PaddleWise Discussion - Nature Including Birds on Deck

From: Robert C. Perkins
Subject: [Paddlewise] Hello!
Date: Wed, 28 Jan 1998 19:31:52 -0500

     I'm in my third year of kayaking, a sport I took up after years of
owning various power boats and then a dozen years when I didn't have a
boat.  I have two kayaks, a plastic WW touring boat that I use for
everything from Class II whitewater to winding, timber-choked blackwater
rivers (but you don't want to get out on open water when the wind is
blowing).  My other boat is a Dagger Meridian that I really like.  I paddle
it on lakes, rivers, and the coast in Virginia, the Carolinas, and
northeastern Florida.
     One of my favorite recipes for a trip is to put in at a public access
on a river, paddle upstream for 2-3 hours, and then paddle back to my
starting point.  I enjoy birdwatching and have added a number of new
species to my life list during the past two years.  Last fall I was easing
my way through a creek off of Doctors Lake in north Florida when a pair of
green herons and an unidentified white egret (snowy, immature blue heron,
or cattle egret?) landed in a tree overhead.  That was one of the
highlights of my trip.  On my first trip to Jordan Lake in central North
Carolina last year I was treated to a reasonably close look at a bald eagle
while paddling in the upper end of the New Hope Creek arm.  Recently, while
paddling near Sunset Beach, NC,  I saw a flock of white ibis--beautiful
     Sometime in the next year I'll probably trade in my plastic boat and
purchase a two-man canoe.  I want to be able to take my wife places that
she'll never see unless I supply the paddle power.  Also, my daughter and
her husband would be able to make use of a canoe.  A fiberglass (composite)
kayak is capable of lasting 20 years.  I hope I'm able to paddle that long!


From: Larry Bliven Subject: [Paddlewise] canoe/birds Date: Wed, 28 Jan 1998 20:59:10 -0500 hi Robert, kathy and i also enjoy birding in a 2 man canoe. :>) a few years ago we decided that we want to cover more distance easily, and had heard that longer boats go better than shorter ones. we rented a 17, which was much better than our 16. ended up buying a kevlar 18 sundowner (42 lbs). now then, long trips (12-15 1/2 day) are easy. car topping is easy. very sociable boat. and never any discussion about how much gear kathy can carry. cases of lots of suntan lotion. glad to hear about your eagle sighting... let's hear of other birds. bye bye bliven
From: Mark Zen Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] canoe/birds/dragonflies Date: Fri, 30 Jan 1998 08:07:08 -0700 (MST) we've got lots of eagles near me. the hang around the river i paddle on. since we moved to the "country" a year ago, i have never seen so many eagles in my life. mostly golden. have seen a bald eagle or two over the last few years, but not commonly. don't know about all the hawks/falcon type birds, bazillions of those ;-) i paddle that river often, and here's an open invite to anyone to join me on any of these trips... you can find the dates on the RMSKC or RMCC trip schedules... mark #------canoeist[at]netbox[dot]com-------------------------------------- mark zen o, o__ o_/| o_. po box 474 [/ [\/ [\_| [\_\ ft. lupton, co 80621-0474 (`-/-------/----') (`----|-------\-') #~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~@~~~~~~~@~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~@~~~~~~~~@~~~~~ [Colorado Paddlers' Resource] [Rocky Mtn Sea Kayak Club] [Rocky Mtn Canoe Club Trip Page] [personal] --
From: Chuck Holst Subject: [Paddlewise] Nature Date: Fri, 30 Jan 1998 14:24:05 -0600 > Ive had much better luck with dragonflies landing on my kayak, but no > birds. I saw a seagull try to drop something on me once though, and a > short-eared owl nearly landed on my dog's back once. I will not rest until > I find that seagull. ;-) > > When I used to paddle at _______ in Washington, I would rescue drowning > insects and put them on the yak to dry out. Grasshoppers are fun-they will > crawl to the bow of the boat and stand sentry at the tip like a watchful > hood ornament. > > Wayne Maybe this topic should be on WaveLength , but I once saw a snowy owl sitting at the base of Palisade Head on Lake Superior. I have heard that they sometimes hang out around the grain terminals in Duluth to feed on mice. They are very striking birds (no pun intended). Chuck Holst
From: Jackie Fenton Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Nature Date: Fri, 30 Jan 1998 15:04:41 -0800 (PST) Paddling the Aransas Pass Wildlife Refuge near Corpus Christi, we had a pair of whooping cranes fly right over our heads! The rare whooping crane makes this its winter home. Their migratory habits are interesting. I am particularly interested in whoopers which are the tallest of all North American birds (5 feet standing), are quite beautiful, are still endangered but are making a slow comeback. In 1941 their numbers fell to around 14 or 16. After establishing refuges for the species and other recovery plans enacted by the US and Canadian Whooping Crane Recovery, the numbers are in the hundreds (not all in the wild, however). Late February is the height of the migratory season in Aransas Pass then they head back north to Canada. US Fish and Wildlife Service has established a nesting ground in Kissimmee Prairie in Florida. One plan was to attempt to imprint on whooping crane chicks the 850-mile migratory route of sandhill cranes from Grays Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Idaho to Bosque Del Apache national Wildlife in New Mexico in order to establish additional migratory routes for the whooping cranes. To do this, researchers placed the eggs of whooping cranes into the nests of the Sandhill cranes who would raise them, teach them to fly south with the flock and begin a new colony of whooping cranes. Problem was, the imprinting was so complete that the whooping cranes would not mate with other whooping cranes. 8-} If you want to know more about whoopers, check out the following (also gives launch points to paddle the area near the refuge and lots of links) Cheers! Jackie _ .==(~"\ ) / _ .'/ __ _ ___ \\ { `~.. / \(Q)/ \ \\ \ `. |`| `\ `. `. ^ ^ ,sSSs,\, ``\ , \ )\w/( ,sSS..)/{) `|\|"\\\ <<..> sSSS_v)/ \ | \ "`" )<*> sSS[(\_]___\ | / <(_/_o_o_ 'sS[_`-+---+) |/ \----+-------+-------'---`-----\--------n----') ~~~~~~~ ~~jf ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~ ~~~~\~ ~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~ o \ o \\ o o \\ o o ` (\ o o >jf:-) o (/ o
From: "Larry Bliven" Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Nature Date: Fri, 30 Jan 1998 21:10:57 -0500 from Chuck > I once saw a snowy owl sitting at the base of Palisade Head on Lake > Superior. I have heard that they sometimes hang out around the > grain terminals in Duluth to feed on mice. They are very striking > birds (no pun intended)... and from Jackie >Paddling the Aransas Pass Wildlife Refuge near Corpus Christi, we had >a pair of whooping cranes fly right over our heads! The rare whooping >crane ... ======================== thanks for the bird info. for many of us, nature is a big reason to be out there and although full lenght articles in printed media are fantastic, i appreciate hearing about the cool stuff that folks see. hopefully nature postings will be regular features. bye bye bliven still searching for that someone whose had a bird on deck.
From: Chris Hardenbrook Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Nature Date: Fri, 30 Jan 1998 21:58:05 -0800 Greetings, all -- Last weekend we did a little lunch paddle in San Pedro Harbor (between Long Beach and Palos Verdes) and the weekend previous in the Upper Newport Bay. The purpose of these 2-hour jaunts is bird watching and a floating picnic. Very calm water, just pleasant sight-seeing trips. So what have we seen in the last few weeks around here? Great blue, green, and black-crowned night-herons; great and cattle egrets; red-tailed, sharp-shinned, cooper, and marsh hawks; turkey vultures; american kestrels; avocets; buffleheads; coots; western and pied-billed grebes; american bitterns; canadian and snow geese; terns; a sora (!); white and brown pelicans; cormorants; hummingbirds; loggerhead shrikes; an immature bald eagle; mallard and mexican ducks; pintails; cinnamon teals; a belted kingfisher; red-winged blackbirds; long-billed curlews; willets; various sandpipers and surfbirds; and guess what? gulls! And none of them have ever landed on my kayak :-( I guess I'll have to put more breaded snails on the bow ;-) Here's a question for anyone in Southern or Central CA...have you been to Soda Lake in the Carrizo Plains when the Sand Cranes are there? I heard from a naturalist it is possible to camp there and kayak when the lake is sufficiently wet (it's not there in summer at all) to look at the cranes. I'd like to do that this year and would appreciate any information. >///:>Chris Hardenbrook<:\\\< Sunny Southern California
From: wayne steffens Subject: [Paddlewise] VISITING WHITE PELICAN FLIES HOME VIA WAYNE'S KAYAK Date: Fri, 30 Jan 1998 22:00:53 -0600 At 09:10 PM 1/30/98 -0500, Larry Bliven wrote: > >hopefully nature postings will be regular features. > >bye bye bliven >still searching for that someone whose had a bird on deck. >============================================================ >For Immediate Release: Contact: Georgia Parham (812)334-4261 >x 203 >January 29, 1998 E-Mail: >EA98-14 Joseph Budzyn (847)298-3250 >x 110 > > >VISITING WHITE PELICAN FLIES HOME VIA Wayne's kayak > > >A white pelican, rarely seen in the Midwest and apparently swept into >northern Illinois by bad weather, will get a free ride back home to >Florida thanks to help from Wayne's kayak, the Illinois Department of >Natural Resources, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. > >The white pelican, a species normally found in western and southern >states, was discovered in mid-December along the Kankakee River in >Kankakee County south of Chicago. Friendly fishermen provided food for >the wayward bird, but when temperatures plunged and the river froze, the >Illinois DNR was called in. The pelican was taken to a wildlife >rehabilitator in Aroma Park, who has been caring for the bird until it is >ready for Wayne's kayak. > >The pelican will fly home the easy way, in a container aboard Wayne's kayak. >Upon arrival, the bird will be >met by state wildlife agents who will release it, or if necessary, place >it in the care of a wildlife rehabilitator until the pelican is ready for >return to the wild. > >White pelicans, while not an endangered species, are a rarity in this >part of the country. These birds nest near lakes in western states and >spend their winters along the Pacific Coast in central and southern >California, along the Gulf of Mexico in Texas and Louisiana, and >throughout Wayne's kayak. > >Among the largest birds on earth, adult white pelicans weigh 17 pounds or >more and sport wingspans over 9 feet. White pelicans have a long, >distinctive reddish bill and the large pouch for which the species is >famous. Their plumage is white with black wing tips. They eat fish, >crayfish, and salamanders, sometimes working in groups to drive fish to >shallow water where they are easier to catch. > >White pelicans are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, a >Federal law aimed at conserving populations of migrating birds, including >waterfowl, birds of prey, and songbirds. Enforced by the U.S. Fish and >Wildlife Service, the act was passed in 1916 to stop the decline of bird >populations which were being decimated by market hunters seeking meat, as >well as feathers for the fashion industry. Amended most recently in >1989, the act also regulates sport hunting of migratory game birds and >provides full protection for many other species of migratory birds. > >-FWS- > >============================================================ >News releases are also available on the World Wide Web at > They can be reviewed in >chronological order or searched by keyword.
From: "Geo. Bergeron, Oswego Heritage Council" Subject: [Paddlewise] Deck Landers. . . Date: Sat, 31 Jan 1998 00:35:35 -0800 (PST) "Camprobbers" which are some variant of Blue Jays will land on your deck. I've had these birds land on my boots while taking a break in Nordic skiing, and I've seen them fly into an office, land on the desk and eat out of your hand while I was at Universtiy of Oregon. But Randal Washburne talks about the racoons getting into a tug-of-war with him over his camp gear. . . trying to pull it away from his grasp in the middle of the night. I've had squirrels run across my sleeping bag all night long, break into my knapsack and eat my chocolate bars. . . I think I can get a duck to nest on my bow. . . Geo.
From: Sam and Ann Isaacs Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] NATURE- GREAT BLUE HERON SIGHTING Date: Sat, 31 Jan 1998 07:33:19 +0000 On one occasion we beached on a sandy shore, only to be greeted by a most pathetic looking seagull, moaning and staggering as if it were on its last legs. It started pecking at our kayak and bow line, as if it were searching for food. It looked so desperate that we looked for some food to give it and came up with some chocolate chip cookies. We hand fed it some small pieces, and then gave it a whole one (expecting it would peck at it into smaller ones). We watched as the whole thing went down its gullet! We were certain it either was too injured or too weakened to fly, and were debating whether our limited rescue skills included seagulls. At this point, a dog came running up the beach..the gull turned to looked at, gave a couple of very normal and healthy squawks and flew off, looking perfectly fine. We were most impressed with its fine acting skills! On another occasion we were walking the docks of Ganges (small town on Saltspring Island, British Columbia) late at night. There was a sea plane tied up to one. We watched as a Blue Heron came walking down the dock, quickly hopped onto the pontoon and perched at the edge, peering down. It was completely out of the water. My wife and I started joking about the wilds of nature including pontoons, of course, when we noticed the Heron, in quick succession, catch and eat (no release program here) 4 or 5 fish. Then off it went. Very effective fishing! The Heron obviously incorporated this addition into its environment to its own advantage (the fish might have a diffeent version). We weren't sure whether the pontoon gave the Heron access to deeper water, or by keeping the Heron completely out of the water, camouflaged it from the fish. Sam and Ann Isaacs Coast to Coast Canadian Products phone/fax: 604-271-3228
From: Hank Hays Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] NATURE Date: Sat, 31 Jan 1998 08:09:28 -0800 I've had "whiskyjacks" the midwestern Canada camprobber (Grey Jay?) land on my canoe (while I was in it) in Quetico Provincial Park on trips to that area years back. These were friendly camp birds used to people, like the ones, nordic skiiers often feed up in the mountains, and they were looking for a handout as we'd pull into the campsite area. Not sure of the species as this was long before my interest in birds, and now we live 2000 miles (3200+ km) west of there in Oregon. Hank Hays
From: SGScorpio Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] NATURE- GREAT BLUE HERON SIGHTING Date: Sat, 31 Jan 1998 09:07:58 EST Numerous pre-dawn mornings I have seen a large Great Blue Heron standing on the deck of one of our sea kayaks. We (Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe) store 5 sea kayaks on the water here on the Columbia river in Portland, OR. My wife and I live on a sailboat behind the shop and I like to get up early. There is a resident Heron that hangs on the docks and has been seen *roosting* on the bow of one of our boats. I only wish I could get him on film! I tried packing my camera every morning but.......... you know how that goes. Steve Scherrer
From: Dave Kruger Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] NATURE- Gull Capacity Date: Sat, 31 Jan 1998 10:51:28 -0800 Sam and Ann's post re: gull play-acting reminded me of another common gull trick. I suspect others have seen this one, also: Twice in the Brokens (Barkley Sound, BC) I have watched a gull fold a small sea star (not sure which species) onto itself, with all five legs still waving in the breeze, and squeeze that mess down its gullet! These sea stars were maybe 4-5 inches in diameter, and formed a bolus at least an inch to an inch and a half in diameter at the wide part as they were "swallowed." Both gulls sorta stood around afterwards, eyeballs counter-rotating, and hung out on the rock they were on until they could fly away. Must be a hell of a digestive system! -- Dave Kruger Astoria, OR
From: Roger Korn Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] NATURE- GREAT BLUE HERON SIGHTING Date: Sat, 31 Jan 1998 11:13:31 -0800 (PST) At 09:07 AM 1/31/98 EST, SteveS wrote: > >the deck of one of our sea kayaks. We (Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe) store 5 >sea kayaks on the water here on the Columbia river in Portland, OR. My wife >and I live on a sailboat behind the shop and I like to get up early. There is >a resident Heron that hangs on the docks and has been seen *roosting* on the >bow of one of our boats. I only wish I could get him on film! I tried >packing my camera every morning but.......... you know how that goes. As John Ariola, my Garifuna buddy in Belize says, "Ya, mon, da tings you see when you no gotta gun." Roger
From: Chris Hardenbrook Subject: [Paddlewise] birds on boats Date: Sat, 31 Jan 1998 16:19:40 -0800 Years ago (1975-80) I lived on the shore of Lake Elsinore (a low desert town about 40 miles south of Riverside, CA). I had a HobieCat 14 sailboat to play on the water that was kept beached about 6 feet from the shoreline when not in use (lots of wind but no tide!). This lake was a good spot for bird watching. One winter the mast of the Hobie was shared by a Belted Kingfisher in the mornings and an American Kestrel in the afternoons. A lot of birds eat stuff that they can't digest, and what they don't poop they "pellet" by coughing up a tight little wad of compacted debris. Owl seekers can look around the base of trees for these things to know if an owl is in the tree and even what kind, as the pellets are quite distinctive for each species. In the morning, the kingfisher would show up and take position on the mast top. Every now and then it would make a dive and come up with something to take back to its mast top perch. She liked to let it wriggle in her beak for a while and then toss it back and look for more until about 9am when she would vacate the mast and the kestrel (a small indigenous falcon some people used to call a Chicken Hawk) would take over. Her program was the same only her food was next to the shore, not in the water, and she would daintily hold the catch in one talon while ripping off bits to swallow with her short hooked beak. In the evening, I would go down and brush the pellets off the boat's trampoline. The kingfisher's were all little white fish bones and tiny shiny scales. The falcon's were mostly grasshopper and beetle wings, legs, and exoskeletal armor pieces. My little beach was also frequented by Great Blue Herons who would walk the shoreline fishing for minnows. Sometimes they would grab a fish so big it would take a minute or more for that fish to slooowly go down the long length of the bird's neck, all the while looking like a snake that swallowed something impossibly large. >///:>Chris Hardenbrook<:\\\< Drizzly Southern California
From: Hal Levine Subject: [Paddlewise] Sad day of paddling Date: Sun, 01 Feb 1998 10:08:52 -0800 On Saturday we launched our kayaks in Wellfleet Harbor on Cape Cod with the intention of hopefully helping some of the dolphins that the news reported stranded in the shallows. Unfortunately by Saturday any healthy dolphins (Common and White Side) had left the bay. We paddled from Wellfleet to the Great Island area and saw at least a dozen dead dolphins. The state biologists were doing some autopsies and their preliminary findings were that the dolphins were healthy and they were most likely disoriented by heavy storms and high tides. Anyhow it was a wonderful day of winter padding. There was about a 8-10 MPH breeze and it was cold. We did see many healthy seals in the water and also on the beach. If you havent paddled in the Wellfleet area give it a try. There are many good launch areas and plenty of protected bays to explore. It is too bad that we had to use a "dolphin tragedy" to get us motivated to paddle. -- Hal Wilton, NH Power your boat with carbohydrates, not hydrocarbons. 0 \_O \============\==============/ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ \^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 0
From: wildwater Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] birds on boats Date: Sun, 01 Feb 1998 22:30:05 -0600 On one of the little lakes here in Oklahoma, I have a favorite little island I paddle out to. It is rich with ducks, geese, teals, cranes, herons, etc. I take my H2O-proof binocs, use my paddle float for a pad/pillow and watch them messing around, nesting and doing bird stuff. The geese and ducks get real curious after a while. One caught me napping and woke me by pecking at one of the ends of my deck line. It made an interesting "whomp whomp" noise. Of course there are the hawks and egrets but we are rich in the little songbirds too. For the little guys, I go to a different lake, wooded and nestled in the mountains. And there are the curious carp, who'll swim alongside and jump just when you're focused on something else and make your heart jump back. Geesh, time to get back on the water, come on spring! Alice & Happy Dog
From: Chuck Holst Subject: [Paddlewise] FW: Deck Landers. . . Date: Mon, 2 Feb 1998 09:35:50 -0600 "Camp robbers" is one name for gray jays, formerly known as Canada jays. Another name is "whisky jack." They are indeed bold opportunists. Like you, I've had them eat gorp from my hand, and I've seen them steal food from a picnic table. Red squirrels and chipmunks can also be great thieves. I once left a bag of gorp out while camping in the Boundary Waters, and in the morning found that something had licked the chocolate out of the M&Ms and left the shells behind. A friend has had a couple of tug-o-wars with river otters over his fresh-caught fish. Then there is the notorious black bear. Cliff Jacobson placates him by leaving gifts of food lying around the forest. ;-) Chuck Holst
From: "Geo. Bergeron, Oswego Heritage Council" Subject: [Paddlewise] Raison d'etre and existental impedimentia Date: Tue, 3 Feb 1998 07:33:38 -0800 (PST) There was a clear blue sky and warm winds yesterday, so I headed out to the Columbia by the Portland International Airport (Govt. Island) and got in most of the day on the water. No recreational boats out, I saw maybe three working tugs the whole day. This stretch of water is big and open, maybe a mile across at some points. Although it's in the heart of the city on both shores, Govt. Island is pretty much 4 or 5 miles of game preserve. (OK. . . the I-205 bridge *does* cross over the top of it at one point. . .) But there's the view of Mt. Hood, the sunshine, a few of the home owners on the Washington shore were out working in their yards. A couple guys greeted me from their boat as I cruised through one of the small marinas. . . and I sat on a log in the grass on Govt. Island, in the sunshine, just up the beach from a gaggle of about 200 Canada geese. Bagels, a couple pears, big bag of granola, some juice. . . If this ain't heaven, I don't want to go! It's nice to have a list where we can share these experiences. Geo.
From: Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Raison d'etre and existental impedimentia Date: Tue, 03 Feb 1998 11:28:11 -0800 Yes, it is good to see reminders of why we paddle. Over the weekend, I went down from New York City to Washington DC to participate in an on-water protest over a development on the Potomac. The location is a spot called Smoot Cove on the Maryland side of the Potomac, just south of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge that carries 495/95 across the river. A developer, moving real quickly has cleared several hundred acres of land for a stripmall. In the process, they destroyed some prime bald eagle habitat. About a dozen kayakers paddled over from Alexandria and about another 80 people were on small motor boats and bass boats carrying protests signs. What amazed us all was to find that some bald eagles had managed to still hang on, on the edges of the cleared land. There was some TV and press coverage, or at least reporters were there. The trip was led by a fellow I met on a four day Potomac Water Trail trip last June. So I got a chance to meet some old friends including several paddlers from the Chesapeake Paddlers Association (CPA), where in lies another raison d'etre. The CPA group is super safety conscious group of paddler whose criteria is more stringent than my own and what we are used to seeing up in the Big Apple (while they are south of us and therefore in warmer waters, their insistence on coldwater protection runs through June 1 whereas we up here say May 1 more or less; and they won't have any organized trips under CPA auspices in the winter at all). All were equipped with PFDs, wet or dry suits, neoprene hoods, whistles, flares, the works. It is the way they paddle period even on a one mile crossing of the Potomac. But other paddlers on the protest had not the foggiest idea of the dangers of paddling in just fleece and jeans in 35 degree water. I know one CPAkayaker who almost had kittens seeing the others and how ill-geared they were. It was a day in the upper 30s-lower 40s in air temperature but with about a 15 mile plus wind. We did some talking with those paddlers who didn't understand what might happen if they were to go into that cold water. Not too preachy but calmly. Several of those unaware type now know something they didn't and some are joining CPA where they will really have the fear of God implanted into them. So, I found myself involved in three aspects of what PaddleWise is all about. Enjoy oneself in paddling with friends, try to do something about preserving the paddling environment, and getting other to start understanding how to paddle wise. And all of this with the Washington monument in the distance and the sun playing wonderful varying light on it and the Capitol Dome while bald eagles flew overhead! ralph diaz -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Ralph Diaz . . . Folding Kayaker newsletter PO Box 0754, New York, NY 10024 Tel: 212-724-5069; "Where's your sea kayak?"----"It's in the bag." -----------------------------------------------------------------------
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