Gray Catbird Hunting Dragonflies at Dawn

This trail camera video from June 2019 shows a Gray Catbird hunting dragonflies at dawn over two successive mornings at Case Western Reserve University’s Squire Valleevue and Valley Ridge Farms. The bird takes advantage of the dragonfly behavior. Dragonflies rest on vegetation overnight, and don’t begin flying until later in the day. It appears that this Gray Catbird is catching dragonflies as they are resting on vegetation. In the first clip, the bird finds a dragonfly and hops off with it. In the second clip, the bird is tearing the wings off a dragonfly before eating it. These video clips were captured shortly after 6 am. Sunrise on these dates was 5:52 am.



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Red-Winged Blackbird Dad Feeds Youngster.

Here a male Red Winged Blackbird rushes around to keep a youngster fed, while the kid maintains a constant peeping reminder that it needs food. Youngster also seems to make a brief, halfhearted attempt to find its own food. Trail Camera video recorded in June 2019.



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Snapping Turtle Surprises Water Snake

Video showing a Northern Water Snake (Nerodia sipedon) that seems to get surprised when a Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) crawls out of a pond to join it on a log. Watch as the turtle slowly raises its head out from under the log, and then climbs on up. Seen at Case Western Reserve University’s Squire Valleevue and Valley Ridge Farms in June 2019.

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June 2019: Take a swim with wood frog tadpoles

Here is an underwater video recorded with a GoPro camera showing Wood Frog tadpoles swimming underwater. The video was recorded in June 2019. Take a close look; some of the tadpoles have had the tips of their tails bitten off by predatory insects! But they were still able to escape.

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May 2019: Bluebirds battle House Sparrows.

This video shows a frantic bird battle that I observed in the Cleveland Metroparks in mid-May. I initially thought it was a trio of Eastern Bluebirds, with the male trying to court the female, while the was trying female trying to feed her young. But something looked off about the “young bluebird” sticking its head out of the nest box. So I shared the video on twitter, and some birders corrected me about what was happening. It turns out that the Eastern Bluebirds were trying to get a House Sparrow out of the nest box. House sparrows will kill other birds, including Bluebird nestlings. I did not stick around long enough to find out if the Eastern Bluebirds were successful ridding their nest of the invasive House Sparrow.

Things to notice in the video:

  • Both Eastern Bluebirds have bands on their legs
  • The wing-flashing behavior is used by Eastern Bluebirds when fighting with rivals
  • The male Eastern Bluebird is carrying feathers in its claws, which is usually done when courting females


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