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Spring bird sightings

Posted by jeanner SW Ohio - Z6 (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 13, 08 at 23:32

It's migration time! And today I parked my butt in the chair and watched the birdies for several hours. I was rewarded with a Louisiana waterthrush down in the ravine, a new yard bird for me! And he was singing his little heart out! I also had a quick glimpse of a yellow-rumped warbler in his beautiful breeding colors. The brown thrasher was under the feeder this morning as well as the eastern towhee and a field sparrow. I had two brown creepers - they are such fun birds! The phoebe's have been singing and the chipping sparrows are back. The day ended with a pair of coopers hawk that were hunting together.

My neighbor has acquired 5 guinea fowl that he is letting free range. Unfortunately they are in my yard most of the day. I'm not sure I'm happy about this, I worry about what that will do to my bird visitors - they were not happy about them being under the feeders.

Anyone else seeing migrants or the return of summer residents?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Spring bird sightings

We still have our Dark-eyed Juncos. Last week on the way to work I saw Turkey Vultures doing their acrobatic flight of seduction to woo the pretty she-Vultures. On the same road trip there were Cooper's Hawks, Red-tailed Hawk, a pair of Broad-winged Hawks and a Red-shouldered Hawk! Then on the way home ... a mature Bald Eagle soared over a farm field.

Birding by car can be a tricky thing. :-)

I *love* the little Brown Creepers. They are so cute as they climb up the tree and make their way around so you don't notice them. I keep telling them I won't eat them (although they do look tastey) but they don't believe me. LOL!

I think your Guinea Fowl neighbours will clean up caterpillars and grubs more than the flying insects. I don't know if they eat earthworms or if they would compete with someone like the Robin, or Woodcock or the other ground feeders.

C3D


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RE: Spring bird sightings

The turkey vultures are back here as well. We already had a large flock of redwinged blackbirds and boat-tailed grackles halfway March, they were so hungry. Same thing happened last year - I go through more birdseed with them in two or three weeks than the rest of the winter. I haven't seen them since I got back from CA last week though - of course, DD at home let the feeders go empty for almost a week, so now they've given up on me.

Yesterday we noticed robins, and the starlings are doing their throaty whistly song up in the top of the trees. A few hawks, probably redtails, but there was too much traffic, I was the driver, so I couldn't really look. ;)

Our last snow melted yesterday. There is still some around in the deep shadows under the pine trees, and there's a chill when you walk past, but the vernal pools are ready for the amphibian mating season. The spring peepers are singing since Thursday night. Of course those aren't birds, but it sure is a sign of spring!

:) Mary


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RE: Spring bird sightings

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 14, 08 at 9:20

Not much NEW bird excitement here, but I love the fat robins at the creek! We've also ID'd the hunter we keep seeing on the way into town as a northern harrier! Talk about graceful and beautiful! Love it!!

My folks have guinea fowl that visit them daily. They scratch around like chickens, looking for goodies in and on the soil. Then again, Mom doesn't have bird feeders. She does enjoy the guineas and their critter fighting (Teenage Mutant Guinea Fowl?), especially since my folks have had terrible grasshopper issues the last few years. Hope the guineas nip that in the bud this year! Last time I was up there, I saw one glide in higher and MUCH more gracefully than I ever could have imagined! It was surreal. LOL

Brenda


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We had guineas that we got as babies. Their cage was out at the barn under the lean-to beside the tractor. They must have thought the tractor was their mother, because everytime hubby went out to plow or mow or whatever they ran under the tractor between the back wheels every step of the way, wherever that tractor went.Glelnda


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RE: Spring bird sightings

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 14, 08 at 11:10

Awww, that's cute, Glenda!

Hey, I spoke too soon! Well, he's not new, but the Northern "Bullock's" Oriole is back, as of a few minutes ago! I promptly got some grape jelly out there ("Oriole, table for one...") and checked my bird list. Last year, he showed up on 4/13. The leap year must have him off by a day! LOL Amazing how those bird clocks work...

The scrub jays are terrorizing the sparrows and their nests at the moment. They're so stealthy this time of year, but the sparrows always let me know what's going on. "Ma, Ma, they're at it again! Help!!" :D

Brenda


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I'm seeing little signs that things are revving up here. I saw a yellow rumped warbler, and I've been hearing the towhees. Let's see......lots of crows this year. I've seen them chasing a red tailed hawk a few times. Oh....we've been hearing a phoebe almost constantly. I saw an indigo bunting last week.
I'm hearing something in the woods that I hope is a pileated, but it might be red bellieds.
Just started hearing the brown thrasher in his usual tree a few days ago.
The juncos are still here too. Its like one day, the'll be gone in a flash.
I had a cool experience last week. I looked out my window and saw a couple turkey vultures. Then I saw about 6 of them in my yard! They were sunning themselves. They seemed like they were trying to get down over the bank to the creek. Maybe something dead left on the banks after the creek went down?
Thought you might enjoy this pic I got of them. It could be clearer, but I was taking it through a dirty window too!
haha No, I haven't learned much more about my great camera. In fact, I have a new macro lens I haven't even taken out of the box yet! I should get some cool summer pics of my pond stuff with that.
Here's the turkey vultures:
turkey vultures sunning


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Gee I missed these threads, it's so fun to hear what's going on elsewhere. CT, was going on in your neck of the woods???

I'm worried about our spring peepers this year, so far this year, not a single peep! They are usually so loud we can hear them from yards away. I'm wondering it was the late freeze and drought last year. I miss the peepers :^(

C3D I heard chimney swifts have returned to the southern part of the state, so be on the lookout!

Great shot of the turkey vultures! They look like they are doing synchronized sunning! I don't get to see them up close very often and then they are usually chowing down and I have hard time with their diets :^). Can't wait to see some shots from your macro lens - I just started late last summer on shooting dragonflies and damselflies and had a ball! I'm excited about trying again this summer .... and if you think fall warblers are tough to id wait until you try to id damselflies!

LOL at the guinea fowl following the tractor - that is just too funny! They really are strange looking birds .... with a face that only Mom could love ...


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LOL! Those Guinea Fowl have, uhhh, voluptuous figures! They are very pretty aren't they? Heck, they're all pretty. The Turkey Vultures are grand. Beautiful photo of the Olympic Synchronized Sunning Team practicing their routine. :-)

Eeeeeeeekkkkkk! The Swifts are coming already? Last year they moved into our chimneys in mid-May. Hope they remember where we are and still have a brochure. Mike will need to start making the home Swift-safe again. :-)

Semper has thoughts of changing the name of our enterprise but we'd need to change the whole website, DVDs, virtual tours and those brochures plus the souvenirs. Not this year, Semper. Please. LOL!

C3D


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"Syncrhonized sunning". That's exactly what it looked like! I went to take a pic of the closest one raising its wings....then the second one did it.....then the third. It was so cool, I could hardly stand still to take the pic!
LOL Jeanne about their diets......but wouldn't the world be a mess without them, and opossums? I've heard that if you get near a turkey vulture nest with babies, they will projective vomit on you. Good defense! I think I'll try that sometime when someone invades my personal space. haha
Jeanne....what fantastic shots of the guineas! Did you take those? Are they your guineas?

I have just "plain" chickens, but the guineas are cool. There's a place down the road from me that has them, and when I drive past, they're out in the road yelling at me. hahaha
I've heard they make great security guards.

C3D....Can you put a spark arrester over the top of your chimney to keep the swifts out?

(Speaking of synchronized stuff....do any of you remember the old SNL skit of synchronized swimming, with Martin Short, Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer? That was so hysterical and one of my favorites.)

Well, its a bit chilly out, but I think I'll go sit on the deck and see if there are any new passers-through this morning.
I agree Jeanne......I've missed talking about the birds and am glad you started this back up!
Happy Birding everyone!


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  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 15, 08 at 9:50

Oh, WOW! Awesome pics of the turkey vultures and guinea fowl, Catherine and Jean! Mmm, projectile vomiting! They do kind of remind me of a possessed Linda Blair....only prettier. :D

The neighborhood Guineas up at my folks' include white ones, too. They usually appear a little more skittish than the regular ones, and when it comes to decoding a fence, they will run back and forth for what seems like hours before they finally figure out how to get over it. LOL

Chicka, I'd have to change the paint job on my car if you take Fi guy's advice! *panicking*

Brenda


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LOL Brenda! Love that car!
I think I better stay away from having guineas. They would remind me too much of myself! :O


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OY! Brenda! Love the paint scheme on your car. We just can't ruin the fine intricate detailing on that vehicle. Yet another point for Semper to consider in the renaming suggestion.

Negotiations continue. :-)


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Yikes! Stop the Chimney Swifts? They do make a poopy mess buy poop can be cleaned. We can't cap the chimneys until we would build a tower or a replacement chimney for their nesting. We were going to do that this winter but real life got in the way.

Abby Normal :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: ChimneySwifts.org


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Thanks for that great link CD3. Duh.....I wasn't even thinking in terms of you wanting the swifts there. Building a "fake" chimney.......what a COOL idea! Actually, I had thought about building an old tower/shack of some sort in hopes that turkey vultures would nest in it.
I would LOVE to have a swift tower. Thanks so much for that link....and turning me onto the idea of the tower.


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Hummingbirds and Osprey are back. I've not been watching the birds much the last two weeks as I hurt my back. I do like my male song sparrow that has taken up my front porch as his territory. Robins males are fighting for the girls and their colors are very bright. The Goldfinches are bright yellow again too. I have a warbler but not sure which one. It is a green yellow with a lightly streaked breast. Several mockingbirds but have not seen any catbirds yet. More cardinals than usual and I still have a pesky band of grackles that eat me out of house and home. Time to put out lots of nesting materials!

Lovely photos folks!


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LOL! We don't *really* want them in the chimneys. Not because they are unwelcome! They come all the way from the Amazon basin just to have their chickies here in our chimney.

The ducts to the furnace are connected to the larger chimney and we don't want them to get hurt if someone falls and makes their way through the duct to the basement. We're having someone come and try to make a cover to make the entrance into our home Swift-proof. :-)


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About 4-6 turkey vultures have started roosting in a big spruce tree close to the house. I think its the group that was in my yard the other day (and in the picture above). I wonder if that means they will build a nest nearby?
I saw a ruby-crowned kinglet yesterday, and a yellow bellied sapsucker.
Can't wait for the wood thrush's sweet song.
Anyone have oven birds on a regular basis?


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  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 17, 08 at 9:44

I just have to say that the chimney tower linked to on that site is awesome, Chicka!

CT, I sure hope your back is better soon!

Catherine, those vultures are so incredible. Hope you get to see them on a regular basis. They always remind me of The Jungle Book. LOL

Brenda


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Hi Brenda,
Oh CT.....I too meant to hope your back is doing better!
Brenda....when I saw those vultures opening their wings in the above picture, it made me realize that that's probably where they got the idea of Dracula, opening his cape/wings! haha It looked just like that!
I'm excited about maybe building one of those chimney swift towers. I need to read that link more to figure out the best place for one.
Birds give us so much pleasure, don't they?


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Still have our Juncos. Mr. Carolina Wren was busy on the front gathering stuff for spring house building. Last year we had one nesting three(?) times near the front door and we had at least 2 nesting multiple times in the back yard.

Red-winged Blackbirds are busy eating everything so we gave them and the other big guys some moistened dry dog food (Pedigree) and that seems to have made them happy. And full! LOL! Black-capped C3Ds are looking over the house they made last year in the natural hollow of a Hawthorn tree. I *thought* I heard baby sparrows chirping yesterday. Hmmmm. Thought that was kinda early but I guess they would know when it's safe to have a family.

There's at least three Cardinal nest being built and we think one of the new home builders is *our* Mr. Cardinal. :-) We have a pair of Bluebirds too nesting in a house in the back. A Grackle was eaten by a Cooper's Hawk two days ago. Lots of glossy feathers under the Weeping Willow.

Spring Peepers were peeping this morning too.

~Welcome~ to Camp Nappy.


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Ahhh, I still haven't hear any peepers - I'm convinced something happened to the local population last year :^(.

I have been seeing dragonflies though! I think it is the green darner that migrates every year so I'm guessing thats what I'm seeing.

No hummers yet but they should be here soon, the buckeye is close to blooming and they always arrive just as the blooms open. Brenda, did your bloom open????

I had a pine warbler yesterday! Another new yard bird for me! He was just outside the bedroom window, but of course the camera was in the living room :^(

I loved the chimney tower too! We have a place between the chimney and a "bump out" that is brick on two sides and siding on the other side, the fourth side is open. It starts about 10 feet off the ground and is about 8 feet high, two feet wide and a foot deep. I wonder if I enclose the fourth side with an opening at the top if they would nest there. The biggest problem might be that it is very close to the bird feeder. I might have to try it but it better be soon as they are being sighted just 40 miles south of me!


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  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 19, 08 at 9:45

Ack, I've been getting a lot of goldfinches hitting the windows, so I'm going to pick up some decals today at Wally World! I've already had 2 funerals and about 10 recoveries, and I don't want any more birdie deaths! :(

Jean, I still have only one bud on my buckeye, and it hasn't opened yet. I'm so impatient. It's still sending out new leaves on most branches, so I'm hoping when those stop, maybe I'll get more buds! You can bet I'll post a pic when bud #1 opens. :D

So, was the pine warbler #101 on your list, Jean? I think I've lost track. LOL

Kisses for Mr. Cardinal!!!

Brenda


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RE: Spring bird sightings

I think I have a pine warbler........but do they sound alot like chipping sparrows?
The turkey vultures are still hanging around.
Our juncos are still here, but I think they should be gone by now. Maybe its the global warming?
Recently, I heard that our last frost date here in central Indiana has been changed from May 10 to about April 20. How strange (and disconcerting). It made me wonder if the juncos are staying around longer, because its warmer up north too? (Don't they go north for the summers?)


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Our Juncos are usually gone by now too but we had a delightful herd of them all day here. :-)

We have a Vesper's Sparrow making a nest in one of the honeysuckle vines. We have had at least one nest by them for each of the last ... ooooo ...... 20 years?! The Chipping Sparrows are *very* busy too, as are the Chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatch, Eastern Bluebirds, Starlings, Cardinals, (Seriously swooning at seeing **OUR** Mr. Cardinal!), the Downy WPs are up to something as are the Finches, Robins and Mourning Doves....

Good Lord! There's just too much to keep track of!

Awwwwwwwww! So sorry for the huge number of funerals! :* I see a tremendous number of casualties along the roadside each day too. Very! Very!! Sad!

C with 3Ds


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I'm supposed to be working but had to take a little break to post my exciting news - I had a BLUE GROSBEAK today!! He was beautiful in his full breeding colors. He only stayed a minute and then left with the rest of the birds when the cooper showed up. They are fairly rare here, I think it is the rarest bird that I've had so far. That brings my yard list to 110! I never would have believed that I would ever get that many in my little oasis.

I also had a beautiful baltimore oriole and a male yellow-rumped warbler. It was a very colorful day!

I had one junco today so they are slowly migrating out. The fox sparrows left several weeks ago. The white-throats are still here as well as the field sparrows. I think they are a little late leaving but we've had a cold spring so I think that delays them a little.

I didn't do well today with the birdy photography but here is the best of the blue grosbeak .... ain't he grand??


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Congrats on the Blue Grosbeak Jeanner! We've had rare sightings in the area but I've never seen one.

Hawk got a Mourning Dove in the backyard today but I didn't see it, only the circle of plucked feathers.


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Oh wow Jeanner! Lucky you! Its beautiful!


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He was not back today and neither was the oriole (despite the offering of oranges and jelly). But the yellow-rumped stopped by again. I usually only get to see the yellow-rumps in the fall so it is a special treat to see him in his breeding plumage!


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Another great pic Jeanner!
The yellow rumps are usually the first warblers I see in the spring.
I can't wait for the orioles. We have orchard and baltimores. They usually show up right when my tulip trees are blossoming. Its funny how the orange must attract them.
I wait for that plaintive plea that seems to come from them in my back yard, around the tulip trees.
I hope the tulip trees can hold their own, with the sapsuckers drilling so many holes in them.
The turkey vultures didn't roost in the fir tree Saturday night and we feared they'd moved on. But they came back last night! And......I heard the barred owl. Ain't life grand?


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  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 21, 08 at 9:41

Awww, I love Mr. Sunny Bottom!! I have one that visits me every fall/winter, and I can't get enough of his flitting deliciousness. He's not very skittish, either, letting me check him out from across the yard without freaking out.

Hmmm, thought I posted yesterday, but WOW on the beautiful grosbeak, Jean, as well as the 110 bird sightings in your yard!

Life IS grand, Catherine, I agree. I only had the one visit from my Bullock's Oriole, but it was worth every second. :D Love that sound they make, too!

Brenda


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Catherine I have heard that Oriole's like tulip trees, and daylilies so the orange must be what attracts them. I have two small tulip trees but I don't think they are old enough to bloom though. I love tulip trees, we had one in the yard where I grew up, I can't wait for mine to bloom.

I've always heard that the warblers follow the sapsuckers around and will eat the bugs that get stuck on the sap! Last year a sapsucker practically girdled a large russion olive .... unfortunately it didn't harm it.


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He's baaacccckkk! My beautiful (but shy) indigo bunting... I love these little guys! I'm still trying to get a really good picture of him so I tried again tonight, despite the clouds and dark ....

I couldn't resist this of a chipping sparrow, really shows how little they are compared to the buds of the redbud ...

And this morning I had my first hummingbird of the season!

Just two more days of craziness at work and I'll get a few days of peace, so bring on the warblers!


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I love Indigo Buntings! We have them at the base but I've never seen one on my property. Beautiful photos Jean! The Chipping Sparrow has a great expression and the Redbud is one of my faves because it gets blooms all along the branches. Ours are almost done blooming here. I have one in the side garden alongside my porch. I put out one hummer feeder this morning as a hummer sat on the honeysuckle that grows up the corner of my porch. It was trying out the flowers but they haven't opened yet. I used my organic sugar so the liquid is not clear but I presume they won't mind. I found my 5 pound regular sugar after I made a quick patch of of stronger 3 to 1. I do have other flowers available to them - mostly columbine. This fellow sat about 10 feet from me and preened his feathers. He ate a spider too. The male song sparrow seemed annoyed his favorite corner had the hummer sitting there paying him no mind to his staked claim to the corner. He went to the second story of the house and sang his lovely song!


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Your Indigo is a handsom fellow, Jean! I have not seen one here ever. The little Chipper is beautiful! We have a pair building a nest in the honeysuckle vine on one side of the back door and Vespers Sparrows are building on the other side.

Somebody is chirping in one of the birdy boxes but I don't recognize the voices. Maybe its the Bluebirds? I heard them when I was inside the other day.

No Hummers or Swifts here yet.

We still have our little Juncos. We counted 15 yesterday.


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LOL about the russian olive Jeanner. I just wish beaver, deer, bunnies, sapsuckers, etc., etc., liked eating bush honeysuckle! Surely that nasty shrub has a predator SOMEWHERE!
Question about pine warbler's song versus chipping sparrow. I think chipping sparrows have pretty much a monotone call. I have something that starts out a little slow and then speeds up and then drops the pitch at the very end. Is this a pine warbler?
With our new computer and dial-up, its hard for me to download music stuff, so I haven't been able to listen to the songs.
I have my hummer feeder up. I just feel that they're close. I'm next door to you (state-wise) jeanner........so maybe they're headed this way!


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Hi.

Here's a link for lots of bird songs. I have dial-up and it works just fine! They are short and oh so sweet! :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Bird Songs


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Oh I forgot to mention. I was at work yesterday on the backside of the building which has a big area of woods and hedge rows and a flock of Cedar Waxwings were eating the red berries off of the Wood Honeysuckle. Each day some of the berries turn red. Also, there are brown thrashers and mockingbirds that like the berries. We have many birds out back, along with deer, skunks, snakes, ground hogs, etc. The base is a bird oasis because there are so many varied habitats, from wood to field, swamp, sandy beaches, open meadow, etc. I can hear baby birds through the woods, you know, when they make a racket when Mom or Dad come back, but I could not see them. I'll have to bring my binoculars to work. They might wonder where I am since I like to go out there to watch.

I found a Velvet Ant one day out in the sandy edge of the parking area.


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Thanks CD3........actually, I'm thinking what I'm hearing is something different than either a chipping sparrow or pine warbler. I'll have to keep searching. Thanks for that link! I thought I had to install some sort of something or other to hear things, but I guess I don't! Thanks.


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  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 25, 08 at 9:26

What a beautiful bunting!! I've spent my life looking for plants with blooms that color. *sigh* But I'd gladly take a bird instead! :)

CT, I had to Google velvet ants, since I'd never heard of them before, and WOW! Those are gorgeous! I see different colored ones. What did yours look like?

Brenda


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It was black and bright red. They are not really ants. It was furry. About a half inch long. That sandy place has ant lions too.


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Female Velvet Ant

My looked like the one in the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Velvet Ant aka Cow Killer


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  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 26, 08 at 9:55

Cow killer!? LOL Yikes! It sure is beautiful, though. Kind of spooky, too.

We used to have ant lions in our yard in Idaho! They were very fun to watch.

Brenda


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I was really mean one time and threw an ant into the trap and the ant lion came up and sucked it down. Then I felt sad for doing it.

That one velvet ant was the first and last time I've ever seen one. I had no clue what it was but typed in red and black furry insect and there it was.


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Wow, I've never seen an ant like that before! Now I've got to go google it and see if I can find one!

After working all night and then getting two hours sleep before being called again, I was too tired to do much today so I parked my butt again and watched the birdies. Then I took a two hour nap and now I'm wide awake (Maybe I need to go visit Sandy!)

Anyway, I had a nashville warbler and a white-eyed vireo for a brief visit. The rose-breasted grosbeaks have arrived and spent the day at the feeder. The wood thrush is back as well as the catbird. No sign of the bunting today though, might have been just passing through although last year I had two pairs. I still have a few white-throated sparrows but I haven't seen any juncos in awhile.

It's spring and ain't it grand!!!


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The redbuds are just gorgeous this year! So I spent some time trying to get pictures of the birds and the redbuds ....
Bluejay with redbuds in the background ...

A rose-breasted grosbeak, I've had 4 males hanging around all weekend, haven't seen any females yet...

A female goldfinch ...

An oriole in the buckeye tree - they seem to ignore my oranges and jelly but love the buckeye blooms...

Common grackle, I know these birds can be a nuisuance but I usually only get them in the fall when they descend in large flocks so it was a treat to see one today


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Great photos Jean! No rose-breasted grosbeak for me yet. I had one pair last year for 1 day of feeding. Usually when one shows my group will start seeing them and posting the sightings. I hope to see them pass through again but seems I might not since it is late in the spring.

I love Baltimore orioles but I've not seen one in the county I live in now, but used to see them at my childhood home and on the Eastern shore. We have them here though, just not my property yet. I'd love to spot a nest but they build it so high up in the trees. I put in some Red-hot pokers last year so maybe I'll get one this year. My oriole feeder was a bust too, except for hummingbirds.

I tried to get a photo of a crow at the peanut suet today but by the time I found my camera it was gone. They are so big.


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I am totally amazed at what good shots you get of birds! When I see them, they're usually behind a bunch of leaves.
I love redbuds too. I've planted a bunch of them all over our property, and every single one of them has died! I don't understand it.
Too bad they're not as hardy here as the jap. honeysuckle!
The redbuds grow all over the state, but seem to die on my property! Bummer.
I'm looking forward to the orioles. Any day now.
keep those pics coming jeanner!


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  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 28, 08 at 9:57

Oh, Jean, that grackle pic is classic!! What an expression on that face! The goldfinch made me oooh and ahhh - such a sweet pose. Oooo, maybe my oriole will return when the single buckeye bloom opens. LOL Really love the backdrop of redbuds.

I'd love to see a crow in my yard. The barn owl has been very active during dark time here at the house. I haven't spotted him again, but he sure makes it known he's in the area. :D

Brenda


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RE: Spring bird sightings

I do love the redbuds, but they are so prolific here that I am yanking out seedlings out of all the gardens. I have tried to transplant a few and they never made it so maybe they don't transplant well??? I think they prefer the northern edge of the woods. And Catherine, I remember several pictures from last year of warblers that beat my warbler shots by a long shot and you weren't even working at it!

I've only seen a crow up close once, they have no interest in my feeders or my yard - other than to fly over and taunt me!

I had a black-n-white warbler today. Noticed him running up the tree like a downy and it took me a minute to realize what it was (I was still half asleep!).


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Such lovely photos, Jean! They all pose so nicely for you. :-)

Our Redbud is still thinking if it is time to bloom. We might get SNOW tonight and tomorrow. No sign of the Chimney Swifts yet but we have made the house ~Swift Safe~ as we did last year with the addition of screen doors to keep the cats out of certain areas of the home.

Still have our Dark-eyed Juncos. Lots o' White-crowned Sparrows, Red-winged Blackbirds, Downy WPs, Creepers, White-breasted Nuthatch and the Black-capped C3Ds. Saw some Cowbirds and two Ovenbirds today! The Turkey Vultures are vulturing as always and the wee Killdeer were busy running across the country roads.

Mr. Cardinal has a Mrs. Cardinal and a home in the cedar in the front yard. :-) The Carolina Wren is doing some home building in the front too.

Daisy is full of suet from Wild Birds Unlimited. *BURP!*


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RE: Spring bird sightings

I saw Mr. Black-capped Chickadee carry some furnishings into the house on the Russian Olive this morning! There's another nesting in the natural opening of a nearby Hawthorn. The Brown Creepers are there LOTS too so maybe they have a home as well in that cluster of trees?

Need to report that I heard toads yesterday afternoon. That's strange! They sound soooooo loud and sooooo very close!

Hmmmmmmmm...... !

I went out on the breezeway to check if we had a visitor of the lumpy-bumpy kind ....

LOL! It's the Blue Jay and the Grackle doing their rendition of the toad song! It never occurred to me they were the source of the song! Usually they do ~Wolf Whistles~ and the sound of baby birds being fed or some such. :-)


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RE: Spring bird sightings

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 29, 08 at 11:49

Chicka, that's awesome about the toad imitations!!

I've heard that redbuds don't like being transplanted, Jean. I've only tried one, from Mom's yard, but it got stomped by some tree workers one day a week or so ago, so I'll never know if it would have made it through the move. Arghhhhh!! :(

I was watering a plant from across the pond the other day, and I saw a large...SOMEthing...crawling slowly into the pond. I went back yesterday morning, and....HEY, where did YOU come from?!

He's not very skittish at all, which is a good thing, since I can't get enough of looking at those moist lips! Yummy! I think I could have got a better pic, but I was too excited to try from the other side. :D DH has deemed him "Jeremiah, a good friend of mine." Sheesh, no imagination! LOL

Brenda


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Cute bullfrog Brenda - I like the photo of him stalking through the grass! All but one of my frogs have taken off for the nearby wetland where I here hundreds of them bellowing! The one that has stayed is huge.

I spoke too soon. I saw a Rose-breasted Grosbeak today. I was feeding my fish and heard what I thought was a woodpecker and the suet holder was empty. When I looked closer it was a male grosbeak with a beautiful rosy chest patch. I filled up all the feeders again (I filled them all up this morning) and by lunchtime the food is all gone! Well, hopefully he will stay for more than one day and I'll get another sighting.

My smas group is reporting sightings of Black Stilt and Prairie Warblers. A week or so ago I saw a Warbler I was not sure what it was. I thought maybe a yellow warbler but it was more greenish, but definately streaked breast. Maybe I had a Prairie Warbler too?!?


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Jeremiah has more mottling than my bullfrogs, but he is a handsome fellar. Maybe you will have jeremiah-ettes soon!

A chickadee started nesting in my nest box but seems to have moved on - I've been snubbed!

C3D it's so great that Mr. Cardinal stuck around and is raising a family - I think it's his way of showing his gratitude!

My wood thrush is back and started serenading me right away - oh how I have missed that bird! He even posed for me (in the shade of course!)

I had a blue winged warbler flitting around the buckeye tree last evening and I saw the great-crested flycatcher this evening. I LOVE SPRING!!!!


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  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Thu, May 1, 08 at 10:10

I noticed Jerri has a lot of mottling, too, Jean. I'd never seen a bullfrog in person, so the coloring really threw me off. I've heard nary a bellow from this guy. Maybe he's shy? :D

I love spring, and I LOVE your photos, Jean!

Brenda


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RE: Spring bird sightings

I saw more yellow-rumped warblers today, and a Kentucky warbler. It sure was pretty.
When the turkey vultures go to land in the tree they roost in, the crows get really mad at them and start chasing them. Then one of them makes the weirdest noise..........like a scream. Anyone know if that's a sound a turkey vulture makes?
Oh! Saw the first hummer at my feeder tonight!


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Twenty two White-crowned Sparrows were feasting on the patio this afternoon. Our beloved Chimney Swifts arrived today!

Great Blue Herons were cruising the air ways today as well.

Still have our Dark-eyed Juncos. :-)


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Brenda, I'm thinking it's the females that do the serenading (if you want to call it that!). I love the sound of the bullfrogs, I wish I could hear them from our bedroom.

Can't say I've heard a turkey vulture before.... I wonder why the crows are getting mad, do they eat baby crows?

Oh boy, more swift adventures! I've not seen any yet.

I was warbler-less today :^( The orioles were back today and the bunting made a brief appearance. I'm up to three hummingbirds, they really like the buckeye tree blooms.


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RE: Spring bird sightings

We hear several new songs, some are distinctly warbler-ish, but a real ID of the wee singers high in the trees hasn't been made yet. I don't think Turkey Vultures are considered song birds. LOL! They don't say much other than hissing or grunting when around the nest or feeding their chicks.

Ooooooo! Can you imagine how ultra-cute baby TVs must be? :-)

Maybe the Crows don't like the TVs because they go to the same restaurant and compete? I know Crows are nest raiders but I don't think TVs are. They're just too big to get to most nests, aren't they? Now a good helping of road-kill is a different story. Yummm!

Who's nesting at Camp Nappy? We believe *our* Mr. Cardinal has built a new home in the cedar and has a Mrs. Little red chicks with pointy heads soon to follow no matter if it is ~our~ Cardinal or not.

We have 22 nest boxes in the back garden. At least one has a nest of Black-capped Chickadees. At least two have a nest of Eastern Bluebirds. At least four have House Sparrows with hungry chicks inside! I'm not quite sure what's happening with the rest of the boxes.

Carolina Wrens are building a nest near the front door, as they did last year. Three pair of Mourning Doves have crossed at least two sticks, called it a nest and are content in the yard. LOL! We have placed thick quilts under their trees to safely catch any fallen chicks. (We always do!) Common Grackles are nesting in the front Blue Spruce as are Purple and House Finches. The House Finches are also nesting in the trees in the back yard.

The Downy WPs and a pair of Pileated WPs are nesting in the Weeping Willow Trees. Brown Creepers are *very* busy in a cluster of Hawthorn Trees as well as a pair of Black-capped Chickadees. There are several natural cavities in these trees so we suspect they are nesting or at least checking out the real estate.

In the crook of the gutter near our bedroom is a new nest for Mr. and Mrs. Robin. Another pair has built a nest above a light fixture near the garage door. Vespers Sparrows are nesting on one side of the back door in a honeysuckle vine. Chipping Sparrows have built a nest on the other side of the back door in another honeysuckle vine. The Blue Jays have always nested near our veggie garden but I have not found their home yet.

Waaaaaaaayyyyy high in one of the Weeping Willows is a Starling nest. How sweet (sweet) is that? In the same tree we usually have Common Flicker WPs nesting but I haven't seen them building yet.

There are numerous (20+) White-crowned Sparrows lately. I don't know if they are just passing through or if some would stay to nest. Likewise many Red-winged Blackbirds are emptying the feeders lately. We always see the fledglings in years past but don't know for sure where they nest. At least they visit, eat and poop here. LOL!

Hmmmmmmm.... Our beloved Chimney Swifts have arrived. Last year they were first seen in mid-May. Mike did put up the screen doors to block off parts of the house from the cats already. The furnace was promptly turned off as the duct work connects to the larger Swift chimney. We are now Swift-safe! I noticed the other day that the next door neighbours have blocked the top of their chimney. Last year they too had Swifts in their chimney. Looks like this year we may have more guests in our chimneys.

We have not heard the House Wren's sweet song yet. They usually arrive in mid-May too. There's plenty of houses available for them. Our Ruby-throated Hummingbirds won't arrive until June when their favourite food, the Mimosa (Silk Tree) flowers are starting to bloom.

I think that's about it for the birdy nesters outside. ...... Bub the Grackle and Daisy the Blue Jay continue to live together and get along very well. Barry, the Robin, continues to get the medicine drops in his eye twice daily for his glaucoma. This Monday he will get another exam and see how his eye is responding to the drops. Fingers and all other body parts crossed that he is doing well and one day can be released.

That's the latest birdy news from Camp Nappy Birdy Bed and Breakfast Resorts and Entertainment Wildlife Rehabilitation Refugee Center.

(Gotta get a bigger business card.)


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RE: Spring bird sightings

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Fri, May 2, 08 at 10:05

WOW, it's plum hoppin' at CNBBBREWRRC! Ouch, I think I just hurt myself...

Catherine, could one of the crows have made the screaming noise? I can't seem to find any info on a turkey vulture making that sound, but maybe you have a hybrid! :D

I heard some loud croaking this morning - louder than the usual not-so-loud ones - but still none of the "barruuummms" from Jerri. A couple sites said the males make that low sound, but I wonder if the females make any sounds. DH said, "I'll catch him if you want...bring him in, so you can touch him, and let Pookie play with him..." NOOOOO! Why must XYers always mess with stuff?! :/

Brenda


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Brenda,
I realized last week that it IS the crows making that strange cry. I had always heard it when the crows were chasing the turkey vultures. I saw a crow chasing a hawk, and heard the same sound, so mystery solved!


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Oops, I must've got that backwards on the frog sounds - I hope you get a female and lots of babies, they are so cute!

Wow C3D, you've got quite a nursery going there - but then who can blame them when they have the best bird doctor so close in the case of an emergency! I'm not even sure what all I've got nesting here yet but the Waterthrush showed up again yesterday and I postively id'd it as a Louisiana Waterthrush. The Louisiana Waterthrush do nest here and the habitat is right and it's within the "safe" dates as established by the Ohio Breeding Bird Atlast guidelines so just maybe she is nesting close by! In case you are wondering, I am supposed to be participating in the Ohio Breeding Bird atlas but so far I've not done squat on it!

An update on the quinea-fowl .... they spend the entire day in my yard and started digging big shallow holes in my garden. I put out moth balls to discourage them but they would just move a couple of feet and do it again. Today I was getting ready to cut grass and noticed one in the front bed and she is sitting on a couple dozen eggs. I really don't want more of these NOISY birds hanging around in my yard and digging more holes in my garden. We had yet to say anything to the neighbor about it but I just called and left him a message asking him to come get the eggs. I hate being a bad neighbor but if I wanted chickens, I'd have chickens!

Oh well, I feel better, thanks for letting me vent!


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Jean - please consider taking up those mothballs if they are loose. I've seen birds eat them as they disolve over time and one time a bird carried one back to it's nest (a grackle). I felt sick thinking it fed it to one of it's babies. If you want to use them for the smell factor (although it doesn't work really), try putting them in small, lidded tupperware type containers and poke holes in so the smell is still there but the actual moth balls are not accessable. They are so poisonous.

Sorry to hear your neighbor doesn't contain his domestic fowl. You could break the eggs but I know you don't have the heart to do that and they might be well developed chicks inside depending on how long its been. Breaking an egg and finding only the yolk and egg white is not so bad (sounds like breakfast:-), but finding a formed and live baby bird would be horrible. I know it would make me feel just awful. Sometimes our neighbors are such a pain in the butt!

On a less gruesome note - I saw a Common Yellowthroat behind my pond today. I saw my first one at work just a week ago and never had them in my yard before. Pretty bird with the black triangle on the side of it's face and the white stripe over the eye. Yellow breast with no streaking and a white-ish underbelly. The top color, and smoothness of the back feathers, reminds me of Cedar Waxwings. A handsome fellow and doesn't seem bothered I was sitting nearby. I hope the bullfrogs don't get him.


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Ewww. Gruesome things first thing in the morning. Don't become the Toxic neighbour, Jean. LOL! The susceptibility of bird species to toxins varies tremendously. For example Raptors will die quickly of secondary ingestion of rodenticides in poisoned prey. I haven't found anything about what would happen to birds if they ate mothballs but they are *very* toxic when the fumes are inhaled by any species of animal. It causes acute liver failure and death. I don't know how toxic the fumes would from mothballs scattered around the yard with the breeze blowing but lets not find out. Birds generally don't have a great sense of smell so the mothballs won't really be a deterrent for your fowl egg laying hooligans.

I dunno how you could keep them out of your garden other than fencing it in and that should be on your neighbour's VISA, not yours. :-)

Chimney Swifts (at least 30!) were busy making themselves at home yesterday. They must have passed out our brochures. Plus Kramer the Starling knows they are here because he started mimicking the sounds of the Swift chicks when they get fed.

Mr. House Wren was singing at the far end of the yard as he claimed a house near the veggie garden. The patio was covered with White-crowned Sparrows this weekend. Looks like they might find a place to nest near here too? Is there any room left? Had three Juncos eating seeds and blueberries yesterday too.


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Oh wow! What a great birding day I had today.......just in my back yard! Here's the list:

robin
morning dove
house wren
cardinal
cat bird
song sparrow
red tailed hawk
turkey vultures
crows
meadowlark (heard)
red eyed vireo (heard)
kingbird
phoebe
kinglets (heard)
blue-grey gnatcatcher
bluebird (heard)
brown thrasher
cow bird
redwinged blackbird
blue jay
baltimore oriole (heard, but saw yesterday)
house finches
white crowned sparrow
rose breasted grosbeak
towhee
various unidentifiable sparrows
1-2 unidentifiable warblers
goldfinches
chipping sparrow
yellow warbler (heard)
hummingbird

And this was pretty much just within a few hours!


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RE: Spring bird sightings

That's a fantastic list! I think we're still too cold at night for our Hummers.


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RE: Spring bird sightings

I removed the moth balls, hopefully I didn't do too much damage.

My neighbor came and got the eggs and netted the female. And then he shot them all. I'm still in shock, I had no idea he would do something so drastic. I made a real effort to not show my aggravation when I left the message, I didn't think it was worth starting a war with him. I fell awful. I had even found someone interested in the eggs if he didn't want them. I guess I am worse than a toxic neighbor :^(


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RE: Spring bird sightings

He shot all the guineas? that is sad. He must have had a really bad day and acted very impulsively. :(
Its not your fault that she shot them Jeanner. You had no idea he would do such a thing.
I always worry about that when I want to call someone about their dogs in my yard. I'm so afraid they'll just shoot them.
I'm sorry this happened to you.


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RE: Spring bird sightings

OMG! It isn't your fault Jean! You live next door to the Neighbour from H*LL! :*( How could he be so callous?

I'd betcha *anything* it was not only you who expressed their concern about the birds roaming around the neighbourhood. Maybe the city got involved and told him he has to get rid of them?

Either way ... you my dear are NOT responsible for the stupidity of others!

C3D


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  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Wed, May 7, 08 at 10:41

I agree that it wasn't your fault, Jean! Seriously, you can't control the actions of others. Some people are just not worthy of animal ownership....let alone being called "human". What a scumbag. :(

Brenda


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It wasn't your fault Jean - you had no idea the neighbor would do that. He was being a callous butthead! If you get more of them maybe you can trap them and give them to someone that wants them where they won't wander away to other properties.

I hope you didn't see him shoot them (on your own property)!


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Honestly, the whole thing doesn't make sense. Apparently he took them because the owners didn't want them and had no other place to take them. And apparently once they have nested in a spot they will continue to return to that spot. I doubt anyone else complained because they were literally in our yard all day, although another neighbor guessed they were driving us nuts since he could hear them and he's over 500 feet away. The same neighbor told my husband that the owner would probably shoot his dogs if we told him they were bothering us. And yet he has taken on two lame horses.

I've had exactly three conversations with this man, although he nods when we pass. The first conversation was to let us know that he was okay with whatever we wanted to do with our property (we were concerned how he felt about the mess the yard was in when we moved in). One conversation was about how the birds really liked the mulberry tree that is on the border between our properties and the other was when he called to offer help when my husband broke his hip.

I just don't get it!


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RE: Spring bird sightings

You don't get it? Plain and simple...

The guy is an IDIOT! He reacts without thinking. I hope he at least has remorse for his actions. Maybe he's got mental issues like our unbeloved Toxic Neighbour obviously has? Maybe he's in the early stages and his actions will become more erratic? Oh Lordy! I hope not!

Speaking of the Toxic One, my devious Mike was saying that when we do build the Swift tower ... we should put a chimney cam to look inside and follow their activities. Great idea, Mike! He also said we should put up a camera with flood lights on the outside pointing over at the Toxic yard. LOL! Now we're building a guard tower to monitor the Toxic activities.

Mike's got too much free time! :-)


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Jeanner........he sounds like he's got ADHD or is bipolar or something that makes him be incredibly impulsive with wide swings in his behavior. I've known men like that. They seem to be not able to deal with problem-solving in a patient way, and just take the easiest route out.
Many years ago my husband was soooooooo busy with a new business. He decided to come home early one day, and unfortunately the neighbor's big dog ran after his car, and he ran over his leg, cutting off the foot.
DH stopped and told the owner, and told him that he would take him to the vet. The guy said "just have the vet put him to sleep".
DH came home with the dog before going to the vet, and I had 2 little kids and health problems, and I just couldn't deal with another dog (we already had one). So DH took him to the vet and they euthanized him. My heart aches whenever I think of this. I feel so guilty not taking him in.......but I was on the brink of insanity at the time, and just couldn't deal with one more problem.
But my point is.........that man had the same reaction as your neighbor. They just can't find the patience to deal with problem-solving, and shut their emotions down, and just "get rid" of the problem.
Sad, but true.


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RE: Spring bird sightings

That guy seems very strange to me. He takes animals people don't want (lame horses and homeless birds) but will shoot them if someone complains. Strange also that your other neighbor said what he said about if you complained about the dogs he would shoot them too. How does that neighbor know he would shoot the dogs if someone complained? I wonder how THAT topic came up? I would talk to that neighbor again to ask why he thinks that. Maybe there is more to hear about this odd neighbor. What will happen to the lame horses?


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Is he married? Does he have a family?


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RE: Spring bird sightings

I think I don't even want to think about my neighbor and the guinea fowl anymore - I think I've hit my stress limit.

Anyone have any good birdie stories?


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RE: Spring bird sightings

We have about 12 bird feeders hanging around the place (outside) and two are suspended tray feeders from Wild Birds Unlimited. We put a mix of three kind of little suet pellets in one. The other has mixed nuts.

Yesterday a Robin was checking out the tray and was tossing some of the pellets to the ground. There were the usual suspects on the ground like the Cardinals, Mourning Doves, LBJs, Blackbirds ... But one very enterprising Starling was right there and he caught the suet pellet!

Hmmmmm. That was kinda cute. Good catch! Probably was just a one time thing though.

LOL! He caught another. And another! The Grackles and other Starlings are feeling cheated and they close in on the catcher. While they are looking around on the ground the star catcher has his head tilted and keeps an eye to the sky and is ready for the next pitch! Got it! :-)

On the inside ... Barry is still happily singing his I Can See Out of My Left Eye song. A ha! The way to Olive's green heart is through song. She's going to visit him often, sitting next to his prison cell. When he's done with the lyrics she says ...

Well HiiiiiiiiIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIiiiiiiiii! Hi Sweetheart! You the pretty bird! HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII! Followed by lots of kissing noises!

I'm not sure what Mr. White thinks about her visits. LOL!

Gonna check his eye pressures tomorrow. :-)


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  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Sun, May 11, 08 at 8:34

Wonderful stories, Chicka!! Star the Starling sounds so talented! THAT would make a great video. :D

Barry is such a stud. I'm voting for him on the next American Idol. Can't wait to see him and Olive on the next episode of Prison Stories, too. LOL

Jean, just say the word, and I'll show up with my pellet gun to ping the toxic neighbor. One can dream, can't one?

Brenda


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Can't wait to hear how his eye appt goes. It is good to hear that he is still singing his song. And Olive has to be one of a kind. Makes me want a bird, but hubby say's no way. My Purple Martins are happy and enjoying their pond as usual. I thought I only had 3 pair this year, but now have about 5 pair. I was reading about them and it say's that the ones that hatched the previous year don't arrive until about a month later than the first ones. It has been so cool, that I've been fearful they wouldn't find enough insects to sustain them. But they seem to be doing ok. I tried to throw some crickets up for them to catch, but they act like I am trying to hurt them and fly away. I am planning to add a couple more houses for them next year and am going to put some feeding trays out for them. Glenda


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I'll keep my fingers crossed that Barry's eye pressure is acceptable.

Let's see......the birds I've seen recently........a gorgeous male red-start was flitting about in the maple tree.
I also saw the bluest indigo bunting I've ever seen. I wonder if they are the bluest in the spring?
I saw a bird with the sun on its feathers and thought it was something like a cerulean warbler, but it was "just" a blue-gray gnatcatcher. the sun shining on it made it look quite different.
I think that's it for the more unusual birds. The hummers have been coming to the feeder a little more often. We're supposed to get 45 mph winds later today, so I'm not expecting to see too many birds out.
Those crows are sure territorial. The turkey vultures have given up roosting in the trees nearby. Every time they would get close, the crows would start chasing them away.
I had 3 tree frogs talking to each other yesterday. Man are those little guys loud!
We chased the big northern water snake from my little watergarden twice this week, but I see last night that it was back. I guess I'll let him stay, if he promises to not eat any frogs in front of me.
Happy Mother's Day all you mothers! :)


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LOL at the pellet catching starling! Too funny!

Glenda, tell me about your martin houses, I've thought about trying but I never see them here so not sure if it would work. We have swifts that fly around every day and the occasional tree and barn swallows, do you think I could attract martins too?

I have yet to see a red-start in breeding colors, I get to see them in the fall but never the spring. Actually that's true of most of the warblers, I wonder if their migration path in the spring is different than the fall???

I know what you mean about the indigos looking so blue - I wonder if it just seems like that when you see them against the bright green emerging leaves.

I still have some yellow-rumps around and a nashville warbler that continues to forage in the buckeye tree. All the summer residents are back and chasing each other, every time I look out I see a pair of birds fly by!

It's amazing that the turkey vultures have given in to the crows - it just goes to show that size doesn't matter!!

Thinking good thoughts for Barry - we'll be looking for an update!


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Nix that comment about never seeing a male red-start in his breeding colors - I JUST DID!!


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RE: Spring bird sightings

I came home during our break this afternoon and went outside to water some flowers. The familiar twittering of our Chimney Swifts was all around and I looked up.

There was a flock of them circling and diving around our / their home. I counted 32 Swifts!

Oh My! I can't say they are all making themselves cozy in our chimneys but I see a poopy chimney in our future!

We're ready for them too. Mike put up the screen doors already so if someone does come inside for a kiss, the kitties won't hurt them.

Mike was outside later in the afternoon and counted between 32 and 38 (!) Swifts! OH MY! We kinda suspect they will find a home here since the neighbours capped their chimney.

Whatchagonnado? They came all the way from the Amazon basin to have their chickies here. How could we not roll out the welcome mat?

3 D Chick


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Yesterday I heard the bird house by the veggie garden burst into tiny chirps as Mr. and Mrs. House Wren came to feed the kids. Next weekend we'll get the sandflies by the millions. Happens every year right along the lake shore. For now, I gave them a tray of the little suet pellet thingies from Wild Birds Unlimited and mealworms.

They said THANKS! LOL!


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  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Mon, May 19, 08 at 8:57

YAY, chimney swifts!! Hope you only have dreams about swift kisses this year, Chicka! Even as yummy as they are...LOL

So, next weekend, it's all you can eat for the house wrens? I love it when nature feeds itself! Not that I mind feeding nature now and then. :D

Brenda


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Barry's cousins had chickies. You can see one or two beaks sticking out of their home. :-)


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Okay, not fair, I never get to see any Mommy birds and nests! They are all so hidden, I can tell the general area where they are but I can't see them! I used to have a phoebe that nested on our downspout for a couple of years but then I built the pond on that side of the house and she never returned. :^(

Our swifts are back too, don't know where they are nesting either but they spend lots of time flying and chirping overhead.

Heres my latest photos, had a nice variety of birds this weekend ... this is about the end of migration here so it was nice to see some late arrivals.

Swainsons thrush ...

Great-crested flycatcher

Male magnolia warbler


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Oohhhhh! But you take *the most* beautiful photographs! :-)

I never saw any of the latest you posted. The little Warbler is a chubby fellow. He needs a hug! LOL!


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Saw my first American Goldfinch yesterday. A male. Almost bounced off my windshield on the way to work.

EEEEEEKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!


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Jean your pictures are AWESOME!!! I hear a Wood thrush out there singing so beautifully but cant see him for all the woods! LOL...Your Great crested flycatcher photos are so wonderful and that is the exact bird i saw last year that was my mystery bird. LOVE their poofy heads :-) Love all the birdie stories too. You all are great!
Bonnie


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Another Robin's nest on our down spouts. If you look at the bricks those little specks ...you'll see the ~lake flies~ or midges that cover everything starting this time of year.

During the day they cover the trees, structures ... everything. As the sun sets, they fly into the sky forming huge swarms. Their hummmmmmmmmm is almost deafening! The Swifts, Martins, Sparrows ... everyone feasts on the flying steaks each year. Funny thing is that if you get just a block or two away from Lake Erie ... there's no midges! That may be one of the not so big secrets to Camp Nappy's birdy population. LOL! :-)


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RE: Spring bird sightings

I have a Robin in an evergreen in my backyard. The nest was her third attempt. The 1st nest had some Easter Basket grass my son and I put out two years back. That nest was destroyed by rain (the mud bottom gave out) but it had no eggs. The 2nd attempt looked pretty good, but she quit building it. Then I saw the third and final nest (I guess the eggs could not wait) and it is on a slant. Geez - I hope the babies don't roll out. Last time I checked she had 3 eggs. I hope she didn't lay the fourth (the robins usually lay 4) as when it gets tight in there, and with that slant, somebody is going to roll out. I looked at it to see if I could straighten it out but it is firmly attached. Chicks should hatch any day now.

Had a young Grackle caught in my pond net. Fully fledged but still bumming around with Mom periodically for handouts. Not sure how long it was caught there, but it had pooped several times, but I cut it free and carried it over to sit and study how to get the middle toe and toenail cut loose from the remaining net remnants and put the bird's head under my shirt to calm it and held the wings down in one hand. I managed to cut all of the net pieces but there was one piece too tightly wrapped around the tip of the toe just above the nail. I guess that toe tip might fall off? The bird was otherwise OK, no broken legs, but the middle tow was stretched out longer than it should have been. I have since modified my net to make it not extend all the way out and down outside the edge of the pond so when smaller birds walk around the edge, and then take off, they have an improved chance to fly up and away and not hit the net. I have no frogs right now lucky for the bird or it would have been eaten although I doubt the frog could have gotten it's foot free. It was really tangled up. I let it go in the wooded area and I guess it joined the other Grackles. I did see some juvenile Grackles coming and going today. I would think an injury such as this would not prevent the bird from making it's way in life. It could fly fine and was old enough to forage on it's own.

BTW - beautiful photos and stories folks! CT


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Hey CT! Sounds like you did a great job of getting the grackle untangled, I wonder how it mangaged to get so entangled. Sure hope it's okay!

Keep us up-to-date on the robin - maybe you can put a trampoline under the nest :^)

I had two male rose-breasted grosbeaks last night - one was a first year male and looked very molty! It's rather late here for them to be migrants and if they stick around a few more days (June 1st is considered the "safe" date for the breeding bird atlas) I get to count them as "possible" nesters! I just wish the blue grosbeak would come back too, he was one gorgeous bird. I have had a few late migrants in the last few days, a male magnolia warbler and a female redstart. But I'm guessing that's about it for the migrants.

I had my first downy fledgling clinging very hard to the side of the tree - his tail feathers had not developed fully yet so when Dad took off, he tried to follow but was pretty "wobbly"!


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RE: Spring bird sightings

I'll keep you posted! Oh, I had a downy male bring one of his young to the suet and the Dad would pick off a piece of suet and the baby would come down the trunk and fuss for the food. I wonder if there is only one baby?


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Fledglings everywhere! Robins, Bluebirds, Grackles, Starlings, Purple Finches, Downys, White-crowned Sparrows, House Finch, House Sparrows, Chipping Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Vespers Sparrows, Cardinals, Red-winged Blackbirds! Youngsters! In the trees. In the bushes. On the patio. In Daisy's mouth!

EEEEEEEEKKKKKKK!!!!!!!

Daisy! What are you doing?!?!? NO! DROP IT! DROP THE BIRD!

So far she's brought us two Grackles, a Starling and a Finch fledgling. Aside from having the poop frightened out of them and a bit soggy with Daisy drool, they are all unharmed.

Saw a squirrel yesterday with a quarter length of his tail missing. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Wonder ~who~ did that?

Before the dogs go outside we tap on the glass of the breezeway door. That's the first signal to the squirrels that Daisy is about to be released. Then she's held back and the second warning of " OUT! OUT!! OUT!!!" is called to the squirrels and bunnies that may be in harms way. They all scatter! They KNOW! Once the coast is clear Daisy is let out. But she's IS a stalker and hunter. :-(

If it is just Rani, the door is opened without any warning. The squirrels, birds, bunnies *might* lift their heads to look but are otherwise unconcerned. The only time Rani is the slightest threat is when the Toxic One is outside. Rani rushes toward her growling and barking! Good Girl! :-)


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RE: Spring bird sightings

OWL! About 5:00 this morning the silence outside exploded with the alarm calls of the Robins, Cardinals, Finches, Blue Jays ... you name it. Maybe there was a stray cat outside so Mike let Daisy out to check the back garden in about 2 seconds.

Seconds later he sees her waaaay in the back dancing circles around some big brown thing. What the heck is that? Mike called Daisy back and she actually came and the big thing took flight! It was still dark at the time but Mike thinks it may have been a Great Horned Owl. Definitely larger than a little Screech Owl. It took almost 10 minutes for the Robins and all to calm down after that encounter. Mike thinks the Owl left without breakfast.

Good thing he didn't become breakfast too! OMG! Daisy DON'T hurt the Owl!


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RE: Spring bird sightings

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 8, 08 at 8:32

LOL!!! Daisy is SUCH a good girl, not killing stuff, "rescuing" and warning you of dangerous owls. :D

Roscoe helped "rescue" the neighbor's baby chicken, too! It got out of its cage and must have wandered over to visit Roscoe in her kennel. Good girl! Just like Daisy!! *proud mama*

I've been trying to get a pic of Marvin, the baby barn owl, but no one is up to help me before dawn! I'm going to try holding the flashlight and the camera at the same time tomorrow morning, though, because Marvin never seems to be up during the day now. Even if the pic is blurry, I just HAVE to share his deliciousness!

He WAS up the other morning, though. He was staring down at me, completely silent and still. Why wasn't he dancing for me? I started swaying and slowly bobbing my head...and so did he!! I stopped, he stopped. I tried again, and he followed! What a great partner!

Dances with Owls


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Awwwww! Dances With Owls! :-) Kinda like Mike dancing with Olive but waaaay more cool to have an owl partner!

Speaking of Miss Olive, she laid an egg this morning but it fell and broke. She has no Mr. Olive so it would never have hatched.

Went outside this afternoon after a busy morning of slacking off and was scolded by Mr. Downy WP. Yo! Slacker! Yeah, YOU! Just look at the feeders here. EMPTY! Hello!!! Just look at my kids. They want their breakfast which is LATE!

Yep. There they were. Three adorable mini-Downys with their Mom. I quickly filled the feeders and as an extra smeared some suet plugs into the tree bark. I barely turned away before the family started having their picnic. :-)

I heard a new voice this afternoon high up in one of the Weeping Willows. I waited for some time until I could see who was the singer. A new bird came to visit Camp Nappy. An American Redstart. In my Audubon field guide it says this is one of the most abundant birds in North America. Hmmmm. I've been in North American almost 50 years and that was the first one I have ever seen! LOL!


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Anybody ever see an orange Cardinal? My cardinals come late to the feeders every day and there is one that is orange-red, sort of pale. I think it is a female.

I had orange phase house finches before but I've never seen a Cardinal this color.


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Orange Northern Cardinal

I searched images and found a photo that looks like the bird I see. The photo states it is a male.

Here is a link that might be useful: Orange Cardinals


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Orange Variant

I search more and answered my own question. There is something called an orange variant Northern Cardinal. Photo shows the red next to the orange. I hope this one hangs out more. The link is January diary of a nature/birdwatcher.

Here is a link that might be useful: Northern Cardinal - Orange Variant


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RE: Spring bird sightings

I'm seeing lots of babies too - mostly the early nesters - the downies, hairies, red-bellies, chickadees, titmouse and carolina wrens. I really need to get out and take some pictures of all the babies....

OH, I love seeing the male redstarts in their beautiful breeding plumage, I had my first glimpse this spring. The females remind me of titmice. I'd think they would have to be breeding close by if you are seeing them now - maybe you'll get to see redstart-ettes!

How cool to see an orange cardinal! I've had a couple of orange purple finches. How's the robin's nest doing?

I had a male and female rose-breasted grosbeak at the feeders yesterday which means I can count them as a "probable" nester in my breeding bird survey! I'm not doing very well at confirming many birds, other than the easy ones, the guidelines are fairly stringent. And I am not a very good birder out in the field! And the creek has flooded it's banks so many times that it is so muddy that it's hard to go very far. I went for a walk in my neighbors woods yesterday to look for possible breeders and saw nothing, but I did hear a great-horned owl. It was late morning/early afternoon and it was hooting very quietly - I'm not sure why it was vocalizing in the middle of the day unless it was warning young that I was close by. I looked for a long time but never did see it.

Anybody else noticing cardinals or bluejays with head lice? They look so bizarre! And painful!


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RE: Spring bird sightings

The Robin nest was empty when I checked it last. The parents never fed babies so something got all the eggs. I didn't see any eggs on the ground or pieces of shell either.

My bluejays and cardinals are looking good, no lice. I have young bluejays visiting the edge of the pond. They are more grey in the head and neck and have short tails, but they are pretty big. I am cutting back on feeding with just 3 feeders. It is getting too expensive and mostly I am being raided by squirrels and Grackles, with the smaller birds not getting much feeder time.

I think your RBG are nesters!


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RE: Spring bird sightings

I think they probably are too but I probably won't be able to get good enough evidence to document it as such. Here are the evidence code guidelines ...

BREEDING EVIDENCE CODES AND CRITERIA *

Observed
X heard or seen within safe dates, but NOT in suitable breeding habitat

Possible
OS heard or seen within safe dates and in suitable breeding habitat

Probable
PO mated pair seen within safe dates and in suitable breeding habitat
T1 territorial behavior (counter singing, territorial singing, woodpecker drumming, male-male chases, etc)
T7 singing male at same location 7 or more days apart
AB agitated behavior and/or anxiety calls from an adult
CC courtship displays or copulation
VS visiting probable nest site, or nest building by wrens, woodpeckers,kingfisher, chickadees, titmice)

Confirmed
UN used nest (inactive nests; must be readily identifiable)
CM adult carrying material for nest (nest not seen)
NB nest building observed (nest seen)
DD distraction display/behavior; broken wing display or dive-bombing humans
PE gravid condition or highly vascularized brood patch (bird banders only)
CF adult carrying food or fecal sac
ON occupied nest; nest attended by adult(s), but contents not visible
NE nest with eggs
NY nest with nestlings
FY recently fledged young, incapable of sustained flight


But still fun to have them in the summer, although they have been pretty scarce.

C3D - any swift renters yet?


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Hey there. I like those guidelines! :-)

No Swifts inside Camp Nappy ~proper~ yet. As I came home this evening I counted 12 Swifts leaving the larger chimney. Do you think that means we have at least 12 Swift nests? Last year Kramer mimicked the sound of the Swift chicks but no one has heard the chicks or Kramer's mimic yet.

**LOTS** of Cardinal and Eastern Bluebird fledglings today. :-) Haven't seen anyone bothered too much with the lice (poison ivy yes!) but then ... I'm not really home lately. LOL!


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Chipping Sparrow, House Sparrow, Vespers Sparrow and Purple Finch fledglings everywhere. It's a LBJ daycare facility out under the crabapple trees. LOL!


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RE: Spring bird sightings

I think the chickadees, titmice and downies have had a bumper crop this year! I've never seen (or heard) so many dee-dee-dee's before, it's so fun! So far I've only seen one young red-bellied but they maybe only bringing one at a time to the feeder. And just one young cardinal - which really is not a bad thing, I can only imagine what it will be like if all 70 cardinals from last winter bring all there babies to the feeders - I'll have to take out a loan for birdseed. I've also seen house wren, phoebe and catbird fledglings.

This evening I was following a spread-wing damselfly through the woods and I heard a bobwhite! We haven't had any in several years so I was really thrilled to hear it. I thought about trying to track it down but the mosquitos were eating me up alive! And the buck was stomping and snorting at me since I was standing in his bed :^)


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Hmmmmmmmm ..Here's the latest addition to the Camp Nappy flock:

Eeeeeeeekkkkkkkk!!!!!!!!!

It's another baby chicky!

Apparently Mr. and Mrs. Ring Neck Dove didn't see the memo we sent out to all the inmates asking that they PLEASE refrain from increasing the population. Mike says they were busy making the chicky when the memo was sent out. LOL!

This little one is about 3 weeks old.

OY!


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Hello Doves!?!?!?!? Are you NOT reading the memo correctly? The request is to NOT... repeat ... NOT increase the population!

Sheeeesh!

This little one, probably an albino, hatched Friday or yesterday. Crappy pic shows him next to a 25 cent coin.


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RE: Spring bird sightings

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 30, 08 at 8:50

Awww, poor little darlins! That beak on the first one reminds me of an albatross! LOL

The Mr. & Mrs. sound like they took a certain education class from rabbits!

Brenda


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RE: Spring bird sightings

A chastity belt perhaps???

It's amazing how fast they grow in just 3 weeks! They are just too cute (but then I don't have to house them :^)


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Our first Chimney Swift guest arrived this morning and has become the latest casualty in what we have dubbed The Year of Death and Heartache at Camp Nappy. She flew into the window and instantly broke her neck and died even though there was a sheet of plastic sheeting stretched across the window frame inside to cushion the blow should a collision occur. That was not enough to protect her.

I believe the bird is a female because her pelvic bones seem far enough that an egg could easily pass through.

I took her photo to illustrate what a beautiful flying machine she had been. Hope you don't mind a post-mortem photo.

No happy endings here so far. Gonna shut down Camp Nappy. We discovered Death must be taking a holiday here. :*(


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Aw C3D, I am so sorry about the swift. And I am so sorry that you've had such a rough time with your patients, I know it has to hurt because you care so much about each and every one of them. But none of them would have had a chance without you and their suffering would have been so much worse had you not taken them into your arms. No one else would have had any faith for Mr. Cardinal and Barry - but you did! You persisted, you fought the battle with them every step of the way. No one would ever beleived that Mr. Cardinal would ever fly again, but he now he is happily making babies! Death is so hard but it is part of a bigger plan that we cannot control.

You are an angel - please don't EVER forget that!


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Chickie, did you send your swifts down here? I ask because now I have swifts nesting in my chimney! I heard them a few days ago and my husbands been hearing them too. No escapees into the house yet though!

Such cute little chirpings!


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RE: Spring bird sightings

We have plenty of swifts to share with friends.

Congratulations, Jean! Aren't those the sweetest sounds when the chimney erupts with the sound of hungry chickies? LOL! Now we gotta figure out how we can drop you down the chimney so you can photograph them. 8-)

If you use your chimney in the winter please remember to have your chimney cleaned out in the Fall so the abandoned nests don't become a fire hazard.

3D Chick


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RE: Spring bird sightings

Did your swifts leave, Jean? Any indoor guests? Ours left sometime last week we think. They didn't even say: "Bye!" We only had the one unfortunate guest this year.

Gonna ask the avian guy if we're missing something in Barry's diet. STILL NO butt feathers! :-( Camp Nappy is in full feather moulting season. Everyone, except for the Orange Weaver Finches are dropping old feathers. We have enough of Olive's feathers to make a tush toupe. If he doesn't like a gawdy green we still have Mr. Cardinal's tail feathers saved for such an occasion. LOL!


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