Well spring has sprung in my neck of the woods. Finally after what seemed like to me a very long and rather boring winter I have birds visiting my yard. I have seen my blues, earlier than last year checking out our boxes but they have not taken the bite quite yet. Due to their resistance, I have a pair of chickadees nesting in the one box that was pretty popular last season. I have two other boxes up but fear my husband is going to have to move the one box to a different location to see if we can attract some visitors. If you are new to birding, it is really so enjoyable to sit and listen to them in the mornings and to see the activity amongst the trees, shrubs and vines in your yard. I highly encourage you to just put one feeder and a simple bird bath out to see what you might attract in your yard. Spring is a busy season where they are looking for food and places to nest. If anyone can help identify the sparrows that would be great. I have a hard time figuring out which kind – I think maybe chipping sparrows?
Where are all the birds?
This gallery contains 5 photos.
I am experiencing a drought at present at my feeders…suet which was going quickly has sat…seed too. Where are the birds? I must not be in a migration fly zone and maybe there is enough natural food that my visitors are feeding at a different buffet? It’s slightly disappointing though as I realize how much […]
This gallery contains 7 photos.
I noticed that last year I felt sad and so bereft when it came time for the Blues to fly away, they just don’t visit my yard during the non-breeding season. And so as the summer wound down, there were less winged creatures visiting my feeders. Things begin to pick up a midge during some […]
I think this pair is a regular pair that I’ve been seeing lately around the area. I love the song they sing. Interesting fact – these guys don’t fish for their food like other herons, they get lizards, mice and so forth but don’t fish. Anyway, they have been hanging around the empty fields around our grocery store.
Best of the Blues 2011
This gallery contains 7 photos.
Here are some of my best shots of the blues 2011. They are from both clutches.
I’m Not Impressed
Had lots of excitement on Tuesday in our backyard. I was chatting on the phone and walked out on the back patio and as per usual I let the hounds out there with me. I was not paying them any attention when I heard and then saw the shape and the fact that both dogs were quite near it. It raised up and struck at Buddha but did not bite him, he was curious and was trying to smell the new animal. I literally SCREAMED bloody murder, threw the phone down and got as close as I could to the dogs, screaming no and calling their names….thank the good lord they heeded me. I got to them and grabbed them and threw them in the house, totally panicked about what to do next. The kids at this point had heard me and saw this lovely anaconda sized rattler! I found the phone I threw and told my friend I needed to call a snake charmer quickly and reassured her no one was hurt. I looked up a snake-get-rid-of-them on Google and he told me he charges $459 to remove them. HOLY CRAP, I can’t afford that! I ran to the neighbors but no on answered and ran to another who thankfully decided he should do the deed. I quietly informed his wife I was really looking for a ‘certified snake-remover’ to do the job and was not asking him personally to remove the snake. He seemed quite determined, seemed to appeal to the challenge of the it. We briefly talked insurance liability but by then he was headed out the door, I did say to his wife, shouldn’t he put on shoes at least? She at least made him to do that. Anyway, by this time my oldest came out of the house and tells me it moved to the corner so as we walk through the yard, we can’t see it. I use the term ‘we’ very loosely as I was several feet behind him. Then we heard it, and I’m like, Tom, that isn’t a cricket sound is it? He replies, no it’s not, and oh sh** I see him. Truly he was hard to miss up close. Anyway, this poor fella met his maker….
Now of course, I’m not loving the backyard as much as I did before and while my logical, rational mind knows that the likelihood of another anaconda sized diamondback rattler being in my backyard is slim to none…I’m just not quite looking to go through the backyard as easily as I once was.
I did make the spouse mow the backyard down that very night…thinking it’d make it easier to spot any other slithering friends.
Red Shouldered Hawk
These guys are HUGE! I noticed him as he decided to perch on my empty nestbox! I was terrified he was hanging around looking for baby bird lunch boxes so I shooed him away…only to my neighbor’s yard though. He is a beautiful bird, just not one that I want to sit and watch the feeders. I did a wee bit of research and apparently, interesting fact, they tend to eat cold blooded animals during the summer to maintain their body temperature. Quite clever of nature isn’t it? I took a few shots, it was drizzling out and I didn’t want to have my camera out too much in the rain. A beaut isn’t he?
We have had many cardinals visit our feeders during the course of the spring and beginnings of summer. Now that the babies have fledged we can see many juvenile Cardinals raiding the feeders. What I found interesting this time is that the male Cardinal was feeding a fledging that must have been quite new. The baby would barely be flying, try to land on the feeder and not feel comfortable and would flutter to the comfort of the tree limbs. I have to apologize in advanced for the poor picture quality, trying to take shots through the window screens and not to alert the dogs…our newest mutt will jump on the couch and peer out the window hoping to see squirrels and be released to the yard. In doing so, they often scare the birds from the feeders. I meant to post this closer to Father’s Day but as usual the days and weeks seem to quickly fly by.
St. Augustine Alligator Farm
If you enjoy birding, the St. Augustine Alligator Farm is a great feast for the eyes during the spring roosting season. I went last year on an outing, photographers can get a pass and enter the park earlier than the other visitors to get good shots of the wild wading birds that roost there (say that last part 5 times fast). Anyway, you’ll get out of your car and see photogs with no kidding lens bigger than their entire trunk enter the park. It’s quite amazing and for my first visit I was not sure what to expect, but it is a treat for a birder. Here’s some information on the rookery. I went this year with my youngest to visit the park and it just happened to fall during nesting season which was a nice treat for me. I got to educate some of the other parents as we walked through the swampy area of the park, home to hundreds of alligators. Truly it’s an impressive sight and admittedly a bit disturbing, I’m quite sure I would not love it if I had smaller children. You walk over a relatively low walkway through a swamp area and pretty much everywhere there are gators. They have these huge beautiful live oaks and it’s in the oaks where the magic is…literally hundreds of birds are nesting over the alligator infested swamp. I was told when I asked last year, why on earth the wild birds thought to nest there and was told that it’s a safe environment from other natural predators, meaning if they manage not to have their babies plop into the mouths of the waiting alligators, they will be safe as you can be sure other predators, like racoons, foxes, etc. are not visiting there. Anyway, it is a stunning display and if you are ever in Florida during the spring I say it’s a must visit. These guys are Snowy Egrets.
Carolina Wren – Interesting Nest Choice
A first for us this year, we have a Carolina Wren building a nest in our watering can. I’m not sure why or how this will turn out but it is funny to watch these little guys build and build and build. They are busy birds and from I read, they mate for life and eat bugs. Too good points in their favor I am thinking! We were able to get a peek inside the can. The eggs seem almost too buried to get to if you ask me. Does anyone have experience with nesting Carolina Wrens?