Project FeederWatch #4 20http://forums.gardenweb.com/forum09/2010

claireplymouth z6b coastal MAMarch 19, 2010

This is a continuation of the Project FeederWatch #3 2009/2010 thread. Probably the last for this year since spring is ALMOST hear and the PFW bird counting season ends on April 9.

I've got blackbirds all over now - this photo shows male and female Common Grackles, male and female Red-winged Blackbirds, and male Brown-headed Cowbirds. There are a few female cowbirds around, but they didn't make it into this photo.

And of course there are turkeys - the toms have returned to my yard and have been parading around for a few days now trying to impress the hens. There was a lot of running and jumping and shrieking yesterday, but today things have settled down.

And on the non-bird front, I was out with my camera when I heard an odd "chuck" sound coming from the backyard. This chipmunk was just standing on a woodpile going chuck chuck, maybe a mating call?

I don't think I've ever seen a chipmunk stand still for very long, but it was still there when I went inside and looked out a window. It had just moved to another log. With all the predators here a chipmunk has to be able to move fast.

Claire

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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Oh great, I carefully proofread the body of the message, but didn't look at the subject title.

Claire

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 12:26PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Early this morning the turkeys were back, and here is the main tom in all his splendor, parading around. I was hoping to get a photo of him in the sun, but it was just too early for that location.

I got the impression he knew I was watching him - there were a few side glances as he strutted by the birdbath and then went back to the hens.

Claire

    Bookmark   March 20, 2010 at 3:58PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Amazing turkeys, Claire. They really do look just like the drawings of turkeys we made in element*ary sch*ool. [g] Very odd combination of the gorgeous feathers and that ugly head....lol. You must be so tickled to have those to look at up close and personal.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 8:10AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

I love seeing the turkeys! Lately they've been the first birds I see in the morning when I walk bleary-eyed to the window. This morning the tom finally moved into the sun in the usual spot near the euonymus. It's fun to watch people walk down the road and stop and stare at the turkeys. They stop traffic too.

They will probably disappear soon when the hens lay their eggs somewhere in the woods, to reappear later when the poults are fledged and hungry in a few months. But by then there should be hummingbirds and orioles to watch.

Claire

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 5:07PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Gee Claire, that is the best photo of the Turkeys to date. That head on photo actually makes the head and the neck look more attractive and colorful. Very nice, thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 7:51PM
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corunum z6 CT(6)

Carolina Wren. Another ruffled Southerner up North.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 9:28PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Do you know what ruffled the wren? Wind, wet feathers, or just morning wake-up rumpling?

The Carolina Wrens, Tufted Titmice, Northern Cardinals, Northern Mockingbirds, and lately the White-winged Doves are all southerners that were glad to migrate to New England. While they do sometimes get in a snit, they keep settling in here. Must not be too bad a place to live.

Claire (giggling)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 12:10PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

It's raining again today and the turkeys are not taking it well. If they weren't wild animals (dinosaurs?) I'd go out with an old towel and dry them off. I doubt, though, that they'd take that well either.

This is a bunch of very disgruntled turkeys. At least the yucca looks good in early spring rain.


From here they moved across the street and sulked over there. I saw several cars stop and stare at them - the turkeys didn't move, just radiated disgust.

Claire

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 5:35PM
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corunum z6 CT(6)

Not an ark in sight. Little guys are showing some grief. Six+ inches of rain - relief coming tonight - hopefully.


    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 12:30PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Very wet, unhappy birds in CT too! The turkeys have mostly disappeared, even though it finally stopped raining. They probably took off on one of their periodic walkabouts looking for a land where it doesn't rain. Just one little hen the last few days.

Luckily they walk when they travel, so I doubt they made it to RI.

Claire

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 12:18PM
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corunum z6 CT(6)

Had to stop for road-crossing turkeys this morning, so they've traveled well,lol. This thread seems to be for people who have strutting turkeys, high perching mourning doves, sad Cardinals, and Canon cameras. So there will be no thread in the NE Forum for happy summer birds and the fledglings who come to our yards and gardens?

In the same campaign style as PFW, is anyone familiar with the USA National Phenology Network?

Kindly,
Jane

Here is a link that might be useful: USA National Phenology Network

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 3:01PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

In the past I've started threads for summer birds and other critters, with mixed success.

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2009

Birds and other mobile features in the garden

If there's interest, I'll do it again.

I didn't know about the USA National Phenology Network, but the Horticulture Newsletter recently had as article about indicator plants with a link for Project Budburst which is in the same vein.

Claire

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 5:18PM
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corunum z6 CT(6)

Maybe my level of expectation is not as high as yours,Claire,but looking at the 'mixed success' on the above past threads, the amount of participation looks okay to me. I like seeing your sparrow twins, painted lady, resting dove, and Terrene's garden toad. Marty takes great finches, owls, etc. Gardening year round is the ideal for most of us, but my Celtic New England blood at this age is comfortable up to about 80-85 degrees. After that, the air is on and sunny or not, I'm back in my office out of the sun; so at that point, GW summer threads is what I wear best. I vote for the same title thread with the addition of '2010'.

Jane
(P.S. in the 2008 thread I noticed your Gardenway - I have the same cart and it is now 34 years old - love that cart!)

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 10:32AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

OK, I'll wait a few weeks until PFW is over and I have something to post, and then I'll start a new summer thread.

That's my favorite cart. My father had the bigger one for many years and now my brother is using it. I loved the big one, but it's a little hard to maneuver so I bought the middle size a few years ago (many different suppliers sell these or similar carts).

The mid-size one has a removable gate and spent the winter on my porch under the overhang next to a plastic toboggan. If there was no snow cover I'd roll the cart down the steps and use it to carry big bags of birdseed from the car. In case of snow, the plastic toboggan got delivery duty. The cart is out basking in the sun today. The toboggan is getting dusty.

Claire

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 12:42PM
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corunum z6 CT(6)

Stranger in my midst...have never seen this fellow before...nor can I find him in Sibley's. Warbler in a Dreamcoat?

Anyone know who this chap is? Loved ground feeding at base of feeder. Thanks.

Jane

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 3:57PM
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kpaquette

He looks like a white throated sparrow. My Peterson field guide says "a gray-breasted sparrow with a white throat patch and a yellow lore spot between eye and bill" - he's very handsome!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 4:15PM
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corunum z6 CT(6)

Okay, maybe he's a White-throated Sparrow with a really high gloss yellow supraloral? This yellow is almost neon in appearance.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 4:19PM
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kpaquette

Maybe he's trying to impress the ladies? ;-)

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 4:24PM
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kpaquette

I bet that is what you have...and you know I think I saw one here one time but didn't know what it was! Now I'm going to keep my eyes peeled...

Here is a link that might be useful: Cornell info on White Throated Sparrow

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 4:27PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Yes, a White-throated Sparrow. I've had them all winter here - they often hang around with the cardinals and the Song Sparrows feeding on the ground. They scratch in the litter like a terrier and usually don't allow other white-throats to get too close. Lately I've been seeing two white-throats together, so maybe they'll breed here. I don't usually see them in the summer so I don't know if they migrate or just fade into the background.

That bright yellow spot is pretty indicative along with the white cravat. A very fine bird.

Claire

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 5:34PM
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corunum z6 CT(6)

Thank you, both. I found him in Sibley's (finally). You're right, Claire, he looks like a fine bird!-despite the terrier trait, lol.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 6:03PM
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mskee(z6 MA)

Well, not really a feeder bird, but, this is the second year in a row this "guy" has returned to my yard, fighting with himself. Now, I say it's the same bird, but I may just be making that up in my head!
I become alerted to his presence by a rapping noise on the window. Sometimes he is pecking, sometimes he throws himself on the window in a real show of machismo. Handsome guy--these pics taken from the safety of inside my house!

Emily

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 7:12PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

What a fierce robin! I'm glad I'm not another robin or, even worse, a worm. That's a great shot of the evil eye.

Have you tried putting a desk lamp in the window? I've read recently that the light will break up the reflection and the bird will calm down. I haven't tried it myself, not being blessed with window-attacking birds.

Claire

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 8:41PM
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