May 10, 2010

Thomasville {part 1}

This past Saturday we took a walking tour of the Wade Tract Preserve in Thomasville, Ga. Charles is really interested in longleaf pine trees, so he planned this tour. The Wade Tract is a 200 acre old growth longleaf pine forest that has never been altered. They do use regular burning to maintain the preserve. A common thought is that burning forests harm the habitat. Saturday, we learned that it is quite the opposite. The burning process spurs growth that many birds like to nest in. There might be a window of time up to a year where the short growth is perfect for their nests.

As we were walking, we saw a wild turkey firsthand. They really can fly pretty well! She took off, leaving her nest for some good pics.

The forest is beautiful. Really nothing but longleaf pines.

They have jewelry too. Many of them are tagged to keep up with their age.

Our guide, Jim Cox. He was great, and very educational.

I was having a particulary bad allergy week, so I took plenty of kleenex in the old camera case.
Murelene & Terry.
So, to the final portion of the tour. Jim needed to band some baby woodpeckers. The mother was very close by, she wasn't too happy with him.
His swedish ladder system was really something amazing.

There were 2 babies in the hole in the tree. Jim estimated them to be only a few days old. Their eyes had just opened. He uses this noose type thing to gently get them out. Carries them down, and puts different colored bands on their legs.
I was sure to ask that the bands didn't hurt them, or ever get too tight. He said their legs develop very fast, and they won't grow much more.

The different color bands will help them to identify the birds in the future. They will be able to know their birthyear, and family.
He also needed to get the weight of each bird.

They really were amazing little guys. I recommend taking this tour if you are in the area!

Later, I will post pictures from the second part of our day in Thomasville. We went to Sweetgrass Dairy that has been featured in Southern Living.


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