Tuesday, September 23, 2008
While I had him in my sights, this guy exhibited typical Armadillo behavior, rooting around in the soil and under logs searching for a meal. Yes, they do dig around with their noses and look for grubs, worms, and other insects to eat. And yes, they do leave fairly large holes in the soil, which a lot of people with formal gardens seem to despise. I don't understand this adversity toward Armadillos at all. They are most excellent soil aerators, and they control the soil dwelling insects that destroy plants at the same time. From my observations, they do not uproot established plants, instead, they move the soil all around the root balls and provide a 'tilling' function that is better than any plow I have ever seen. All that is needed after an Armadillo comes through is a soaking from a water hose to flatten the mounds back down and the garden looks as good as new, but much healthier! Unfortunately, the way most people experience an Armadillo (besides seeing holes in their gardens and yards) is by passing them by in cars, lying 'legs up' alongside the highway. The poor little guys, like so many other animals, do not have a chance when it comes to vehicles and they experience a huge amount of highway mortality.
One very interesting fact about Armadillos is that each female bears 4 offspring at a time which are exact clones of each other. Apparently they are the only mammals which do this consistently and that makes them extremely unique! If you have some time and you want to read more about Armadillos, here is a link:
Friday, September 5, 2008
WHOOPING CRANE (Grus
Whooping Cranes (Grus americana) are the rarest of all crane species and only found in North America. Our western inhabitants spend the winter months in
Although Whooping Cranes can be found slightly north of the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge or even slightly inland on private lands, the winter range for this population of birds typically only covers about 35 miles of this unique and pristine coastal habitat in Texas!
Whooping cranes are listed as a USFWS Endangered Species. In 1979 there were only 56 known birds in a wild flock that wintered in
There is also lots of hard work underway to re-establish an eastern population of birds which will winter along the
SO - if you come to
These video clips were taken by BILL BEASLEY / TAILFEATHER PRODUCTIONS and reproduced with permission – Thank You, Bill for sharing your clips of these beautiful and rare birds in the wild!!!