Posts Tagged ‘Russell Chappell’

  • Bird of the Month: Ring-necked Duck February 2019

    Feb 2, 19 • ndemarino • 5enses, Prescott Audubon Society's Bird of the MonthComments Off on Bird of the Month: Ring-necked Duck February 2019Read More »

    By Russ Chappell      Male Ring-necked Ducks are gleaming black, gray, and white, while females are brown with a delicate face pattern. At a distance, look for this species’ distinctive, peaked head to help identify it… don’t look for a ring around the neck—it’s really hard to see! These ducks closely resemble and are often confused with Lesser Scaups.       Ring-necked Ducks are divers and, while feeding, thrust forward in an arc and plunge underwater. Using their feet for propulsion, they feed on submerged plants, aquatic invertebrates, leaves, stems, seeds, and tubers of pondweed, water lilies, wild celery, wild rice, millet, sedges, and arrowhead. Protein-rich animal food is important during the breeding season, and adult females primarily consume animal food while raising their young. Plant foods become much more important during fall migration. These ducks breed across far northern North America in freshwater marshes, bogs and boreal forests. While a diving duck, they frequent shallow waters, where open water is fringed with aquatic or emergent vegetation such as sedges, lilies, and shrubs. Nests are a collection of plant stems and leaves shaped into a bowl and lined with the mother’s down feathers. The nest is about eleven inches across, two to four inches deep, and placed above the water surface, with a ramp to provide the incubating female easier access. There is one brood per year of

  • Bird of the Month: White-breasted Nuthatch

    By Russell Chappell Common in our region, the White-breasted Nuthatch is a perennial favorite among backyard birders because of its unique body, active demeanor, and gravity-defying, effortless walking on trees. They’re the only species that can walk both up and down a tree while depending solely on the strength of their legs and not using their tails. Although their movement looks like walking, they’re actually hanging off the tree bark by their number one toe, called the hallux, and a backward-pointing toe. Black and gray with brilliant white markings, the agile White-breasted Nuthatches satisfy their voracious appetites with a diet of insects, spiders, and large, meaty seeds. They’re easy to locate because of their loud and insistent nasal chattering as they frequent large deciduous trees or bird feeders. White-breasted Nuthatches nest in cavities, often abandoned woodpecker nests. They prefer large natural cavities 15’ to 60′ above ground, but occasionally use a birdhouse. These birds hatch one brood per year of five to nine white eggs with reddish-brown spots. The female remains on the nest during incubation while the male brings her food. Until they leave the nest, both parents feed the young a diet consisting solely of insects and spiders. Many young do not make it to adulthood because of predators like squirrels, chipmunks, and raptors. Occasionally, when a predator is near, the female can be seen acting a bit

  • Prescott Peeps: Russell Chappell

    Jul 25, 17 • ndemarino • 5enses, Prescott PeepsNo CommentsRead More »

    How did you first get involved in nonprofits in the community? When my wife and I moved to Prescott in December of 2004, we discovered our home was surrounded by birds and wildlife. We thought it would be nice to feed the birds, so I visited Jay’s Bird Barn, where Eric Moore loaded me up with optics, books, seeds and birding information and invited me to the next Prescott Audubon Society meeting, so I guess Eric is ultimately responsible for my relationship with Audubon, and I thank him and blame him for that. As a pilot, I focused on avoiding birds, but I really never studied them. Halfway through that first Audubon meeting, I was planning how to graciously thank them for their hospitality and quietly slip out the door. The chapter’s IBA Coordinator, Karen O’Neil, was giving a presentation and her vocabulary and passion about birds were foreign to me, and I didn’t feel birders and I would be compatible. During a break, Eric introduced me to the chapter president, mentioning my background in computers, aviation and technology. The president asked if I’d be willing to operate their projector at the next meeting. I agreed and was thus committed to a second meeting. The president also mentioned the chapter had CD with a lot of data on it and wondered if I would review it and see if the

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