White Deer Twins on the Riverwalk

White Deer Twins on the Riverwalk
These rare white deer twins were born this summer and have found a safe home at Dan Daniel Park and on the Riverwalk
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My name is David Hoffman. I teach English and journalism at Averett University, but I have two side interests - writing and photography. I also enjoy walking daily with my English setter, Sadie, and my wife, Elizabeth, on the Danville, Virginia, Riverwalk. As a novice to studying nature, I am fascinated by the slightest facets of the great outdoors, but most of my pictures are of birds - I don't know a lot about them, but I am learning more and enjoying taking pictures of them daily. I also take pictures of plants, other animals, and insects. All pictures posted for each day were taken on the day of my blog entry.

Leave a comment if you have the time or e-mail me at dhoffman@averett.edu


Tuesday, May 4, 2010


(MAY 4, 2010) Feeding time in a nursery - or rookery - or birdhouse is a special time for babies.

There is the complexity of checking the bottle to make sure the liquid food is warm enough for the infant. There are the geese who take their recently born gosling out to a clearing to let them feed upon the seeds on the ground. And, then there are the swallows who spend time gathering small insects from over the river and then bringing the food back to the birdhouse. In the picture, the male is in the house and the female is bringing in the food.

This morning on the Riverwalk, I saw babies feeding or being fed. As we approached the area where the goslings feed, I attached Sadie's leash to a tree and walked closer to the geese (Sadie tends to alarm the birds, and I can't get as close). I took some pictures of four baby geese feeding from the ground. Two of the babies were almost twice the size of the other two, but each small baby had paired up with the larger baby.

In one of the bluebird houses on the trail, I noticed a head sticking out of the hole in the front. It was the head of a male swallow. The swallow didn't duck into the house as we got nearer. As I was taking some pictures, another swallow (lighter in color - the female, I assume) brought food to the male inside the house. A couple of ladies I see on the walk every morning stopped while I was taking pictures and I mentioned to them that there was a family of swallows in the birdhouse. They saw the head peaking out and saw the female bringing in food.

One of the ladies said, "These are bluebird houses. What are swallows doing in them?"

I said, "Swallows can't read," and then we suggested something about a sheriff, an court order, and an eviction. We then agreed not to say anything so that the babies will have a roof over their heads and food in their stomach. It is prime riverfront property which makes the food that much closer for the adults to find.

Before we got to the Jeep, I saw a bluebird cross my path and fly up onto a telephone pole. I had noticed that the bird had something in its mouth. When I came home and looked at the pictures, I noticed that the bird was eating a grub worm. The bird, a female, seemed to also enjoy feeding time on the Riverwalk.

It was another great morning on the Riverwalk.

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