Sunday, February 5, 2012

The hard winter

February is usually a very cold month in Irati, and the snow covering the entire forest, and this brings difficulties for non-hibernating animals who need find  food.
The snow always makes easier the observation, because the contrast with the snow is higher, and  they can be seen at certain points when they go to feed.

Jay( Garrulus glandarius)

Here's a Jay (Garrulus glandarius) in an area for livestock barns, looking for food in the snow .The jay is a bird related to the crows, quite common in all these valleys, often very visible from the road, shy and very noisy. Always associated with forests of a certain size, is one of the best settlers of oak, to contribute very effectively to dispersion of its acorns, which they eat some of them.

In this photo we  can see a female Blackbird (the local name is Tordo or zozoa, in basque), taking shelter from the snow under a female holly (Ilex aquifolium). As is evergreen, offers a warm coat, and the little berries for eating , very poisonous to humans.
Females differ from males because they  feathers are browner and  the beak  is less  yellow-orange than males, too much black.


common blackbird (Turdus merula)

 Tit (Parus caeruleus)

In this one, we have a Tit (Parus caeruleus), thoroughly inspecting all holly leaves, looking for remains of cochineal, a parasite of the leaves he had during the spring and summer.

Finally, we have this fox (Vulpes vulpesphotographed from the road to Orbaizeta , and was eating grass in a meadow, as dogs sometimes do, and possibly seeing if I was lucky enough to feed something more substantial.

Red Fox(Vulpes vulpes)

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