Question/Observation For Any Naturalist Types

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Woods Walker
 
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Question/Observation For Any Naturalist Types

Postby Woods Walker » Sun Dec 07, 2008 3:47 pm

I have lived in northern Illinois now for 33 years. As a keen observer of ALL wildlife, and for many years a serious waterfowl hunter, I have always kept informal records of when I see different type of birds in their migration, both fall and spring.
 
Now in all these years, I have observed and noted that the bulk of the Sandhill, or Brown Cranes will make their southern migration on or a week or so of October 15th in this latitude. The northern migration will usually occur within a week or so of March 15th.
 
Now THIS year, I saw migratory cranes in November, and just YESTERDAY I saw three very large migratory flocks, at three separate times of the day, in three different locations. This indicates to me, that there was a sizeable migration underway, as I certainly did not see every crane that was in the sky.
 
This is WAAAAY later then I've ever seen them. Anyone else notice this, or have any thoughts on it?
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ranwin33
 
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RE: Question/Observation For Any Naturalist Types

Postby ranwin33 » Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:08 am

My understanding of Sandhill Crane migration indicates it occurs from late September to early December with a peak in mid to late November.  Warm weather may cause a delay in the southern migration.
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shaman
 
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RE: Question/Observation For Any Naturalist Types

Postby shaman » Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:13 am

I don't know about cranes, but I will say that a lot -- I mean A LOT-- of stuff that I took for granted as a kid growing into a man has changed in the last few years regarding the Fall and our climate in general.

It used to be the leaves turned  and fell in mid-October and everything was in a pile by Halloween.  Everything now does what it does about 2 weeks to a month later.  In the late nineties and into the first half of this decade things were the most out of whack I've seen them.  It was also the time of the biggest snowfall, the hardest rain, and the biggest this and the smallest that for a lot of things. I am not surprised your cranes are having trouble with their alarm clocks.  My turkeys have been all whacked-out for several seasons, and it has been hard to predict when the gobblers will be receptive to calling.  My last really, really good season from a classic perspective was 2003. That was the last time I had a gobbler flop down from his roost and walk over to see what was down the end of my barrel.

If you believe the climatologists I read, we just ended the warmest period in a long long time, and we are heading back into a cooler period, the end of which we will not live to see.  Global Warming was a spook story, and it really ended in 1998. Recorded temperatures will continue to soar, but it will be because the thermometers are located too close to the cities' urban heat wells.
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Woods Walker
 
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RE: Question/Observation For Any Naturalist Types

Postby Woods Walker » Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:49 pm

It used to be the leaves turned and fell in mid-October and everything was in a pile by Halloween. Everything now does what it does about 2 weeks to a month later.

 
Well shaman, you're half right.
 
Plants, as well as animals, for a large part of their life functions, are phototropic. That means that what triggers their "computer" is degrees of light. Examples of this are the onset of the rut, the shedding of antlers, as well as the hardening of antlers.
 
Deciduous plants start changing color because of the decrease in daylength, not temperatures. So on that part you are incorrect.
 
However, leaf FALL, after the change of leaf color, is increased and facilitated by cold/freezing temperatures. Leaves are attached to the branch they grew on by the leaf petiole (stem). The petiole is attached to the branch with a hardened glue like substance. The same hormones that are triggered by the decrease in daylength that begin the change in leaf color, also trigger that hard glue like attachment to change into a gel, called the abscision layer. The first good hard frost of the season after leaf change will cause the abscision layer to freeze. When it thaws, leaves begin to drop off.
 
I have witnessed this several times while posted in a fall colored maple tree on a frosty morning. As the sun's rays hit the eastern side of the tree, leaves suddenly began falling like someone had pulled a switch!
 
So you were half right. Warmer falls mean that leaves do fall later, or at least later than in a year where you had an early dose of freezing weather.  [:D]
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RE: Question/Observation For Any Naturalist Types

Postby dmcianfa » Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:55 pm

ORIGINAL: shaman

I don't know about cranes, but I will say that a lot -- I mean A LOT-- of stuff that I took for granted as a kid growing into a man has changed in the last few years regarding the Fall and our climate in general.

It used to be the leaves turned  and fell in mid-October and everything was in a pile by Halloween.  Everything now does what it does about 2 weeks to a month later.  In the late nineties and into the first half of this decade things were the most out of whack I've seen them.  It was also the time of the biggest snowfall, the hardest rain, and the biggest this and the smallest that for a lot of things. I am not surprised your cranes are having trouble with their alarm clocks.  My turkeys have been all whacked-out for several seasons, and it has been hard to predict when the gobblers will be receptive to calling.  My last really, really good season from a classic perspective was 2003. That was the last time I had a gobbler flop down from his roost and walk over to see what was down the end of my barrel.

If you believe the climatologists I read, we just ended the warmest period in a long long time, and we are heading back into a cooler period, the end of which we will not live to see.  Global Warming was a spook story, and it really ended in 1998. Recorded temperatures will continue to soar, but it will be because the thermometers are located too close to the cities' urban heat wells.

 
Shaman,
 
I agree the climate is doing some funny things since I was a youngin'. Can you direct me to the readings you came across for the climatologists you refer to?  Is that really what they are saying?  I don't have a sound knowledge on this topic, but I am interested to see if climates are really moving toward the global warming path or just the opposite.  I can't be sure if your being funny or really serious about the whole cities urban heat wells.  Please extrapulate a bit if you could.  Thanks.
 
dmcianfa
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RE: Question/Observation For Any Naturalist Types

Postby paulie » Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:56 pm

Yeah, now that ya mention it, I've noticed quite a few sandhills still hangin around here(south eastern Michigan). In fact, I just saw a group (about a dozen) a couple days ago, in a cut corn field around the corner(from my home). And it's been a bit chilly here(pretty damn cold actually) in the low to mid twenties.

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RE: Question/Observation For Any Naturalist Types

Postby howhill1 » Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:19 pm

not sure about cranes but here in central il. i notice alot of migratory birds in general hanging around later. im no expert by any means but i have been told that many waterfowl will stay around as long as they have open water. with all the hot water returns from the numerous industrial facilities many made lakes do not freeze completely. again i dont know if this is true or not just tossin out somthin ive heard for thought and discussion.
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Woods Walker
 
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RE: Question/Observation For Any Naturalist Types

Postby Woods Walker » Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:43 pm

ORIGINAL: howhill1

not sure about cranes but here in central il. i notice alot of migratory birds in general hanging around later. im no expert by any means but i have been told that many waterfowl will stay around as long as they have open water. with all the hot water returns from the numerous industrial facilities many made lakes do not freeze completely. again i dont know if this is true or not just tossin out somthin ive heard for thought and discussion.


If you are talking about Canada Geese, then your observation is quite correct. Geese "imprint" when they are young to where their parents take them on their first southern migration.
 
Those geese will usually return to those areas for the rest of their lives, barring an unusually mild winter, or some other climatic or habitat change. The cooling lkes that you mentioned, plus ofice park lakes are a big part of this.
 
The geese of the Mississippi Flyway over the past 30 years have definately changed their patterns due to the change in farming practices (more grain left in the fields, and very little fall deep plowing), and a period of mild winters. There were several years where they just didn't go all the way south, and their young never were imprinted. One of the goose clubs that we used to hunt down in Union County, Illinois after firearm deer season closed no longer even books goose hunts. Just duck hunts.
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shaman
 
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RE: Question/Observation For Any Naturalist Types

Postby shaman » Tue Dec 09, 2008 5:44 am

Woodswalker:  I couldn't figure out how you were saying I was half-right.  I think I get it.  Your saying temperatures have nothing to do with the cycle that makes the leaves turn.  I'm saying that the sugar maple and the box elder in my back yard used to be fully dropped before Halloween and now they are not turning until November.  I'm not arguing with your causes.  I'm just saying it does not fit my observation. The leaves are turning later and droping much later.

What it has done is sort of screwed up my deer hunting. For the first 15 years of my deer hunting I always enjoyed the clockwork precision of the maples-- especially the sugar maples. Opening Weekend of bow season in Ohio, the leaves where green.  Second weekend they were starting to turn. Third weekend they starting to drop and they were down for Halloween.  I have pics from Nov1 now of maples and the box elder with the leaves on both trees.  Furthermore, I used to have the box elder dropping before the maples, so I had a great view of the maples.  Now the elder leaves stay on and block the view of the sugar maple that is further away from the deck. If I had been bowhunting this year, the leaves would have been blocking my view clear into the beginning of the rut.  Ten years ago, this didn't happen.

Another thing I notice:  it used to be that the rule of thumb was that if you wanted to most efficient in your leaf raking, you touched nothing until November 1 and then you did it again on December 1.   However, I picked up about half the volume I used to on November 1, and I'm waiting now until mid-December to pick up the last. 

Also, coming from an old builder's family, we always knew to throw down the grass seed on Oct 1.  Without straw or water, you could have grass growing by November 1. This comes from a time when the building trades in Cincinnati used to go dormant on Nov1 and not come back on line until March1. My family used to throw down the grass seed, pack up and drive to Florida and build through the winter down there.  Nowadays, everything is pushed back.  I have to throw down seed November 1.  If I do it early, the seed germinates but it is starved for water and dies.


As to where I picked up the stuff on climate. Hmmmmm.  I can name three sources:

1)  FoxNews.com.
2)  The Farmers Almanac 2009-- a surprisingly good piece this year that a lot of people are quoting.
3)   I was wracking my brain trying to remember this one:  DrudgeReport.com

No, I'm not being funny.  There have been several stories on Fox and Drudge in the past year where:
1)  They found out the thermometers used for key climate data used to back claims of Global Warming  had been improperly placed-- this was about a year ago.  Somebody has been putting the little instrument houses too close to human habitation.
2)  Way too many of the thermometers used for NASA's numbers are located inside urban areas. They weren't urban when the sites were selected, but they are now.
3)  They had a huge boo-boo this year in Siberia-- September's Data was reported twice. Once as Sept. and once as October.  NASA came out with big scare headlines==> Warmest October Ever!!!  .  It took a Global-Warming-is-Bogus watchdog group to find the redundancy and publicize it.


The cities are heating up.  Another thing I'm noticing more and more: a LOT of rain heads towards Cincinnati, get to about the Indiana line and vanishes. You can see the rain on the radar just dissipate. Storms vanish, only to re-form just east of town in Clermont County. I have started to see articles on this, but I can't tell you where I saw the last one.  I always thought it was something to do with the local TV stations' radar units being close to town.  Then they put up the big NWS radar in Wilmington, and it became even more obvious.  It used to be that if you saw a 20 mile thick band of thunderstorms heading for Cincinnati when you went to bed, you knew you were going to be awakened with a thunderstorm. Now, you're lucky to get rain on the north side of town. All the rain now dumps to the East and West of I-275.

By the way, I'm not trying to be an expert on any of this.  I also can't take the rain to a certified check station and have it weighed and notorized, but I do have pics from the back porch on 11/1 showing the box elder and the maples just turned and still fully leafed. I just looked out now: the smaller maples still have their leaves on. I could send y'all a picture of that.
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RE: Question/Observation For Any Naturalist Types

Postby ranwin33 » Tue Dec 09, 2008 9:35 am

Not quite sure I'd cite Fox News or the Drudge Report as unbiased or reputable sources when it comes to global warming.  If your basing your thinking on those, you might want to get second opinion.
 
 
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