (winter storm damage) Continue reading “sweet ducklings navigate the current at the Cut alongside Gloucester DPW lovely storm repairs”
Thanks to city staff like Ken Whittaker, Gloucesters conservation agent, and experts like Kim Smith, volunteers have been inspired to have some fun helping wildlife in our own backyard. You can join in and follow their reports on Twitter
The 2018 reports are also logged here goo.gl/DPygNw
No sign in required for either format. There’s a link for the 2017 records, too. Last year’s monitors were all ages and a few commuted from over the bridge. One mother daughter duo from the tri-state area scheduled a volunteer vacation in Gloucester because of Kim Smith and the city’s outreach!
As I write, folks have an eye on the plover pair in the Good Harbor Beach parking lot (still) incubating 4 eggs (still). Sign up with Ken Whittaker for a shift firstname.lastname@example.org. Last year’s post about how to sign up. Everything ramps up for chicks.
(through the binoculars- distraction dashing as crow went by )
Biomedical Breakthrough is win-win for shorebirds and horseshoe crabs: Deborah Cramer of The Narrow Edge spreads the word
“Jay Bolden, a senior biologist with pharma giant Eli Lilly, has spent the last five years proving a synthetic molecule works as well as horseshoe crab blood in a life-saving medical test…It took a dedicated birder to convince pharma giant Eli Lilly to use a synthetic compound instead of horseshoe crab blood in a mandatory medical test. Now, he hopes the rest of industry will follow…” – from National Audubon article published this March 11 2018 Inside the Biomedical Revolution to Save Horseshoe Crabs and the Shorebirds That Need Them, by Deborah Cramer with photographs by Timothy Fadek
Cramer explained that Ryan Phelan, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Revive and Restore contacted her “to see how this organization might help accelerate institutional and government exploration, acceptance of the synthetic endotoxin test to replace the use of horseshoe crabs…In the book, I’d portrayed how essential the energy rich horseshoe crab eggs are to shorebird migration, and how their numbers decline when they leave for the Arctic, hungry. I’d described how every human family, and their pets, depend on the horseshoe crab blood test to detect potentially life-threatening endotoxin in vaccines, joint replacements, PET scans, heart stents, IV lines, etc. And went on to tell the story of the development of the genetically engineered substitute, and the– at the time decade long–that had elapsed without it being accepted or adopted by regulators or the pharmaceutical industry.”
Revive and Restore’s announcement in the NJ Audubon news this week has more information about these dedicated scientists and exciting news. Deborah Cramer is too modest to spell it out, so I will. Revive and Restore was inspired in part by Cramer’s book, The Narrow Edge, an award-winning read that’s smart and lyrical, and an environmental game changer. Have you read it yet?
The Narrow Edge reveals more unexpected alliances and consequences. Readers learn that hunters have done much to protect wildlife at the edge of the sea through the tax on guns and ammunition. The Federal Duck Stamp that’s required on hunting licenses provides millions of dollars to support national wildlife refuges (and supports contemporary fine art). Memberships to organizations like National Audubon and donations from wildlife fans, photographers, and birders make a difference.
Cramer had to be trained how to handle a gun for necessary wild and remote travel research. Gloucester, Cape Ann and North Shore readers: she took the course for her license to carry at Cape Ann Sportsman Club found along Dogtown’s edge where it’s been for over a century. (I’m not certain how Cramer rated there, but a president’s daughter was a good shot. In 1912, Helen Taft, qualified as an “Expert with a Rifle” when she visited the range with her Gloucester friend, Elizbeth Hammond.)
prior gmg post, June 2016– Piping Plover Fans: Local author Deborah Cramer on sandpipers is a must read. Oh, and dogs vs.
To learn more about Deborah Cramer, go to www.deborahcramer.com
Continue reading “Deborah Cramer’s book The Narrow Edge galvanizes action to push biomedical rescue for horseshoe crabs and red knots! Revive and Restore convenes Eli Lilly to announce environmental breakthrough”
The 2018 week-long Earth Day events at Salem State University culminated with an evening awards ceremony on April 12th. Kim Smith was the invited 2018 Keynote Speaker, and Friend of the Earth Award recipient! It’s an extraordinary fit as Kim Smith’s life’s work across media –whether its her acclaimed and award-winning films, photography, landscape design, art, or writing– calls us to marvel and commune with nature. She’s a champion Friend of the Earth.
Kim Smith is henceforth included in this distinguished Salem State University Friend of the Earth list, an ambassador for the natural world, our region and Massachusetts!
*2001-2017 list- Compiled by Prof. John Hayes, Geography, and co-chair, Salem State University (SSU) Earth Day Planning Committee
By Kim Smith
Cape Ann provides welcome habitat for a menagerie of creatures beautiful, from the tiniest winged wonder to our region’s top predator, the Eastern Coyote. Last year I posted a Cape Ann Wildlife Year in Pictures 2016 and I hope you will find the wildlife stories of 2017 equally as beautiful. Click on the image to find the name of each species.
The only partially frozen ponds at the start of winter allowed for dabblers and divers such as Mallards, Mergansers, and Buffleheads to forage at the freshwater. Mr. Swan had his usual entourage of quwackers and daily heads to the other side of the pond to get away for his morning stretches. Sightings of Red-tailed Hawks and other raptors abounded. Although photographed in Newburyport, the owl photos are included because these species are found readily on Cape Ann. An Eastern Screech Owl (red-morph) was seen daily perched above a playground and Barred Owl sightings too were reported throughout the winter. Raptors live on Cape Ann all year round but are much easier to see in winter when the trees are bare of foliage.
The beautiful aqua green eyes of the juvenile Double-crested Cormorants were seen wintering at both Niles Pond and Rockport Harbor. And during a warm February day on a snowless marsh a turkey bromance shindig commenced.
In early spring, a male and female American Wigeon arrived on the scene making local ponds their home for several weeks. In the right light the male’s electric green feathers at the top of his head shine brightly and both the male and female have baby blue bills.
Meadow and marsh, dune and treetop were graced with the heralding harbingers of spring with photos of a Red-winged Blackbird, a pair of Cedar Waxwings, Northern Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, Eastern Towhee, Eastern Kingbird, Tree Swallow, and Grackle included here.
The Great Swan Escape story made headlines in Boston as Mr. Swan eluded captors for hours. He had re-injured his foot and someone took it upon themselves to call the animal rescuers, which would have surely meant death for our beloved 27-year old swan if he had been wrangled into captivity.
M is clearly for Migration through Massachusetts and the month-long arrivals and departures did not abate. Short-billed Dowitchers, winsome Willets, Yellow Legs, Brandt Geese, and Ruddy Turnstones are just some of the migrating birds spied on Cape Ann beaches and marshes. The best news in May was the return of the Piping Plovers. Of the five or six that camped at Good Harbor Beach to investigate potential nesting sites, one pair bonded and built their nest mere yards from the nesting pair of last year. Could it be the same pair? The nesting Piping Plover story took up much of the spring and by early summer four little Piping Plover chicks hatched over Fiesta weekend. Hundreds of photos and hours of film footage are in the process of being organized with a children’s book and documentary in progress.
The survival of one Piping Plover chick was made possible by a wholesale community effort, with volunteers covering all hours of daylight, along with Mayor Sefatia and her team, Ken Whittaker from the conservation office, Chief McCarthy, and animal control officer Diane Corliss all lending a hand.
Sadly, several Northern Gannets came ashore to die on our Cape Ann beaches, struck by the same mysterious and deadly disease that is afflicting Northern Gannets in other coastal regions. During the summer season they are typically at their North American breeding grounds, which are six well-established colonies, three in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Quebec, and three in the North Atlantic, off the coast of Newfoundland.
By mid-July many of us were seeing Monarchs in much greater numbers than recent years. Nearly every region within the continental United States experienced a fantastic Painted Lady irruption and butterflies of every stripe and polka dot were seen flitting about our meadows, fields, and gardens.
The tadpoles and froglets of American Bullfrogs and Green Frogs made for good eating for several families of resident otters, who are making their homes in abandoned beaver lodges. Little Blue Herons too, find plentiful frogs at our local ponds.
Tree Swallows Massing
In early August we see the Tree Swallows begin to mass for their return migration. They find an abundance of fruits and insects in the dunes, headlands, and beaches. The Cedar Waxwings and Ruddy Trunstones were observed back again foraging on their southward journey, along with myriad species of songbirds, shorebirds, divers, and dabblers.
The Late Great Monarch Migration continued into fall as we were treated to a wonderfully warm autumn. Waves and waves of Monarchs came ashore and more butterflies arrived on the scene including new batches of Painted Ladies, Clouded Sulphurs and Common Buckeyes (nothing common about these beauties!).
A pair of Northern Pintails called Cape Ann ponds and coves home for nearly a month while we seem to be seeing more and more raptors such as Red-tailed Hawks, Osprey, Bald Eagles, and Peregrine Falcons. Juvenile herons of every species that breeds on Cape Ann lingered long into the fall—Black-crowned Night Herons, Yellow-crowned Herons, Great Blue Herons, Snowy Egrets, Great Egrets, and Green Herons.
Just as Mr. Swan and the Young Swan appeared to be warming to each other, the Young Swan, who has yet to learn to fly, became trapped in the ice at Niles Pond. He was rescued by caretakers Lyn and Dan and is now spending the winter at a cozy sanctuary built by Lyn and friends.
Thank you to all our readers for your kind comments of appreciation throughout the year for the beautiful wild creatures with which we share this gorgeous peninsula called Cape Ann. If you’d like to read more about a particular animal, type the name of the animal in the search box and the original post should come up
With its expansive marshes and dunes, bodies of fresh, clear water, saltwater coves and inlets, and geographic location within the Atlantic Flyway, 2017 has been a banner year for Cape Ann’s wild and wonderful creatures. I can’t wait to see what awaits in 2018!
Post storm wildlife
How would you caption this scene outside your window? My friend shared this photograph of a hawk eating an unfortunate bird on a small roof at her house by the boulevard, Gloucester, MA, January 6 2018.
Friends of the Monarch Butterfly: If you would like to help towards the completion of the documentary film Beauty on the Wing: Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly, please consider making a tax deductible donation here:
Donors contributing over $5,000. will be listed in the credits as a film producer.
For more information, visit the film’s website here: Monarch Butterfly Film
For an overview of the film’s budget, please go here: Budget
Thank you so very much for your help.
MY DEEPEST THANKS AND APPRECIATION TO LAUREN MERCADANTE (PRODUCER), SUSAN FREY (PRODUCER), NEW ENGLAND BIOLABS FOUNDATION, JOHN HAUCK FOUNDATION, BOB AND JAN CRANDALL, MARY WEISSBLUM, SHERMAN MORSS, PETE AND BOBBI KOVNER (ANNISQUAM AND LEXINGTON), CLAUDIA BERMUDEZ (LEXINGTON), JAY FEATHERSTONE, MIA NEHME (BEVERLY), CHICKI HOLLET, JUNI VANDYKE, ERIC HUTCHINSE, KAREN MASLOW, MARION F. (IPSWICH), ELAINE M., KIMBERLY MCGOVERN, MEGAN HOUSER (PRIDES CROSSING), JIM VANBUSKIRK (PITTSBURGH), NANCY MATTERN (ALBUQUERQUE), DONNA STOMAN, PEGGY O’MALLEY, JOEY C., CATHERINE RYAN, JOEANN HART, JANE PAZNIK BONDARIN (NEW YORK), ROBERT REDIS (NEW YORK), NUBAR ALEXANIAN, PETER VAN DEMARK, PATRICIA VAN DERPOOL, FRED FREDERICKS (CHELMSFORD), LESLIE HEFFRON, JIM MASCIARELLI, DAVE MOORE (KOREA), LILIAN AND CRAIG OLMSTEAD, JOHN STEIGER, PAT DALPIAZ, AMY KERR, BARBARA T. (JEWETT, NY), ROBERTA C. ((NY), MARIANNE G. (WINDHAM, NY), PAULA RYAN O’BRIEN (WALTON, NY), MARTHA SWANSON, KIM TEIGER, JUDITH FOLEY (WOBURN), PATTI SULLIVAN, RONN FARREN, SUSAN NADWORNY (MELROSE), DIANE LINDQUIST (MANCHESTER), HEIDI SHRIVER (PENNSYLVANIA), JENNIFER CULLEN, HOLLY NIPPERUS (BROOKLYN), HILDA SANTOS (SAUGUS), TOM HAUCK, AND ANONYMOUS PERSONS FOR THEIR GENEROUS HELP.
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Butterfly days forever! Overjoyed to share that this past week I received a grant for $10,000.00 towards my documentary film Beauty on the Wing. Total raised to date is $34,900.00! www.monarchbutterflyfilm.com Posting a Monarch migration update tonight. #monarchbutterfly #wildflowers #nativeplants #monarcamariposa #monarchmigration
The Monarch migration of 2017 was the latest ever recorded and the butterflies are continuing to arrive!
The region where the Monarchs spend the winter is confined to a narrow altitudinal band across twelve trans-volcanic mountaintops in central Mexico. This narrowest of overwintering habitat is only 73 miles wide. What allows the Monarchs to survive in these these twelve habitats? The sites are at a high elevation of 10,000 to 11,000 feet, where the temperature hovers around freezing at night and warms during the day to about 50 to 60 degrees. The towering cathedral-like Oyamel Pine Trees contribute to creating the perfect microclimate to meet the butterflies needs by providing shelter from harsh winds and when the Monarchs cluster together high up on the Oyamel boughs they maintain a cool temperature, which conserves the fat that they stored on their southward migration.
During the month of December, the all important work of counting the butterflies takes place. Several years ago a late migration occurred (not as late as this year’s) and the scientists counted the butterflies a bit too early. I hope they wait until much later in the month to begin the count.
If you would like to learn more about how to count Monarchs, go to this to link to an interview that I conducted with Thomas Emmel, the Director of the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity at the Museum of Natural History of the University of Florida, Gainesville. Dr. Emmel is a butterfly population specialist and has been counting the Monarchs since 1980. The interview took place at Sierra Chincua Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Angangueo, Mexico.
Our Niles Pond rescue swan has survived her second night! She is still not venturing far from the reeds. Mr. Swan is definitely aware of her presence but is playing coy and for the most part, ignoring her. The good news, or great news I should say, is that he is not chasing and threatening her.
New Swan is continuing to feed on pond vegetation. I didn’t get a glimpse of her until around 11am when the light was very harsh, but here she is at the pond’s edge, photo bombed by a stealthy Green Heron.
Cape Ann’s wildlife rehabilitation expert Jodi Swenson released a Mute Swan fledgling Saturday at Niles Pond. Jodi worked with Eastern Point resident Lyn Fonzo, where they set the young swan free from Lyn’s beach access to the pond’s edge. Lyn reports that the fledgling immediately headed to the reeds. Niles Pond is dense in vegetation, most notably at this time of year, and almost immediately, it was difficult to see her hiding, although easy to hear, as she moved through the phragmites and cattails.
Jodi, from Cape Ann Wildlife, shares that the Mute Swan baby has been in her care for several months. The cygnet came from Tufts and she/he appears to be about four months. Jodi raised the swan purposefully with minimal human contact so that the animal would remain wild. The now fledgling is very, very shy of humans, so please be respectful while the swan is becoming acclimated to her new environment. Cape Ann’s Mr. Swan is at least 27 years old and it is everyone’s greatest hope that he will “adopt” the new one, perhaps guiding her to maturity.
The above photo, although out of focus, is included here to show that the young one is foraging for food on her own. Look closely and you can see the pond vegetation dangling from her mouth. This is a great sign, that she can feed herself!!
Please visit Jodi’s website, Cape Ann Wildlife, Inc. I am sure we can all imagine how costly and time consuming it is to rehabilitate orphaned and injured wildlife. If so inclined, please think about making a tax deductible donation. Our deepest thanks and appreciation to Jodi for all the care and love she gives to Cape Ann’s most vulnerable animals. Until recently, Jodi was Cape Ann’s only wildlife rehabilitator. Jodi would like to give a shout out to Erinn Whitmore, who has been working with Jodi for many years, and who recently earned her state wildlife rehabilitator’s license. Erinn has founded GROWL: Gloucester Rehabilitation of Orphaned Wild Life, and will be specializing in caring for small mammals.
it’s not the first time! Love these stories. #sharetheshore
From Hazel, piping plover volunteer: I was round the bend (!) replacing signs a little later – one of the volleyball players said he had escorted both of them to the creek. I have been turning people back from playa del plover & maybe 1/2 hr ago a small boy spotted an adult as he (the boy) was leaving.
Dave (whisperer) and Bill
link to Gloucester Plover on twitter: https://twitter.com/Glostaplover
Very sadly, I have to report that dogs were running around the beach unleashed at the time of the injury. No one witnessed exactly what happened, but last year I saw a dog running over and instantly killing a chick, despite my very best efforts to get the owner to control his dog. This morning at 6am dogs were on the beach leashed, but the owner was obliviously walking her two dogs through the sanctuary area precisely where the chicks were darting about. Leashed or unleashed, irresponsible dog owners are one of the chick’s greatest threats. Please, please folks tell your friends and neighbors about the Plovers and why it is so important to follow the dog ordinances. It seems as though late in the day, after 5 and before sunset, the chicks are the most vulnerable. Perhaps folks think its okay to bring dogs to the beach after the life guards leave. Early evening is exactly the same time of day that the chick was killed last year.