Cindy Hamilton photographed a banded American oystercatcher adult with a chick on Cedar Island near Wachapreague on the Eastern Shore. “Birds have been banded for centuries to help identify migration patterns, define bird ranges, and to study longevity and bird behavior,” wrote Hamilton.
Ray Tranchant got a wonderful close-up of a mother osprey and the last of her three babies in the nest at Kill Devil Hills on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. “The osprey mom knows when it’s time to encourage the baby to go,” Tranchant wrote.
Denny Cobb sent a photo of a common loon at Owl’s Creek in Virginia Beach.
Connie Owen sent a photo of a ruddy turnstone on the Chesapeake Bay beach at Cape Charles on the Eastern Shore. Ruddy turnstones are shorebirds that stand out with their bright orange legs and black and white head and chest.
Robert Rhodes got an early morning sunrise photo with a brown pelican in flight while paddling on the Nansemond River in the Bennett’s Creek area of Suffolk.
Joe DiGeronimo photographed a great blue heron as it was flying over the Chesapeake Bay at First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach.
Rich Thiesfeld captured a great blue heron on camera as it was out looking for a morning meal at the Alligator National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina.
Laura Joksaite has a nursery of yellow-crowned night herons in a tree in her backyard in the Robinhood Forest area of Virginia Beach. “I had noticed very many active baby herons,” wrote Joksaite. “… four in one nest.”
Mike Weirich sent a photo of the elusive clapper rail at Pleasure House Point in Virginia Beach.
Michele Thompson captured a photo of a pileated woodpecker in her backyard in Etheridge Lakes in Chesapeake.
Marina Liacouras felt lucky to see a pileated woodpecker on a tree in the Chelsea neighborhood in Norfolk while walking the dog. “Very special,” wrote Liacouras.
Jane Hughey has lots of young house finches in her yard in the Indian River area of Chesapeake. “Very entertaining watching them try to land on the feeders,” wrote Hughey. “They are flying in from every direction with many close collisions.”
Harold Winer happened to open the bluebird box as the second nesting of bluebirds was hatching, and took a photo of them 4 days old. “The mama bluebird is very good about cleaning out the nest,” Winer wrote.
Alvin Wall sent photos of a bluebird fledgling getting ready for its first flight in the Larkspur neighborhood in Virginia Beach.
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Jonathan Snyder sent a photo of a Carolina wren feeding a brown-headed cowbird in the Sawyers Mill neighborhood in Chesapeake. Brown-headed cowbirds often lay their eggs in the nests of other bird species. The other species then feed the new hatchlings of the brown-headed cowbird, ”wrote Snyder. “This is called nest parasitism.”
Benjamin Gerber got an awesome photo of a bunny in his front yard in the Western Branch neighborhood of Chesapeake.
Lewis Cobb photographed a fawn in Bertrand on the Northern Neck. “The mama was frightened and ran into the woods while the fawn hunkered down in the grass and did not move,” wrote Cobb.
Robin Burch caught a raccoon in the act of trying to steal birdseed from a feeder in the Park Manor neighborhood of Portsmouth.
Beckie Webster sent photos of a gray fox that sneaked into her side yard in the North End of Virginia Beach while she was cooking hotdogs on the grill. “I think he wanted one of those yummy Costco hotdogs!” wrote Webster.
Vickie Shufer, email@example.com
To submit items, email no more than two photos and / or nature sightings each week for possible publication in Close Encounters. Do not forget your full name and neighborhood. Email photos as .jpg attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have injured wildlife, call Tidewater Wildlife Rescue, 255-8710. Wildlife Response can be reached at 543-7000.