Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2010 #4

claireplymouth z6b coastal MAAugust 15, 2010

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2010 #4

And on to 2010 #4:

This thread is intended to give people a place to post photos and/or talk about birds, critters, wildlife, fish, whatever - topics you might not want to start a whole thread on, but are still garden-related.

You can see the range of possible topics in the previous threads:

Birds and other mobile features in the garden

Birds and other mobile features in the garden #2

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2009

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2010

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2010 #2

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2010 #3

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My lawn dragon don't get no respect! Even the Gray Catbird seems to think it's OK to stomp on its head. And the House Sparrow isn't impressed either.

Claire

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corunum z6 CT(6)

Maybe it was the ukulele lessons? Poor dragon.

PM2: No, not familiar with Frog and Toad, but did see images of them on Google and am wondering if they may be just the right life coaches for Claire's dragon.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 9:48PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I was going to say maybe he needs to be larger but even real Hippos have to put up with that, Claire. [g]

Jane, it was just a sweet series of stories about friends. In 'Frog and Toad Together', Frog actually does 'coach' Toad on how to grow a garden. And there is a chapter on 'Dragons and Giants'. I had to look them up to remember how many books there were and I saw a 10 year old child's review on Amazon that made me smile...

"I love this book because it never gets old. I could just read it for hours and just never get board not even a little. I enjoy this book beginning to the end. When I am upset or mad I sit down and read a nice story of Frog and Toad Together. I am ten years old and have been reading Frog and Toad for years."

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 5:17AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

As usual, I've been putting peanuts out for the jays but lately I've been using peanuts without the shells. Turns out that woodchucks like peanuts too! I've seen this guy a few times in the last week - no damage so far that I've seen, but everything's so overgrown it's hard to tell.

It's getting late in the season but the orioles and catbirds still enjoy the jam and fruit feeder.

I don't know if it was the rain preventing them from getting their usual food, but today I noticed a lot of other flying creatures swarming over the fruit. This is the first time I've seen it this year.

I remember last fall the Bald-faced Hornets monopolizing the jam feeder. I wonder if it's the final stocking up of sugar before the cold weather comes.

Claire

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 3:15PM
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corunum z6 CT(6)

You certainly have created a very warm and receptive Bee Buffet in addition to being a branch of the Nat'l Seashore Sublimates. Seems sublime there - especially if one is stuffed with jam, lol. Good job!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 9:22AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

On the not -so-warm-and-receptive side of the bird world, I found out why the jays were screaming for so long today, even after the cat left.

A juvenile Cooper's Hawk flew onto my birdbath and spent some time posing in front of the rose (I also posted these photos on the BirdWatching forum).

it did a few test wing stretches as it turned around

and took a few looks around before it flew off.

Claire

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 5:03PM
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corunum z6 CT(6)

What great shots! The 'beauty/beast'contrast between the rose and raptor is not only sharp, there is an artistic distinction that just makes these photos among some of your best (that I have seen) Wonderful!

Ah, the world of contrasts!
Jane

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 9:01PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

I've been preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Earl, and yesterday I turned the two old cedar Adirondack chairs over. I'm not sure if it's necessary but my parents always did that and the chairs survived many severe storms. Anyway, the turkeys seemed to think it was a splendid idea. They moved in for their daily preening and rest stop. I guess it's more comfortable for them.

This photo is of the usual three adults and five half-grown poults. There's also a group of one adult hen and two youngsters that I occasionally see. They never seem to join the bigger flock.

Claire

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 3:11PM
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arbo_retum(z5 ,WinchstrMA)

oh my goodness, claire. My Love has a thing for hawks (watching them for 30 yrs as he drove north and south on rt 93 for work) and he went nuts for these shots!
i can't believe you had the calmness to take them; i would be so excited, i wouldn't be able to hold the camera steady! tremendous; thanks so much,
mindy

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 3:40AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Mindy, my computer is littered with hawk photos, some better than others. I don't see them that often, but they're here regularly. I see them mostly in the winter when the leaves are down.

This one was very obliging - it just posed on the bird bath which is in clear view from my computer window (as is my hummer feeder). I took 38 photos of the hawk. Right now I'm looking out at House Sparrows in the bird bath and my camera is within reach in case something unusual appears.

Claire

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 1:11PM
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arbo_retum(z5 ,WinchstrMA)

claire and all you other amazing birders, so I just have to say, WE TOO have an amazing resident bird in our gardens. Take a look at our blue heron!
best,
mindy
www.cottonarboretum.com/ From CARB ART IN GARDEN

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 2:04PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

And a very fine blue heron it is! It certainly found a beautiful garden to fish in.

Claire

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 3:55PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Not really a garden bird, but I was at the Cape Cod National Seashore today (trying to understand the difference between a salt pond and a salt marsh, but that's another story) and I saw this Mute Swan feeding right near the boardwalk.

Usually I think of swans as graceful, majestic birds, almost posing for the camera, but this one showed the reality of how to eat from the surface of the water with a long neck.

Claire

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 6:17PM
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corunum z6 CT(6)

What a lovely and graceful succession of photos. You are so fortunate to have such a variety of 'backyard' birds. Excellent! And now I know the difference between salt marsh and pond - TY. Seem to recall learning the name as 'tidal marsh' and that made the difference.

Definition link below for anyone else who wants to 'look it up'.

Here is a link that might be useful: Salt marsh/Salt pond - noaa

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 8:21AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

The lawn dragon seems to be a nice hangout place for some of the birds - probably the water bowl on the ground helps. These photos aren't great (I really should wash that window) but they show the relaxed attitude of a towhee and some cardinals.

A male Eastern Towhee hopped around rooting for something in the grass/weeds and ended up by the dragon.

An immature female cardinal joined him on the back of the dragon, with another cardinal in the background, maybe keeping an eye on the kid. Male cardinals are very attentive parents.

Hey! Where'd that towhee go?

Claire

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 8:25PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

I haven't seen hummingbirds since mid to late September, but I've kept the feeder up (as recommended) in case of late migrants or lost birds. No activity lately except for the occasional chickadee drinking from the center well.

Except for today when I saw something small buzzing around the feeder and I thought maybe a late hummer! As usual I grabbed the camera first, took some shots, and then pulled out the binoculars.

Turns out a butterfly was visiting the feeder. It came back several times and stayed a while. I'm not sure if it actually drank the nectar or just checked it out, but they probably have long tongues (or the equivalent) too. It was hanging around the outside of the feeder so it wasn't going for the water in the well. I have a few photos, not very good, that seem to show it at the flower ports.

I think it's a Painted Lady but I'm not sure. Maybe a migrant? This is about the time I see Monarchs.

I have plenty of asters and goldenrods in bloom so there should be enough nectar around for butterflies, but I never thought they'd go to a hummingbird feeder .

Claire

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 6:03PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

OK, this is one of the first photos I took when I was trying to figure out what that lumpish looking thing was on the feeder. Here it's clearly doing something to one of the flower ports. Whether it was successful I have no idea.

Claire

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 8:10PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

I may seem a little obsessed with this butterfly, but the turkeys are off somewhere and this is a substitute.

The butterfly was back this morning and is definitely sipping (or trying to sip) the nectar syrup. A good reason to keep the feeder filled for a while longer.

Claire

    Bookmark   October 9, 2010 at 11:46AM
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corunum z6 CT(6)

This flitting and gutsy little guy is not easily caught by my camera, but today the two met for about two seconds. Why he flies 100 feet away each and every time he takes a seed is one of those mystery questions.
Black-capped Chickadee

    Bookmark   October 9, 2010 at 10:15PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Nice shot. For a minute there I thought the chickadee has a very long bill with a red stripe, but then I realized it's holding a sunflower seed.

I read somewhere that the chickadees aren't strong enough to crack a seed with their bills so they have to fly to a perch. Then they grab the seed with a foot and hack at it with the bill to open it. I wonder if they would stay on the feeder if it was filled with hulled sunflower seeds. They do seem to stay on the nyjer feeder for a while.

Claire

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 2:16PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Hi guys, haven't been around here much as life is busy and also I got totally sucked into raising butterflies there for awhile, which I greatly enjoy. Released 52 Monarchs and 20 Black Swallowtails and there are still 2 Black Swallowtail chrysalises that did not eclose and will hibernate over the winter in the garage, hopefully to emerge next Spring. There are few butterflies active now, so my focus is naturally shifting to the myriad of birds in the yard. I am seeing interesting new species including some unidentitified birds that come to enjoy the Elderberries, crabapples, or bird baths. Not sure if I want to do Project Feederwatch this year but probably will because I usually look forward to bird counts!

Claire, I saw a male Eastern Towhee the other day too! Very cool. Also I think your butterfly is a Red Admiral, how interesting that it figured out how to drink nectar from the hummer feeder.

Coronum, your little chickadee is probably caching food - they are clever birds that store a lot of food for winter and apparently they remember where they've put most of it, too.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 6:18PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Foster mother to 72 butterflies! Quite an accomplishment, terrene. Red Admiral sounds good - I need to look closer at my new butterfly field guide.

I did some googling and found some butterfly nectar feeders with a recipe for nectar that's identical to the hummer nectar solution (one part sugar plus four parts water). Do you feed your adult butterflies nectar or just leaves for the caterpillars?

Towhees are great birds - I've been seeing a female lately too as well as the male. I think she likes peanuts, at least she was hopping around in the area where I toss out the peanuts (conveniently just outside my computer window).

Claire

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 8:28PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

This thread is loading too slowly so I'm starting a new one (2010 #5).

Claire

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 1:02PM
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