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View Diary: Daily Bucket - Be a Bat Detective (61 comments)

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  •  That's really sad. (10+ / 0-)

    Big Bird Won! Brought to you by the letter 'O'.

    by jim in IA on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 09:23:00 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  They have closed most of the caves around here (11+ / 0-)

      There were efforts to instal metal grates to keep people from entering and still allow access for the Bats a couple of years ago. Too little too late I'm afraid.

      •  They closed most of them here too. In a few cases, (9+ / 0-)

        entire colonies were wiped out by WNS but in most cases there were some that didn't succumb to it. So the hope is that those survivors will pass that immunity or whatever it is, on to their offspring and the population will grow again. Nothing is certain yet though. We're all keeping our fingers crossed. I've heard that they intend to open some of them  again but with strict guidelines for visitors to prevent further spread of the disease.

        Just give me some truth. John Lennon--- OWS------Too Big To Fail

        by burnt out on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 09:50:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It seems such a delicately balanced system... (8+ / 0-)

          of temperature, moisture, and bats. Is the outbreak of WNS caused by climate changes or by increased human presence? Have the bats brought it into their habitat? Is there a cycle that will cause WNS to wane?

          Those are questions that are hard to answer.

          Big Bird Won! Brought to you by the letter 'O'.

          by jim in IA on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 10:05:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Burnt Out, how was your trip to the confluence? (7+ / 0-)

          I was camping down in the Current River valley this last weekend.  I saw "wakes" or "vortexes", whichever you prefer, of Turkey Vultures with at least 200 birds in them.  I've never seen anything like it.

          Evenings, the vultures were soaring directly over our camp then floating down the backside of the ridge to roost.  I had to go down to the river for buckets of water to wash off the tent and vehicle.

          The first evening two wakes went down in the same spot about 20 minutes apart.  You had to wonder if they had a crew on the ground doing air traffic control.

          •  That is a big flock of turkey vultures. I've seen (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bwren, duckhunter, jim in IA

            some big flocks but none that big. Almost all of ours have gone south now but I still see a loner or two now and then that are lagging behind.  

            Good day at the confluence. I was disappointed that we saw no waterfowl but I expect that was due to the fact that there was very little standing water. A lot of the area was closed off, I guess due to it being so close to duck season then. The areas where we could go had almost no water. We did see a lot of birds though, pelicans, sea gulls, hundreds of blackbirds,herons, several redtails and one northern harrier. The building with all the wildlife displays in it is awesome. And of course it was cool to see the confluence itself. Pretty impressive. We are going to go back in the spring when hopefully their will be more water and the whole place will be open.

            Just give me some truth. John Lennon--- OWS------Too Big To Fail

            by burnt out on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 04:55:28 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  There are still very few ducks in the area. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              burnt out, jim in IA

              The building with the displays.  Is it on the MO side of the river just above the locks?  That's StL Audobon Society's.

              I hope you get back when the Trumpeters are there.

              •  Ok now you've lost me. The whole place is on the (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jim in IA, duckhunter

                Mo. side of the river isn't it? Or is there more of it in Illinois? The  building I spoke of was just to the left after we turned into the entrance to the area if I remember right.  I think it was just called the visitor center or something like that. They had a whole flock of mounted green heads suspended from the ceiling , a monster non-typical buck mount, a couple of mounted owls, lot's of other stuff like that, very cool place. Have the trumpeters been through yet? I don't know when they migrate. Only saw them once and that was in the spring, one pair, many years ago.

                Just give me some truth. John Lennon--- OWS------Too Big To Fail

                by burnt out on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 08:25:39 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  There is an observation tower and Lewis and Clark (0+ / 0-)

                  museum on the east side of the confluence.  The museum has a pretty large natural history exhibit and lifesize model of one of the expeditions keel boats.

                  I am pretty sure the visitor center you visited was the one sponsored by the Audobon Society.  

                  The Trumpeters come down in mid to late December, or once everything up north is frozen.  They arrive around the same time as the largest migration of eagles.

                  The water above and below the lock and dam remains open in all but the coldest weather.  The swans stay out on the river, in the big water between the West Alton Bridge and the lock during the day, and roost on the MO side in the US FWS and Corps' bird sanctuaries just on the other side of the road from the river.  They swans are not hard to find.

                  The eagles congregate in the trees along the banks of the same stretch of river but mostly below the lock and dam, and the slough on the IL side, just down from the bridge.

        •  I wish they would leave them closed. There are (8+ / 0-)

          enough tourist caves in MO IMO.

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