Column: On the lookout for an excellent wildlife {photograph}? Seek for water

Nature photographers will inform you the key to good wildlife footage is to search for someplace the place there may be water.

Even Leonardo da Vinci understood the significance of water centuries in the past when he wrote, “Water is the driving force in nature.”

It’s a lesson I discovered once I started photographing wild birds. Discover a small pond, wild spring, maybe only a tiny seep, or perhaps a dripping faucet and you’ll discover birds and different creatures profiting from this vital supply of life.

This actually hit house not too long ago once I determined to get pleasure from a sit-and-see journey at a tiny spring within the mountains. Sitting quietly in nature for a time will permit the pure world round you to come back to life, typically revealing stuff you would by no means see if simply passing by means of.

My mountain spring is barely a trickle of water that largely creates a moist patch of soil. However there’s a small puddle of standing water lower than 6 toes lengthy and about 2 toes large. It’s not quite a lot of inches deep.

I discovered a snug seat within the shade below a yawning cedar tree about 30 toes from the water.

Within the hour or so I spent sitting and watching, an entire neighborhood of bugs, birds, rodents, amphibians, reptiles and mammals came over. Some animals got here for the water and a few got here to feed on these looking for the water.

It was the cycle of nature contained in a single tiny place the place the essence of life was out there.

It was an unintended discovery. I had been centered on the woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees and bluebirds as they darted about feeding within the cedars and pines. I seen the birds would sometimes swoop right down to the water.

As I shifted my consideration to the tiny puddle, I found an entire new world of animal exercise.

The obvious have been the birds coming to drink. In only a few minutes almost a dozen totally different species from dove to warblers, woodpeckers to bluebirds drank from this wild supply of life.

Floor squirrels, grey squirrels and chipmunks got here by for a drink, in addition to a cottontail rabbit, dragon and damselflies, bees, hornets and different buzzing bugs. Within the damp floor across the standing water there have been recent deer and coyote tracks.

Swallowtail butterflies landed on the damp soil subsequent to the water to guzzle tiny quantities of water with their lengthy, prolonged straw-like tongues.

A lizard approached, attracted by the prospect of an insect meal, and swallows started to swoop down to grab small bugs hovering simply above the water’s floor.

Nature lovers ought to hold this in thoughts when creating wildlife-friendly habitat round their home. Along with meals and shelter, water is a vital addition to draw extra wildlife.

Together with plenty of chicken feeders, native flowering crops and good cowl, we offer two water fountains right here on Mount Whoville.

Our sport cameras have recorded rabbits, coyotes, opossums, frogs and even a king snake coming to drink, along with the infinite parade of birds that drink and bathe within the fountains.

‘Missing Lynx’

The Escondido Creek Conservancy has launched “The Missing Lynx” marketing campaign to amass and protect wildlife corridors that may permit animals to maneuver freely between preserved areas.

“We manage preserves on either side of the I-15,” says Hannah Walchak, the conservancy’s land conservation supervisor. “It’s crazy to think that I can easily drive between these preserves, while the unique populations of mountain lions on each side are unlikely to meet because of a lack of connectivity.”

The marketing campaign was launched after a profitable effort to amass 975 acres as a part of a “Save 1,000 Acres” marketing campaign. Since 1991, The Escondido Creek Conservancy has helped protect over 7,000 acres in North San Diego County.

Connecting wildlands is essential for wildlife, particularly massive mammals like mule deer and mountain lions that sometimes have house ranges of greater than 100 sq. miles.

Wildlife corridors present entry to meals and different sources, whereas additionally bettering genetic variation. Connecting breeding populations of a species will increase their capability to adapt to their altering setting.

Walchak mentioned the conservancy is looking for public assist to protect and shield the wildlife corridors to scale back wildlife conflicts with human actions and supply native species the habitat they should survive.

For details about the marketing campaign, go to

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