We’ve come to the critical months for upland bird reproduction. The next two months weather will determine the success of upland bird hatches.
As of right now this is what some of the chukar hills look like.
There is still plenty of green up. I understand the Owyhee’s are quite a bit dryer. The Snake river canyons are still looking good. Even at that, I didn’t see many insects two days ago when I shot this picture. Most of the ground is dry and it takes some moisture to drive insects to the surface. Notice how after watering your lawn the birds will show up to get what comes to the surface. They’re not after just worms.
On this particular hike, I saw four different solo Hungarian partridge. The dogs never saw them, showing how the lack of scent helps protect them at this critical time. They all flushed at my presence and I assume since they were solo that they were either a male trying to lead me away from the females nest or a female flying off her nesting area. Either way it is a good sign of a nesting bird in the area. Always good news.
The temperatures dropped quite a bit for the next few days and some moisture is hopefully on it’s way. The cool temps won’t hurt nothing because mom is sitting on the eggs keeping the temperature constant for incubation. Any moisture will help to keep things green and produce more insects.
I have a few readers who are concerned about the dry forecast for the next month and rightfully so. All we can do is keep our fingers crossed for rain every two weeks or so to keep things on the positive side. One thing I have noticed is that the skeleton weed seems to be lacking. That stuff is miserable. Last year it was so thick it was hard to walk in places. It grabs your leg and is almost as hard as walking in a foot of snow. So that is a positive. But the negative is that the growth of everything is somewhat stunted this year, producing less cover for the chicks that will soon be hatched.
As I mentioned, there are some spots that are looking dismal and some that are looking positive. We are definitely in need of some rain. Both for future cover and insects for chicks that will soon be emerging from the nests. I’ll be posting in a couple of weeks with some pictures of this same area and hopefully it will still have lot’s of green in them.