Friday, July 6, 2012

Fun in the sun at the Black Butte burn

Sarah, Andie the dog, and I were joined by our friends Bob and Sally as we visited the Black Butte wildfire site this morning. We hoped to find some Black-Backed Woodpeckers tapping the trees that were burned in 2009. As we hiked through the shrubs and debris, we found some House Wrens and Chipping Sparrows, but they were upstaged by Andie's antics.

 She dug a herself a shallow depression and lay in it while we listened for birds.

Next, she rolled in the dusty soil and changed the color of her pelage.

Then she hid in the shade of a big pine snag.

Though woodpeckers eluded us, we did find a very cool beetle that fills a similar niche.

This western eyed click beetle appeared to be depositing her eggs in a small cavity excavated by a woodpecker that was searching for bark beetle larva. The larva of this species are predatory worm-like creatures that hunt for bark beetles in fire-killed trees. Just like the woodpeckers!

The temperature began to rise as it neared noon, so we left the burn for shadier sites near the Metolius River.