June 18, 2015

Nesting Season

It's nesting season here in the northern hemisphere, a perfect excuse to experiment with the Therm-App infrared camera (and a new 35mm lens with higher magnification).

First, a red-eyed vireo scrutinizes my shenanigans from its low cup nest.

Here's a warbling vireo nest found by Kevin McGowan:

Unlike the previous nest, this was on a sunny morning, and I wasn't sure how well the nest would register. Turned out to be fairly noticeable, since the leaves of the elm tree were not as warm as, say, the trunk of the tree which appears as warm as the nest. But I suspect I would not have been able to find the nest in this sunny weather if I hadn't known it was there.

Here a baltimore oriole's hanging nest glows with warmth on a foggy morning:

I was told that one of these holes was occupied by a pileated woodpecker. Can you tell which?

I observed a sapsucker actively feeding young in one of these cavities: can you tell which?

The trunk of this tree had already been warmed by the sun this morning, so the heat signal would seem to be lost: it is the middle hole (second from bottom). However, on closer scrutiny, it seems like the region of the trunk just below that hole is a little warmer. Warmth from the nestlings, or just coincidence or noise?

For what it's worth, here's a composite I took of the male sapsucker leaving the cavity:

Finally, while there's really no reason to take a thermal image of these red-tailed hawk fledglings on a cliffside nest, sometimes you don't really need a reason:

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