Hedwig has been seen daily along the backshore, mostly laying low during the day. She has become quite expert in fooling the crows as to her whereabouts.
Fog, snow, rain, or sunshine, she isn’t deterred much from her routine of sleeping, resting, and grooming during the day, in preparation for an evening of hunting.
Early this week I watched in amazement as Hedwig swooped down from her perch and flew hundreds of feet directly to the rocks and in between crevasses. She resurfaced with a small mammal in her mouth and ate it very quickly–from the time she flew off her perch until she gave a satisfied lick of her beak could not have taken more than three minutes. I felt very fortunate to have witnessed a glimpse of her hunting prowess, albeit all too brief.
Perhaps the tail is too long for a mouse or rat and too short for a vole, but perhaps not. Small mammal caretaker Erin Whitmore wrote with her suggestion. What do you think Hedwig is eating?Hedwig eating a black and white sea duck.
Again, tonight she flew off her perch, this time heading out to sea. In mere minutes she returned with a sea duck of some sort and proceeded to eviscerate, much to the thrill of her Sunday evening fan club. The lighting was low and I was mostly filming, but did manage a few stills. The duck was black and white and as she mostly sat on her catch while eating, it was difficult to determine which species. Without a crow in sight (as they had surely settled for the night), Hedwig ate well into the early evening.
The feathers were flying! Hedwig with feathers on her face but it’s almost too dark to see.
She’s finding the eating here in Gloucester excellent, but with the warm weather predicted for the upcoming week, I wonder if Hedwig will stay or that will be a cue to depart for the Arctic.
Please don’t get electrocuted Hedwig, as happened recently to a Snowy in southern Massachusetts!
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Their most distinctive feature is that their pectorals are so long and so stiff that their owners can plane through the air on them, several feet above the water, which they do mostly in attempts to escape their enemies … this so-called “flight” (really not flight at all, for the flyingfish does not flap its wings)
Voyagers in tropical seas are perhaps more familiar with flyingfishes than any other fishes.
From Fishes of the the Gulf of Maine by Bigelow and Schroeder, 1953
Personal account … For close encounters of the flyingfish kind let me recommend a long voyage in a small, slow sailboat. In the Tongue of the Ocean, an immense blue marlin soaring by with mouth agape in a flock of flyingfish, at my eye level, about 25 feet abeam. That was in 1961 and still vivid. Or becalmed far at sea, dozing at the tiller at night, a flyingfish glancing off my ear. When we picked up a cat (named Scurvy) for the return voyage to Boston, her duty at first light was to gather flyingfish who had gone aground on our deck during the night. (Al Bezanson)
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Archival documentation of a federal grant awarded to Gloucester and nationally recognized for its innovation at the time: reclaiming the City dump for an atheletic field at the High School. Photographs of the project included a sweeping vista from atop Hovey Street.
Shared projects and working together are a focus for a new 2018 NEH grant opportunity.
Contact Mayor Romeo Theken’s arts & culture hotline email@example.com by Febraury 28 to add to a list of potential projects for Gloucester for this NEH Deadline, March 15, or to consider as other funding opportunities arise.
Mayor Romeo Theken shares the 2018 press release from the Commonwealth:
Activities supported by National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant funds include: capital expenditures such as the design, purchase, construction, restoration or renovation of facilities and historic landscapes; the purchase of equipment and software; the documentation of cultural heritage materials that are lost or imperiled: the sustaining of digital scholarly infrastructure; the preservation and conservation of collections; and the sharing of collections.
The grant below is a new grant from NEH and could be a great opportunity to enhance your local cultural or historical organizations. Please share it far and wide. And let us know if we can provide a letter of support for an application from your community. Regards, Rick Jakious
Good afternoon, The National Endowment for the Humanities has just announced a new grant program to support humanities infrastructures. Cultural institutions, such as libraries, museums, archives, colleges and universities, and historic sites, are eligible to apply for grants of up to $750,000. These challenge grants, which require a match of nonfederal funds, may be used toward capital expenditures such as construction and renovation projects, purchase of equipment and software, sharing of humanities collections between institutions, documentation of lost or imperiled cultural heritage, sustaining digital scholarly infrastructure, and preservation and conservation of humanities collections. The application deadline for the first NEH Infrastructure and Capacity-Building Challenge Grants is March 15, 2018. Interested applicants should direct questions about grant proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org 202-606-8309. Please consider sharing this exciting new funding opportunity with cultural institutions in your district. Thank you,Timothy H. Robison Director of Congressional Affairs National Endowment for the Humanities 400 7th Street, SW 4th Floor Washington, D.C. 20506 (202) 606-8273
Innovative and worthy contemporary Gloucester possibilities abound: shared Archives (NSAA, Rocky Neck, Sargent House, City Archives, CAM, Legion, Libraries, Wards historical societies, etc); Digitize City Archives; Digitize Gloucester Daily Times archives; building and historic landscape projects city owned (City Archives, City Hall, Legion, Fitz Henry Lane, Fire Station, Stage Fort, beaches, etc) or in partnership; DPW work; on and on.