Two videos of some nice bird sightings at Carlos Avery: Sandhill Cranes and Great Blue Heron

This Great Blue Heron was slightly tamer than some others we had spotted, but that flew off as soon as we stopped. Got a great look at him/her with the camera. There are some other neat videos people have taken of Great Blue Herons hunting on YouTube that I came across too, if you are interested.

Some footage my mother took showing Sandhill Cranes in greater detail than the flight video I posted before. The Cranes seem more wary than the Heron was. Generally, they weren’t both pecking at the ground at the same time, and when they did, it wasn’t for long. You can see that there is oftentimes one scanning the surroundings, and they periodically pause to raise their heads up and look around.

Strange bug on house, identified as Bagworm Moth

Coming in from outside a few nights ago I noticed a strange bug on the wall. There were actually two of them, but this video turned out the best. I didn’t even know where to begin searching for this, so I posted it trying to figure out what it was. As it turns out, it is a Bagworm Moth Caterpillar, perhaps this one:

http://bugguide.net/node/view/104072/bgpage

They apparently spin mobile cases out of silk and any surrounding materials. There is some more interesting information about Bagworm Moths here:

http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/bagworm

It seems that the females never leave their case, and males only leave to fly to females and mate.

I will be getting a larger post up soon of a day trip to Red Wing, Minnesota, but wanted to put this short one up in the mean time. Thanks!

Timelapse of Turbo Snail Eating

My dad has a saltwater fishtank which he recently added a few snails to. I thought they might make a good timelapse subject, and this seemed to turn out relatively well, although it is a little bit choppy.. The large fish is a friendly (if skittish) batfish that we have dubbed Bruce.

I found it interesting how the snail became inactive, and pulsed occasionally. I had never really considered if snails slept or not. In looking it up, I found this interesting article on phys.org : ‘First evidence of sleep in snails’. I also found some anecdotes from people about their snails sleeping like that, although not a lot concerning turbo snails. As my mom pointed out, it could also be some kind of resting for digestion, but not full-on sleep. That makes sense too. I wonder which one this was? Also, what might that occasional pulsing have been? I will look into it more, and if anything fascinating turns up, will make a follow-up post.