Meanwhile, rain and snow are likely across much of the West through Monday. So much for Joe Biden’s global warming crisis.
Snow will also develop across higher elevations of the Northeast and the Pacific Northwest and thence into the Northern High Plains and parts of Northern/Central California.
By Sunday evening, the rain and higher elevation snow will expand into parts of the Great Basin while rain moves into parts of Southern California. Overnight Monday, the rain and higher elevation snow will move into parts of the Southwest.
Rain and snow are likely across much of the West through Monday…
Light snow will also develop across the higher elevations of the Northeast overnight Sunday that will
gradually taper off by Monday evening.
Furthermore, a deep upper-level trough just off the Northwest Coast will move onshore on Sunday, moving to the Great Basin by Tuesday. The energy will aid in producing rain…
Yesterday, the National Weather Service’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) upgraded the Geomagnetic Storm Watch then in effect to a Geomagnetic Storm Warning after detecting the early arrival of a strong solar wind.
The SWPC said minor to moderate geomagnetic storm levels were being observed which indicated the early arrival of an anticipated coronal mass ejection that left the Sun on Sunday, April 22. The enhancement in solar wind parameters were first observed by the DSCOVR spacecraft.
The strong solar wind was expected to cause auroral enhancements that might be visible at night in higher latitudes under favorable sky conditions. Due to the strength of this disturbance , aurora could…
The feisty Black-capped Chickadee is the most common and widespread of the seven chickadee species found in North America. Named for its call and trademark black cap, this little bird is a common sight at backyard bird feeders, along with species such as the Northern Cardinal, Pine Siskin, and American Goldfinch.
Remarkable Bird Brain
Each fall, Black-capped Chickadees gather and store large supplies of seeds in many different places – an adaptation that helps them to survive harsh winters. But how do they remember where they stash their supplies of seed?
Scientists have shown that Black-capped Chickadees are able to increase their memory capacity each fall by adding new brain cells to the hippocampus, the part of the brain that supports spatial memory. During this time, the chickadee’s hippocampus actually expands in volume by around 30 percent! In the spring, when feats of memory are needed less, its hippocampus shrinks back to normal size. This phenomenon also occurs in other food-storing songbirds, including jays, nutcrackers, and nuthatches.
This remarkable plasticity is related to hormonal changes in the birds’ brains. Scientists are studying this ability in the hopes of eventually helping humans suffering from memory loss.
Weathering the Winter
During extremely cold winter nights, this remarkable little bird shows another interesting ability: Like a Costa’s Hummingbird or Rainbow-bearded Thornbill, it can lower its body temperature and enter short periods of torpor. This ability to go into controlled hypothermia helps it conserve essential energy. In addition, Black-capped Chickadees sometimes cluster together in tree cavities for extra warmth.
The Black-capped Chickadee has nine recognized subspecies and occurs from Alaska through the southern half of Canada and south to roughly half of the lower 48 U.S. states. All populations are nonmigratory, although some birds may move south within their range in the fall or winter.
Black-capped Chickadees live in small groups from late summer through winter, under a dominance hierarchy or “pecking order.” Each bird is known to the other according to rank, which is determined by degrees of aggressiveness.
Black-capped Chickadee. Photo by FotoRequest, Shutterstock
The Black-capped Chickadee’s vocal repertoire is quite complex, with at least 15 different sounds that serve as contact calls, alarm calls, individual identification, territorial markers, or in recognition of a particular flock. They also call when they find food, to signal flock members. Other small birds, such as the Golden-crowned Kinglet and Brown Creeper, also listen for the Black-capped Chickadee’s calls and follow them in search of food during the winter.
Listen to two of the many vocalizations of the Black-capped Chickadee below.
Typical “chick-a-dee-dee-dee” call:
“Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)” Xeno-Canto Thomas Magarian
Black-capped Chickadees eat many insect and spider eggs, larvae, pupae, and nymphs. These adaptable little birds also consume berries, seeds, suet, and even bits of carrion, particularly in the winter when insects are scarce. They are commonly seen at bird feeders, and they can be tame, even learning to take seed from a human hand. In far-northern latitudes, Black-capped Chickadees are among the few small songbirds able to endure the long, snowy winters.
In spring and summer, these normally social birds split up into monogamous breeding pairs. Cavity nesters, they usually select a site in a decayed snag, branch, or knothole. They may also take advantage of old woodpecker holes or nest boxes. They prefer a side entrance to their nest cavities, and if the branch or snag they select is slanted, the chickadee places the entrance on the lower surface, providing protection from the elements.
Chickadees can excavate their own nest cavities in soft, dead wood, taking the wood chips away from the site to avoid attracting predators. Once the nest cavity is established, the female builds a cup-shaped nest of moss and bark at the bottom and lines it with softer material such as animal fur.
Adaptable, Yet Vulnerable
Like the American Robin and Downy Woodpecker, the Black-capped Chickadee seems to thrive in suburban habitats. Although it remains common, this bird faces the same threats as less-adaptable species, particularly predation by cats and collisions with glass.
A fearless terrapin is seen aggressively defending its waterhole from two lions
Footage was captured by Reggi Barreto, 30, in Greater Kruger Park, South Africa
The safari guide said the terrapin behaviour was ‘surprising’ and ‘incredibly rare’
A territorial terrapin has been captured showing two lions who is boss as it aggressively shoos them away from its waterhole.
In the video the tiny animal is seen spooking the male and female lions by popping up in the water inches from their noses and charging towards them as they try to quench their thirst in Greater Kruger Park, South Africa.
The unusual footage was captured by safari guide, Reggi Barreto, 30, while on safari with a private guest near the Sand River in the MalaMala Private Game Reserve.
Mr Barreto said: ‘There were plenty of elephants and general game along the way as we headed into the area where the lions were.
‘I knew the lions would look for water to drink and we positioned ourselves in the perfect spot with the sunlight in our favour, ready for the sighting.
‘What came next we did not expect – I was pleasantly surprised when the terrapin came out of the wallow towards the male and then the lioness.’
The guide said that although the lions were mildly annoyed by the small reptile the lion and lioness continued to drink from the fresh waterhole until satisfied.
Despite both lions having blood on their chins from recently hunting a zebra foal the terrapin seemingly had no fear as it popped up just inches from the predators’ mouths. In the video the tiny animal is seen spooking the male and female lions by popping up in the water inches from their noses in Greater Kruger Park, South Africa The incredible footage was captured by safari guide, Reggi Barreto, 30, while on safari with a private guest near the Sand River in the MalaMala Private Game Reserve The small terrapin is seen pushing against the lion as it tries to drink the freshwater The lion is slightly deterred by the small reptile but continues to drink as it pops up around him The terrapin is seen rising from the water, almost touching the nose of the lionessMr Barreto believes the animal was attracted by the blood on the noses of the lions
Mr Barreto added: ‘Both lions drank their fill despite the interruptions from the terrapin and then headed back closer to the zebra foal to lay down, as it was a very humid day.’
‘It was an incredibly rare sighting for me to film – watching the terrapin approach the lions that had blood on their chins from the zebra. It seems as though the terrapin was actually more interested in getting some of that blood, as opposed to ‘chasing the lions away’.
Mr Barreto said that capturing the right moment ‘is all about understanding animal behaviour and predicting what they will do next.’
He added: ‘It requires plenty of patience searching for animals and spending time with them to see how the sighting will pan out.’
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