|Vultures checking out the new cattle trough.|
So that got me thinking about two particular water sources at the Dipper Ranch this summer. One is a spring that leaks out of a cut bank. Usually, this has a bathtub size pool beneath it but with the reduced amount of rainfall this winter, the spring is barely dripping. By late August, the pool was just mud. So I dug a series of small pools beneath it to provide summer water for the wildlife, and put up a wildlife camera. Visiting this spring pool seems to be a family affair.
|Bobcat walking away from the spring pool which is just to the left of this frame.|
|A big skunk on September 4th.|
|A little skunk on September 9th.|
|A little coyote on September 11th.|
|And a big coyote many hours later on September 11th.|
|Vultures are kinda picky about where they will take water. They need to be able to dive off the trough and catch air to soar. This trough has a slope beneath it that gave them lift.|
|Black phoebes can always be found around water.|
|A European starling visits the trough. First it poses for the camera.|
|Look closely, do you see the starling's head just peeking up above the near edge of the trough? It is standing on an escape ramp we've designed for these troughs so that small animals can get out.|
|Here is a starling back on the escape ramp the next day at almost the same time.|
I also observed western bluebirds and lesser goldfinches at this trough. I think the cattle-sized trough is too high for other wildlife except deer, so they just have to visit the spring pool or the birdbaths in my yard, which btw, are empty almost every morning.