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Solving Problems with Nature - Naturally

Certified Wildlife Biologist
Wildlife Author - Wildlife Lecturer - Wildlife Photographer
Non-Lethal Control of Bats since 1983

NH Nature

New Hampshire Nature Notes by Eric Orff

Wednesday 02/21/2007 Warming up at last and a turkey, a goose 179 ducks and hopefully more turkeys.

Well you just never know how a week will turn out if you are a NH wildlife biologist. On Tuesday I headed back down to Portsmouth for my second try at catching "an attack turkey" near Sagamore Creek. A jake turkey has been hanging around a condo development there since before Christmas causing a nuisance. There have been other attempts at catching this vicious bird by our law enforcement folks and by Julie the other Region 3 wildlife bio. But I figured I'd give it another try after last weeks frantic call from there claiming the turkey attacked and knocked down an 82 year old man. But on the way over Julie and I had to swing by the Oyster River in Durham to attempt to catch a lonesome injured goose below the dam. I coaxed the goose in close with some bread but it lurched to avoid the net.The turkey, well the turkey has come to know a Fish and Game vehicle. I purposely wore a black jacket and NOT my F&G jacket so it wouldn't recognize me. But it knew the truck the minute we made the corner and saw it standing next to a garage. It slipped out the back jack and flew on to a roof to distance itself from us. So no turkey or goose for the days efforts.

Today was another whole story. We were back in Dover at an old estate where we have been banding ducks in the winter since I think 1988. The polar freeze up has made the mallards real hungry this winter. It wasn't a minute after Julie broadcast two buckets of cracked corn in front of the rocket net and the ground was covered in ducks. At least 179 that is for that is what we captured. This included 123 "new" ducks and 56 recaptures. No real old looking bands this year, only one black duck and a black/mallard cross. And a couple other weird colored drake mallards that waterfowl biologist Ed Robinson may just be mallard/pintail crosses. Thank goodness for the great assistance from several Region 3 Marine staffers. The Marine staff has been in on everyone of the captures here since we started. As usual Julie Robinson scoots right under the net to hand birds out as we quickly process them.

Plus we collected 120 Avian Influenza sample by swabbing the butt of lots of these mallards. This brought our total since we started to 1,100 which was the goal for the first year. We'll start all over again in May sampling. Still a great day. And the week isn't over yet as I'm scheduled to be in Newington on Friday hoping to catch a flock of turkeys as part of the Pease Tradeport/UNH turkey study. So lots to do this winter and somehow I haven't even got started on my duck box work. Time does fly by it seems.


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2007-02-18 Sun, fun and fishing.

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2007-02-24 Topping of the week with a flock of turkeys to boot.

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