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Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 2, 12 at 10:50

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:

The list is getting unwieldy so I'll follow pixie_lou's lead (in the Show us Your Landscape thread) and refer back to the Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6 post for a list of all the threads prior to 2012.

I'll start off the New Year with a rather serene, and very shiny, crow surveying the yard from a shepherd's hook. The hook holds nyjer feeders so the goldfinches stayed away until the crow was gone.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I don't have crops to worry about so I can freely enjoy the crows.

Claire


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

I see crows just about every day in groups of three or more. They walk around the lawn looking for anything edible and do a bit of cleanup under the seed & suet feeders. Normally they're out there by the time it gets light in the morning. Other than the hawk, they and the bluejays are the largest winged visitors to the garden.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

We have a couple squirrels in the yard that really keep us entertained. My DD has named them Henry and Jose.
Squirrel

We have a compost way out back. I'm always finding orange rinds and grapefruit rinds littered in the vicinity of the compost piles. But today I found a grapefruit half up in the tree branches in a tree about 20 feet away.
Grapefruit in Tree


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, Jan 3, 12 at 10:02

gardenweed: I appreciate the crows as an Early Hawk Warning System. They really hate the Cooper's and red-tailed hawks and they'll yell and mob a hawk given the chance.

pixie_lou: That's a nice fat squirrel there - you only have two? And you have a tree bearing grapefruits - too bad it doesn't bear real fruit you can pick in season.

My compost pile sported a Halloween jack-o-lantern for a while this fall, eating a paper towel roll.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

It's now buried and decomposing.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

We do have more than 2 squirrels. But we pretend to only have 2. Jose is the fat one. Henry is the not quite as fat one.

I put a pumpkin out under the bird feeder yesterday - after coming to the realization that I was never going to turn it into pumpkin pie. Henry sat down and had himself quite the feast.

squirrel 2

squirrel 1


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 4, 12 at 10:19

Very cute (when you're not trying to keep decorative pumpkins on the porch). At that rate Henry is going to be as fat as Jose. A good way to start the long winter is with ample body fat (that's my own excuse).

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jan 7, 12 at 15:08

About twenty minutes ago I caught a glimpse of what looked like either a fox or a coyote running through the yard. It came back and stopped for a drink at the birdbath, just long enough for two pics.

I'm guessing this is a fox, mostly by the red color and smallish size, but I'm not really sure.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

No question, it's a red fox and a beauty! Very healthy in appearance. Chances are you won't see bunnies for a while. I've noticed an annual cycle here of : rabbits, foxes, coyote,then back to rabbits. If bears rent a canoe and cross the CT River, we'll be up a creek, but so far, coyote has been the largest predator in our yard. I wasn't thrilled that the foxes would stroll through when I was outside in plain view, but they're on the golf courses when I tee off, so it is us they put up with! Be interesting to see if other small animals use that water bucket if he left his scent. Good capture with the Canon, Claire.

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jan 7, 12 at 17:47

Thanks, Jane. Actually, I haven't seen bunnies for three or four years now - probably too many predators around here. Coyotes and foxes and now fisher cats have been seen in the area. A few years ago a black bear was reported in a park a few miles away, but only once.

Good point about the scent. I'll watch to see if the squirrels drink from that bath.

When I first glimpsed the fox it was moving very quickly; maybe chasing something, and the crows were yelling. When it came back it sauntered over to the bird bath which gave me enough time to figure out where I'd left the camera.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

I heard from friend on the cape whose neighbor has rat holes in her yard as a result of all the feeders in her yard. How disturbing is that.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Jan 8, 12 at 11:50

gemini40: That certainly would be disturbing if the rats were there because of all the feeders and not because of garbage or proximity to a landfill. I just found this old thread on the Winter Garden Forum that gives a lot of sensible and some not-so-sensible solutions to the problem. I particularly like the Wrigley's Spearmint Gum solution. Luckily I have too many predators to worry about rats.

I can't resist posting yet another set of Cooper's hawk pics, this time occupying the heated birdbath.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I'm glad I cleaned this window yesterday.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

I'm glad you found the camera! These guys are everywhere lately. Of course, a busy bird feeder doesn't help, but what a chase this guy gave yesterday afternoon to a small little bird from my yard. An incredibly fast and agile aerial pursuit took place just after snapping this through my office window (while on the phone and the person never knew it,lol):

They left my field of vision, so I don't know how the chase ended. Raptors do have wondrous eyes as well seen in your capture, Claire. Well done.

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Jan 8, 12 at 20:16

Jane: They sure are everywhere, at least they're here every day. I don't always see them, but I'll look out and suddenly not a bird in sight. I'll wait and either see the hawk fly off or some intrepid bird (often a chickadee) will decide the coast is clear and lead the way to the feeders.

I understand about taking a photo while taking on the phone. I took my first (and maybe last) helicopter flight a few years ago at the Cranberry Festival in Wareham. The helicopter flew over the bogs with lovely fall foliage in the surrounding wooded area.

I was in the front seat, which feels like you're hanging in space about to fall down, and I don't much like heights. However, I wasn't about to miss the photo op so I managed to shoot almost continuously, even changing the settings with one hand while the other hand had a death grip on the rail. It was a beautiful albeit nerve-wracking flight.

Claire


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RE RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Jan 8, 12 at 20:19

Forgot to mention: a squirrel drank from the other bird bath apparently not caring about the fox's scent. Either it's a case of 'out of sight, out of mind', or maybe my whole yard smells of fox all the time.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

Had a twist on 'Catch and Release' at my house this morning. The recycle garbage pail is in the garage, which has a cat hole in the back. I tossed in one small can and plastic container - both clean and dry. It was dark because the doors were closed but I had enough light to see that the big black plastic bag liner wasn't there. After I tossed and heard no noise, I thought, "Damn and Blast! I know I put a bag in there!" Looked into the big garbage pail and saw this old fella curled up under the cherry tomato container:

We carried the garbage pail out to the back border and tipped him out so he could go back into the huge brush pile at the neighbor's where he lives:

He wasn't anxious to leave his garbage pail hideaway, but I kept softly saying, "Come on, honey, off you go. You'll be alright.", even though I got a backwards glance that wished I had left him one scallop from my latest doggy bag which he shredded. He made it home safely.

Kindly, Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 9, 12 at 11:58

You brute! (from the possum's viewpoint) It was nice and warm in there too, the only problem being that the humans keep throwing things at me while I'm just trying to snooze.

Or maybe the possum was trapped and couldn't climb out? In that case, you weren't a brute but a savior (from the possums viewpoint).

Really a beautiful animal.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

He was trapped and couldn't climb out. Fell in during the night sometime and despite being noctural, I figured being rescued in daylight was better than being trapped without water, food, and sitting in his own waste. It's a 55gal. pail and he was right on the bottom: (overexposed picture to show him)

A chubby little old guy who made it home safely. If you have to have a wild animal in your garage, this is the one to have!


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

What great photos!
Here is a porcupine having a daytime snooze high in a hemlock in my woods. At the tree base were masses of branch tips.

Photobucket


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 11, 12 at 17:40

Porcupines climb trees? - and sleep there? I didn't know that! I never really thought much about the porcupine's lifestyle, never having met one here, so it's a whole new thing to look into.

It looks like a big gall with spines, or another form of witch's broom.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

What a great experience franeli! Cute little guy. I knew almost nothing about porcupines until I saw your picture and Googled. What an amazing animal! Onboard antibiotic if he falls on his own quills? Genius...pure genius. These rodents have an exceptional 30 million year history. Thanks for posting...yup, they love coniferous woods. Good learning lesson - thanks.

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

Wow - a porcupine. I don't think I've ever seen one in the wild.

I've had lots of bird activity in the yard recently. I was amazed to see the heron walking on the pond ice - one of the few days we actually had a bit of ice on the pond.
Heron

I think this is a tufted titmouse - stopping in to eat some bread I left on the porch railing.
Tufted Titmouse

A woodpecker on the suet feeder.
WoodPecker

Mama Cardinal scrounging under the bird feeders
Female Cardinal

Papa cardinal in a nearby tree
Cardinal

A black capped chickadee in a nearby tree
Chickadee


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

Hi guys, I'm enjoying the animal and bird pictures! That fox looks very healthy, I saw a scraggly looking fox wander through the yard the other day.

My squirrels are extremely fat this year. I was away for quite awhile during Christmas, only throw them a handful of sunflower seeds each day, and my feeders are baffled, so this isn't because of feeder food. I think it's because the Sugar maples made abundant seeds this fall. The squirrels were up there chewing seeds for weeks. There were so many seeds I though there was something wrong with the trees. I was relieved to find out that Acer saccharum seeds heavily only every 2-5 years.

I was eating some trail mix and threw this guy a peanut:

He/she came up the deck begging for another peanut:

Finally started Project Feederwatch last week. I'm excited because there are more Bluebirds this year than ever before. Sometimes there are about 12 of them out there. It's hard to tell the exact number, they're flying aroung too much, coming down to eat suet nuggets at the tray.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jan 14, 12 at 10:42

pixie_lou: That heron looks like it's strolling over to its ice fishing house, ready for a day fishing in a nice snug shelter with a six-pack at its side.

terrene: When your squirrels walk on the deck, do you hear a strange sucking sound? As if the feet have little suckers on them grabbing the wood? I noticed it last fall when I was putting sunflower seeds out on the deck for the chipmunks, and the squirrels would sneak over and eat the seeds.

Those bluebirds are gorgeous!

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Jan 15, 12 at 11:38

Cold this morning, 10 deg. F, and many of the birds are fluffier than usual.

Two crows, maybe youngsters, on a feeder hook. I often see two together on this feeder. In this case I think they're waiting for the turkeys to go away.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

"When your squirrels walk on the deck, do you hear a strange sucking sound?"

Could they be Plumber Squirrels?


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Jan 15, 12 at 14:28

or maybe a gecko x squirrel hybrid....

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

Hi Claire, no I didn't notice any strange sound. But then, that is the first time a squirrel has come that close when I was out on the deck. I was surprised at how inquisitive it was.

Boy was it cold this morning, it was a Project Feederwatch day today and the birds definitely looked fluffier than usual. :)


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

I am enjoying all the photos - thanks! Last Wednesday just before the weather turned snowy and then cold, we had the biggest flock of turkeys I have ever seen, something like 50. They were too far down the cornfield to take a photo, though. Probably looking for whatever gleanings were left in the field before they were covered with snow.

Franeli - Thanks for the observations about the hemlock tips and and the porcupine. I have seen porcupines in the woods and also seen in other areas hemlock branch tips littering the ground, but hadn't mad a mental association between the porcupines and the branch tips.

Claire -

Your fox is beautiful and looks quite healthy. I can't tell from the photo if it's a red fox or a gray fox - both occur in New England and in general have reddish or grayish fur. The red fox has a white tail tip (several inches) and the gray has the whole tail the same color without the white end, but between the lighting, the focus and the whole tail not showing, I can't tell which you have. Maybe you will spot it again and can check. We have red foxes quite commonly, and had the privilege of having a mama raise a pair of kits nearby a couple of summers ago. It was delightful to watch the young ones playing along the edge of the cornfield and in the back meadow and it was lovely having fewer rodents around! We still see her sometimes, but she has moved her den for the past two summers.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

I'm participating in Project Feeder Watch this year also. Today I decided to take some photos. Lots of Cardinals today.

I think this is a White Throated Sparrow. If someone has a different ID, please let me know.
Photobucket

Downey Woodpecker
Downey

Mourning Dove and Female Cardinal
Cardinal and Mourning Dove

Male Cardinal and Junco
Cardinal and Junco

This, I believe, is a Hairy Woodpecker. It's larger than the Downey and has a longer beak. He wouldn't come down from the top of the Maple Tree so this was as close as I could get.
Hairy Woodpecker

Carolina Wren. I love the curved beak on this little guy.
Carolina Wren

White Breasted Nut Hatch
White Breasted Nuthatch

Female Cardinal in a Bloodgood JM
Female Cardinal

Another Female Cardinal
Female Cardinal at hopper

Finally spotted a male Cardinal in the Rhody
Male Cardinal in Rhody

Tufted Titmice (Titmouses?)
Titmice

Steve


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

Steve,
I love your images, I think my favorites are the Tufted Titmice (?). Their expressions seem to exude innocence!

Your first sparrow is a Song Sparrow, I believe. The White Throat does not have that breast streaking...another way to i.d. the Song Sparrow is that central breast dark spot.

I also love the picture of the female cardinal in the tree. That reddish branch complements her coloring very well!

Nice shots!

Emily
Western MA


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 18, 12 at 16:44

Steve: You have snow! None here to show off the birds' colors. Very nice photos and you have a good selection of winter birds for Massachusetts.

I agree with Emily - that first sparrow is a Song Sparrow, not a White-throated Sparrow. If you already submitted your PFW report, you can edit it easily. I just edited some reports a few weeks ago when I erroneously identified a sparrow as Savannah, not Song. The Project FeederWatch people are very accessible by email - all you have to do is email them a photo and they'll confirm or correct your identification. I email them a lot (I've been wrong many times).

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

Good assortment above of our New England backyard 'mobiles'. Anybody have a moose? This morning a pair of Cooper's stayed high in a maple whilst the crows protected (and conquered) the chicken scraps. I usually see the hawks facing the camera, this morning I noticed their wonderful camouflage. Never thought of their backs as lichen-matching feathers, but it sure looks that way.


Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Jan 19, 12 at 12:46

Perceptive observation, Jane, about the camouflaged back. Lots of hawks seem to have that coloration, so it may well be useful (I'm going hunting wearing my tree costume, nothing will expect a tree to swoop down on it...).

Claire


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This pair of Mourning Doves are perfect opposites - must be true love. One can sleep through almost anything:

And the mate, well, not so much:

Maybe resting side by side would have been wiser:

I feel lucky to have 8 pairs Mourning Doves feeding here. Been a busy morning this morning!

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jan 21, 12 at 16:20

You are indeed lucky to have 8 pairs of Mourning Doves, Jane - for a while this fall I had none (-0-). Lately I've only seen one or two, and that sporadically. I suspect the hawks have been too successful.

The second dove in your pic looks like a pine cone. Another form of camouflage, perhaps?

I have a new suet feeder, two sided with a tail prop for the woodpeckers. Supposedly woodpeckers use the tail to stabilize themselves when feeding on trees.

This downy does look more comfortable than on my usual suet cages. This was taken earlier today when there was just a little snow falling.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

This Carolina Wren seems to be huddling under the canopy when the snow was falling faster.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

That lump of snow under the feeder is actually a squirrel baffle.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The maps show the back end of the snowstorm getting closer, which is good because I'm getting really tired of going out and sweeping the snow away for the birds.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

That's a very nice suet feeder, Claire. I'm sure they appreciate a dry space to eat.

This morning first thing, no coffee, lousy lighting, but there he was on the suet cake: My first Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Never seen one before, it was pure good timing because after he got a chunk, he was off.


Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 23, 12 at 10:53

Wow! That sure looks like a male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, and two great shots, to boot! I've never seen one either, so I just looked it up in my Sibley guide.

Not your every day feeder visitor.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

Great pic of that Yellow Bellied Sapsucker. I'd love to see one someday.

Today this guy was in the Maple tree overlooking the bird feeders. Is it a Cooper's Hawk?
Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Steve


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 23, 12 at 17:34

Steve: Adult Cooper's Hawk all right, and well-photographed. PFW has a great site on Tricky Bird IDs: Sharp-shinned Hawk and Cooper's Hawk. That look of a cap on the head (Cooper's) rather than a hood (Sharpie) is very clear here.

There's more identification tips on the Accipiter Photo Gallery.

It's very subjective, but to me the Cooper's looks much more commanding - the sharpie looks a little more hopeful. Of course, to a small bird that doesn't much matter.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

Good pictures, Steve, and one of those breeds of hawk is responsible for my untouched feeder today. Today my backyard is still, not mobile. Yesterday morning I filled the feeder to the top before leaving to spend the day at Sachuset Wildlife Refuge in Middletown, RI in search of Harlequin Ducks (found them). This morning, the feeder is still chock o' block full, but there is a ring of gray feathers on the ground under the feeder. It must have happened right after I left and as of 9:15am today, only a downy woodpecker has come to a suet feeder, juncos warily landed in a nearby cherry tree, and a solo mourning dove looked, but that's it. It'll be a quiet day as the witnesses from yesterday's event remain wise, weary, and wary.

Found a link that explains this happening simply and well, I think.

Jane

Here is a link that might be useful: Hawks Killing at Feeder-NJ Aududbon


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  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 25, 12 at 10:45

That's an excellent article, Jane. Thanks.

This statement particularly struck me.
"Always remember, in choosing to concentrate birds in your yard by offering them food, you have not caused birds to be killed. You have only caused them to be killed where you will see them."

Claire(who always flinches at the mound of Mourning Dove feathers)


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SOOOOO excited!! I captured a white headed cardinal this morning. Something told me to look out the window and there she was in the heritage birch! Camera kept clicking and I've posted a link below to my Picasa album if anyone wants to see more pictures of her. I will send her to Cornell, but have read that 1% or less of cardinals have any albino traits. She is beautiful! Boy, I think I got lucky! As did her mate!

Jane

Here is a link that might be useful: Cardinals - Picasa


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jan 28, 12 at 11:55

What a pretty little bird! The coloration looks as if it belongs that way, not like it's an aberration. Please let us know what Cornell says.

A very, very lucky find!

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

Just found it - it's called 'Leucism' - not truly an albino trait. Here is what Cornell says:

Here is a link that might be useful: Cornell Ornithology Dept. Leucism


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

Robins??? is it spring already? There are dozens and dozens of robins all over my crabapple tree lately. I've never noticed them doing this before.

I hope they do a good job. Cleaning up all the berry remnants on the lawn each spring is a pain.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 30, 12 at 12:09

Ah, the fruit harvest migrants have arrived, wendyb. I haven't seen any robins since they (and the cedar waxwings) cleaned out my winterberry.

I still have holly berries, so they may be back later this winter.

I've seen robins in the neighborhood during the February Great Backyard Bird Count, so they hang around here all winter. Prevailing theory is that the New England robins go south for the winter, to be replaced by Canadian robins who consider New England to be south enough for them.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Feb 1, 12 at 11:34

Temperatures in the mid-forties this morning, and the turkeys are feeling a bit randy. This tom strutted across the street with his entourage of male teenagers surrounding him. The youngsters were running in circles while the tom proceeded in all his glory. The hens quietly went elsewhere, perhaps being a bit more sensible (not a good season to raise babies).

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

Love those turkeys. I think you're right, Claire, there must be something about the higher temps that is signaling the males. Saw male Mallard ducks with very puffed out chests in a marsh yesterday while the females snoozed through the show.

But here at home, the Goldfinches' color is changing and they're eating up a storm.

And the Blue Birds seem to be discussing something private. Many more Blue birds than a month ago - and more Goldfinches.

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

I was surprised to wake up this morning to see about a dozen mallards out on the pond. It looked like only 1 female in a pond full of males.

Mallards


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This is only the second time in 37 years here that I have seen a Pileated (pie-lee-ate-ed)Woodpecker in my yard. He was here no more than 40 seconds this afternoon, I was lucky to get a set of 6 shots. Adult male, stands 16.5" high, wingspan of 29", weighs 10 oz....amazing. He's the largest woodpecker in North America.


Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Feb 11, 12 at 16:29

Bravo! I've never seen one at all - great catch! See, there's a reason to spend all day looking out the window with the camera ready...

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

I so enjoyed all these pics! Claire, I wish you'd send some of your foxes to my yard...we have obese rabbits and really obese squirrels...I have lots of bird feeders and often see the rabbits under them. Lots of birds too of course.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

This Black-capped Chickadee drew my attention to the green developing in the aronia (chokeberry) bush outside my window. Last year the berries were gleaned by this time. This year, new buds are forming in the shadow of last year's fruit.

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 12, 12 at 17:51

Rather elegant looking chickadee - usually they look perky, not elegant. A fine bird either way.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Feb 22, 12 at 19:55

Not elegant, or perky, but very relaxed. This turkey (a hen, I think) was resting today amid some shrubs. It was right next to a feeder area so the buffet table was close at hand. It was a nice warm day today and my yard was littered with turkeys lounging around.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

And a closeup:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

Thanks to the above turkey hen, I've learned that the red 'skin tags' are called caruncles, L.caruncula, meaning little piece of flesh. Looks like maybe her feathers are in red curlers.

Anyway, the red wing blackbirds arrived yesterday - first I've seen this year despite 'the winter that wasn't'.

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Feb 24, 12 at 10:45

You've got two grackles too! I've still only seen one red-wing and one grackle - they're probably having second thoughts about the early arrival since it snowed this morning. Didn't last long and didn't stick.

Claire (waiting for the big flocks to descend on the feeders)


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

Oh, they all showed up - grackles, RW blackbirds and cowbirds. That interesting grouping gleaned and cleaned en masse. Even though the robins winter here as long as there is food, last year at this time this chokeberry had been picked clean.

And yes, it's been very windy.

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 26, 12 at 17:57

The full mob hasn't reached here yet, but I did see 5 red-wings and one grackle today.

Your jay looks rather dapper with the fluffed feathers. A few years ago, at the end of December, 2008, I photographed a song sparrow that REALLY had a bad hair day (bad feather day?).
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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Feb 27, 12 at 10:03

I just started a new thread, Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2, which should load easier.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 23, 12 at 17:02

All "Birds and other mobile features in the garden" threads from 2008 to 2011 are now in the New England Gardening Forum Gallery (switch from Discussions to the Gallery at the top of the main forum page).

Claire


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